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How Would Samantha Daniels Spend $150,000?

The celebrity matchmaker was once promised that much by a client if she introduced him to his future wife. (She collected.) Now that she’s also a TV producer and a novelist, Daniels calculated what she’d do with the cash today.


Since I travel between New York and L.A. twice a month, I’d love a full Goyard luggage set in red ($6,000). I try to go carry-on, but it never happens. I’d call Vintage by Stacey Lee and see if she has a black Hermès Sac Mallett bag from the forties ($12,000). I’d love one of Judith Leiber’s minaudières, in the shape of a swan ($3,750), and a sapphire-and-sterling-silver duck key chain from a Doyle New York auction ($680). Good things happen when ducks are around me. Once I was lost in the Hamptons and walked into the wrong party. I was going to leave, but then I realized there were yellow rubber duckies all over the pool. I wound up meeting someone there whom I dated for two years.

The week after Valentine’s Day is the busiest time for me. People who weren’t with somebody want to spend the next 364 days preparing for next year. I also get calls from people who break up on Valentine’s Day. Lots of unrealized expectations.

I have 48 marriages to my credit, with two more a few weeks away, and 10,000 people in my database. I’m constantly going to dinner parties, restaurant openings, and charity events to find people for my clients. So I’d buy myself a vintage platinum-and-diamond Fred Leighton necklace ($43,000) and a Holly’s Harp dusty-rose cocktail dress from the sixties ($750) to wear.

I’ve always been a TV junkie, but since my company, Samantha’s Table, is bi-coastal now, I’ve really gotten the bug. I have two shows I’m hoping to produce, so I’d buy a Sony XBR 42-inch flat-screen TV ($8,000) to watch them.

I’d get a pink Vespa ($4,000), so when I’m in New York, I’d never have to take another taxi, and a garage to keep it in ($5,400 for a year). I’d buy a case of heirloom tomatoes from Grace’s Marketplace ($40) in crazy colors like purple and orange and yellow. They’re like healthy candy. Something I’ve always wanted is a Greater Swiss Mountain dog ($5,000), plus a trainer ($675, from Dog Trainers of New York, for five in-home lessons).

I’d take my three favorite men—my father and my two brothers—to see Billy Crystal’s play 700 Sundays ($405) and then to Alain Ducasse ($1,500). I lived in Paris for a year, and I love romantic formal dinners. My father collects watches: I’d buy him a new Rolex Daytona white-gold watch ($24,000).

Purple has been my color since I was little—it’s the color of deep love. I’d buy a Lora Piana purple cashmere blanket from Bergdorf Goodman ($1,800). I saw a Hans Wegner flag chair in a store called Mantiques Modern ($7,700) that I’d put next to my purple velvet couch. I always buy purple tulips from Bloom ($200 for two dozen). So does the character in Matchbook: The Diary of a Modern Day Matchmaker, my new novel. Her name is also Samantha Daniels, and it’s an urban love story, but it’s not my love story—right now, let’s just say I’m single and dating. When my book tour is over, hopefully I’ll spend a week at Las Ventanas in Cabo with my future Valentine ($4,800 for first-class airfare; $20,300 for an oceanfront room).

Reality Check
What I Really Spent Today

Three Diet Cokes ($3)

Plane ticket to L.A. ($348)

Sunglasses from a street vendor ($5)

Chicken potpie and latte at Mitchell London Foods ($11.75) Joe’s Jeans from Henri Bendel ($159)

Dinner for two at Mr. Chow’s ($162.51)

Taxis ($50)

Total $739.26


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