Ann Cutbill Lenane, one of the city's top realtors, has aired her dating ad on in-taxi TVs across the five boroughs, and while she has become a bit "overwhelmed" by the male response she's received, an outpouring of support from fellow women is what’s really inspiring her.
Lenane, best known as "Annie Gets It Done" from her advertisements that played preceding movies in theaters, says she turned to the TVs in the backseats of taxi cabs after shooting one of her advertisements gave her the idea.
"I managed to sell billions of dollars of New York City real estate. But you know what? I haven’t been able to find a great guy," Lenane, who is currently selling Bruce Willis' country home for the tune of $7.5 million, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. "I thought, that’s a commercial."
"I kept hearing stories of their next chapter, their next part of life, and the fear of taking the next step," Lenane, who has been divorced for 15 years, says. "What do you want now that your children are gone? Or maybe your marriage broke up, or maybe your husband passed away."
Encouraged by these women, Lenane realized she needed to put her dating ad up, in which she says, tongue-in-cheek, that she is searching for a "wonderful, single, divorced dad to remarry... a gentleman with a kind and generous soul, and you love your mother — but you still don’t live with her — and can appreciate a 56-year-old fit and fabulous woman, feel free to give me a call."
Lenane says that, out of everything in the ad, the inclusion of her age is what her friends thought was "crazy."
"I said, ‘I have to put my age,’" Lenane says. "You would have thought I said ‘I’m Ann Cutbill Lenane, I’m a serial killer!’... I’m 56 and I’m so comfortable with it... This is my story now, my kids are gone, what do I want?"
Lenane's daughters, 18 and 19, were "really horrified" and "really worried" about their mother's decision to air the dating ad, but after seeing how their friends, and more importantly, how their friends' mothers responded, they’ve relaxed about it.
"They want me to be happy," Lenane says. "They are my biggest supporters."
Since her ad campaign began, she has connected with a few interesting men. But the empowering of women has always been her main goal, she says.
"This was just my way of putting it out there, to empower other women, [tell them] don’t worry what other people think," Lenane said. "That’s my end goal, to give women the inspiration to go for it."
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