Business or pleasure?
He was Irish, a fallen Catholic, just like me. What a good start! Our e-mails were firey and fast, the repartee peppered with Latin verbiage. His picture showed glinty blue eyes, a glaring toothy grin and thick Irish curls. Then I heard his knee-dropping voice ... along with carefully and cleverly veiled innuendoes and the wild freedom of his laugh. I started to tremble with virgin uncertainty at the thought of our meeting.
We arranged to have coffee at Starbucks. He'd told me he'd be wearing a pink shirt, but the only pink shirt was sitting with another man. Still he approached me with a "Hi" as if we had done it a hundred times. I sat entranced like a schoolgirl, thinking of us in a life together. The other man was introduced as Dr. Lacey; we all exchanged verbal banter. I held my own very well and felt confident and beautiful with their attention. Dr. Lacey was a business partner and they spoke of their exciting weight-loss clinics. They were going to conquer the world of obesity. I added my 2 cents' worth to the conversation, but then it seemed my 2 cents became $5.
My profile stated that I had been, at one time, in senior management of a Fortune 500 company. The "boys" were talking multioperations, and my background was in the same. The $5 quickly turned into $100. My new man and I bid Dr. Lacey goodbye and spent the day lunching and talking family, the church, politics, politics and politics (hey, we're Irish), and the Old Country and business, business, business. He said he would love to have me on his "team."
As we said goodbye I told him: "I don't know if I have been on a date or a job interview." I seriously wondered if he'd gotten Match.com confused with Monster.com. I was so confused, but I did know that my baby blue eyes had turned to dollar green for him! And he knew that I knew, that he knew that I knew. And yet I was overwhelmed with the ingenuity of it. Still, our e-mails went back to English and the phone messages turned dull, and then I received the "I love you" e-mail. Perhaps a second agenda to get me back onto his first agenda? I don't know. I only know that it was two agendas too many.
-- Name withheld
"Summer lovin', had me a blast"
Last May, I found love on a telephone chat line.
Granted, I'm not your typical chat-line kinda gal: I'm a sweet, blond, Southern-raised classical pianist and attorney who only called up to kill some driving time during a commute.
I had low expectations, but one fellow piqued my interest. He said he was an Ivy-league Ph.D. of Slavic descent. I imagined a swarthy brainiac, just my type. If he were telling the truth. I thought it was worth the gamble. Still, I arranged to meet him at a chic little upscale establishment four doors down from my place, just in case I needed to bail.
I didn't. He walked up to me at the bar and, with one look at that impish grin, I knew I was in trouble. He was tall, Adonis-bodied, whip-smart and funny. Over drinks, we tacitly agreed to a very adult, no-strings sexual relationship. He'd been seeing someone for 10 years, and I had been separated for 10 months from a flailing marriage. Neither of us had room for love.
Or so we thought.
Two nights later with the A.C. on full-blast, we were voraciously coupling in every way imaginable. Two weeks later, when we weren't in a sweaty bliss all tangled up like puppies, we were talking through the night about work, movies, politics, our childhoods and dreams. With each encounter, we exposed ourselves exponentially, and we couldn't get enough. Two months later, we were in awe over the profound sweetness we'd found. Without notice or invitation, the real deal had sneaked in and taken up residence.
Suddenly, the pieces of the puzzle slid into place. I felt like the upper right corner of my heart had been awakened. I realized that in my juvenile quest for romance, I'd never really let anyone this close to me before, including my husband. Perhaps my failed marriage had, at least in part, been my own fault.
Of course, as summer ended, our sultry trysts did, too. In a single season, my lover taught me much: Intimacy is more than affection, connection is worth the risk, and marriage is not the stamp of relationship authenticity.
Armed with this knowledge, I reconciled with my husband. My lover opted to stay with his long-term girlfriend. I suspect we'll remain dear friends for life.
Just like in the movie "Grease:" Summer heat, boy and girl meet. But oh! those summer nights.
-- Name withheld