Nearly 18 months ago…
When I got off the plane in Max’s region, I couldn’t wait to get to work. I mean, of course, that I couldn’t wait to see Max!
After a couple of meetings, we got a chance to talk.
“How do you do this?,” he asked, “I mean travel, as a single mother, with your children at home?”
That was quite an assumption for Max to make! He must have been scoping out my ring finger (I was no longer wearing my ring). After all, I had yet to tell my husband that our relationship was over nor asked him to move out. It hadn’t even dawned on me that my girlfriend in Max’s region might have spilled to him that I’d asked after him.
Later I had an opportunity to ask Max about his own children. That’s when he told me: two grown children, four stepdaughters and two grandchildren. Grandchildren?! I had guessed Max’s age at 44. He was older than I thought — and, having married a woman with four daughters, he clearly had a great deal of capacity.
I reveled at telling my girlfriends about this development . . . their consistent response: “Not only is he gorgeous, but also a saint! No wonder you like him!”
That evening, I had the pleasure of meeting Max’s wife. As predicted, she was a bottle blond. And she was an attractive mother of four, had crow’s-feet (or shall I say “laugh lines”?) and a warm, authentic presence accompanied by a boisterous laugh.
By the end of the evening, I was compelled to confide in her. “I have a huge work crush on your husband,” I admitted. “He has been such a joy to work with, communicative, cooperative, willing, steady and pleasant in every way. Not to mention, he’s hot.”
She laughed and leaned close to me. “Oh, that is so sweet — I can’t wait to tell him! He is every one of those things at home, too, consistent and steady and never raises his voice…” We laughed and chatted for a bit longer before good-byes. Then she insisted I come back to the area with my children on vacation and stay with them.
Um…maybe not a great idea!
Finally, as I hugged Max goodbye, I whispered into his ear, “I just told your wife that I have a huge crush on you…but I bet you already knew that.”
“I’m no fool,” he said. We smiled at one another and slowly released our embrace.