(PART 2, CONTINUED FROM PART 1)
This is the story of my 180 experience with The Homemaker.
To fully grasp the spell of his compassion, delight yourself by reading Part 1: “The First Hello | The Homemaker’s Empty Home“, if you haven’t already done so.
A gentleman of solid structure, I had been slightly intimidated when we met, with my mighty 5’1” build against his 6-foot-something, my neck protracted to say hello. That quickly changed with our interaction, which left me with a newfound friend (I thought), some wisdom on holy matrimony, and a generous tip.
My first impression of The Homemaker was beyond positive. I was determined to keep in touch.
Fast forward a year later.
I was sitting in a café on King Street, sipping seven-dollar iced coffee with my laptop open, when my phone began to shimmy across the table.
It was The Homemaker.
“Hello, Sophia!” His voice was booming. “How are you doing? It’s The Homemaker.”
He seemed chipper, more cheerful than the way I remembered him.
“Hello!” I said. “How are you?”
“I’m fine,” he said. “I’m fine, I’m fine.” He tells me about his wildly demanding personal matters. His business that needs him more than ever. He apologizes for not returning my texts with haste. “I was in another country, you see, to be with family for most of the past year. There were many things to take care of.”
“Say no more,” I said. “I’m glad you’re well.”
“Listen,” he said. “I’m back in Toronto. I’ve been thinking about you recently. Shall we go for lunch? Pick anywhere you’d like. Let’s talk. It was so great to meet you.”
My memory was triggered with our interaction last year, where he had been full of warmth, authenticity and a healthy dose of happy humor. Before I’d left, he’d mentioned a job. This was a man I would love to work with. This was a person I had much to learn from.
Or so I thought.
His card was left untouched since I had sent him the follow-up texts he hadn’t responded to. He was responding now.
I grinned to myself. “Lunch it is. What’s your schedule like this week?”
The Homemaker changed the way I approach a business lunch.
THE SECOND HELLO
When I was little, I was a messy eater. There’s a photograph of me at six months or so, slobbering over my own foot. Over the years, I’ve learned to distinguish the edible from the inedible, but the technique has not changed – around food, I am still a delirious koala.
No dining with the Queen for me!
So, in an attempt to divert a potential employer’s attention from my eating habits to my personality, I went in with charm full-on.
This was my face at the start of lunch:
“Sophia!” he said. “It’s wonderful to see you.”
“I’m glad we could do this,” I said. “It’s been awhile!”
“It’s been too long. I’m so sorry about that–”
“Oh, you already apologized, don’t even–”
“No, I must. You’ve been so sweet to keep in touch. It’s unforgivable I didn’t respond.”
“Well, we’re here now,” I said. I made a point to not bring up the job, trusting he would navigate the conversation naturally.
I was wrong.
“Sophia,” he said when our food arrived. “I’ve been thinking about you.”
“Yes,” I said, because what does one say in the pause following that sentence?
Open to your advice, dear reader.
“Sophia…” he said again.
I began to tuck away food while he seemed to prepare himself to share a big secret with me.
The Homemaker exhaled: “You came to my mind. Completely unexpected, it was. I don’t know why. But I, I–” and after sputtering about for a bit he said, “I had a dream about you.”
“A sexy dream. I had a sexy dream about you.”
And it was all downhill from there.
HOW I HANDLED THE SITUATION
Looking back, I should have left the table sooner. But I had hope by the dozen. My hope was that he would eventually redeem himself by admitting it was an odd joke, or a slip of judgment.
The Homemaker’s first impression was amazing. The second, not so much. (Oh, how badly I wanted to be proved wrong!)
Since a picture speaks a thousand words, here is what happened to my face:
WHEN THINGS GOT WEIRD
The Homemaker: So, tell me. Are you single?
Me: At the moment. Does this matter?
The Homemaker: When I had the dream about you, I thought, I’m stupid! Why did I not respond sooner? You are very beautiful…
WHEN THINGS GOT CRAZY
The Homemaker: Ah, I cannot believe any man could resist you. What were your relationships like? A girl like you, single at the moment? Really?
Me: For a business lunch we sure are talking a lot about non-business things.
The Homemaker: You are a funny girl!
Me: I recall last year you mentioned working together. Do you have any job openings I would be suitable for? I can tell you about my work experience.
The Homemaker: My wife takes care of that side of things.
Me: Oh. But she’s not here.
WHEN THINGS WERE DONE
The Homemaker: How do you get about town?
Me: Public transportation.
The Homemaker: How would you like a car? I can get you one.
The Homemaker: All I would ask from you is to be my girlfriend.
Silence, as I gauged how serious he was. He was very serious.
Me: Why don’t we consider the feelings of your wife for a moment?
The Homemaker: She doesn’t need to know. A marriage works best when nobody asks too many questions. We’ve been married awhile. She doesn’t ask questions anymore.
Me: I see. Thank you for your offer, but I wouldn’t be comfortable with that.
The Homemaker: Is it because I’m married? Because I can tell you, I have many friends. We’re all the same. We have wives, and we have girlfriends. A guy I know, he’s retired. His girlfriend is your age. Early twenties. He takes her to the nicest places.
Me: How old are you? If you don’t mind.
The Homemaker: [old enough to be my grandfather AND/OR that retired guy]
Me: I see. To clarify: you’re offering me a car, but no job.
The Homemaker: You are a smart and beautiful girl.
In my head: I’ve heard of Sugar Daddies. But a Sugar Granddaddy? Perhaps not.
THE FINAL GOODBYE
First and foremost, I pass no judgment on The Homemaker’s lifestyle choices.
Moreover, I’m sure there are girls out there who would not have said no.
Lastly, the things he said did not shock me.
I’d seen it all before. Any woman who has gone outside in a big city in 2017 has seen it all before. It has tragically become the operations of the urban world.
So, no, I was not disturbed by his conduct.
Rather, I was disappointed in what he had led me to believe, which turned out to be a false reflection of who he really was.
I had told the story of our first encounter to family, friends, and anyone who doubted the existence of good, smart people in the hopes I could inspire their faith again. It had been a source of pride for me. It had made me proud of the human race. The Homemaker had been a shining beacon of exemplary kindness, and I shared the happy anecdote of meeting him many times over.
Things were different now.
As I saw my phone light up with texts later that day, I felt the way our shoes sounded clacking against his home’s marble floors, one year ago. He said he would tell me more about the sexy dream, if I agreed to have lunch with him again. Or–even better–dinner. It was a weak tactic for romance, to say the least.
I thought back to my university days, where I’d experienced the same kind of dogged persistence from men who did not listen to ‘No.’
It is this attitude of ignorance towards someone’s preference for sex that has created so many problems in schools, homes, and society.
The desire for sex should be expressed among people who desire to have sex with each other.
For days afterward I asked myself:
- Where did the respectful gentleman showing concern for my mother take off to?
- How did I not see this coming?
- What could I have done to handle the situation better?
The Homemaker taught me a hard lesson that day. Honestly, I’m still wrapping my head around it.
What I do know: I don’t look forward to business lunches like I used to.
Little comforts: I still get pasta sauce on my shirt though, so some things never change.