It was a cold and rainy Tuesday in late March. I was lounging on the couch in my Old Navy sweats when my phone vibrated. It was a text from Mr. Exec:
Morning. What are your plans for today?
Me: A whole lotta nothing!
Mr. Exec: That sounds nice. Up for some company?
Me: Sure :)!
Mr. Exec: I might need your help with an article for a newsletter for [an organization that had a similar mission to a nonprofit for which I used to work]. Would that be okay?
Me: Of course!
Mr. Exec arrived at my place a couple of hours later. He has his nickname for a reason so I was surprised that he barely looked at his Blackberry all day. He fully committed to playing hooky with me and being a sloth. I hadn't expected him to be able to decompress from his job the way he did, and it was nice to see.
Even though Mr. Exec hadn't even kissed me at the end of our first date or even come upstairs, it felt like he had been over my place many a time. I poured him a glass of Chardonnay. We relaxed on the couch, watching Sportscenter. He put his arm around me and made sure that my blanket covered my feet. I hadn't thought about what this embryonic thing called "us" would turn into, but we interacted like we were a couple.
That afternoon, ESPN kept replaying Tiger Woods' interview.
Mr. Exec: If you were Elin, would you stay?
Me: Hell no.
Mr. Exec: What about for better or worse?
Me: That would go out the window if my husband put his cock inside one other woman — let alone 12.
Mr. Exec: Would you leave a person if he was an alcoholic?
Me: I was in a relationship with an addict and an alcoholic when I was in my early 20s. I became such an co-dependent enabler that I don't think I would knowingly become involved with an addict again unless he was in recovery.
Mr. Exec: Well, what if he didn't have a problem, but a tragic event like a family member's death sent him into a downward spiral? Wouldn't you want to help him?
Me: Of course.
Mr. Exec: Then, how is an alcohol addiction different from a sex addiction?
Me: I don't see what Tiger did as situational or a post-traumatic stress response. Cheating would involve a betrayal of our marriage vows so I see that as different from a substance problem. But, I get your point that if marriage is forever, that includes the worse.
We talked more about our views on cheating and sex addiction. I might not have agreed with all of Mr. Exec's points, but I respected them. I liked his energy and his wisdom. I hadn't dated anyone with whom I felt such physical and intellectual chemistry since Lawyer Boy.
Mr. Exec suggested that we take a nap, but I decided to crack the metaphorical whip and get the article done before we went to sleep. I felt flattered that he trusted me to help him with it, and we worked well together. I had a thought that if we continued dating, there would be a lot more of this. I smiled to myself in front of the laptop (much like I'm doing now). I had definitely missed being able to professionally connect with someone.
When we finished the article, we began talking about upcoming events in town. That made me think of his friend, Jenna, who I had met last year.
Me: How is she? She was so much fun.
He commented that he hadn't talked to her in a while, noting that he received a lot of flack for bringing her to the event in Georgetown.
Me [surprised since I thought that they were just friends]: Was she there as your date?
Mr. Exec: Well…we were hanging out.
Me: Wait a minute… you were flirting with me and asking me out right in front of her? And, she was there as your date?
Mr. Exec: Yes.
Me: What kind of guy is on a date with one girl and asks another girl out right in front of her?
Mr. Exec: Well, Jenna and I weren't serious. We didn't have that much in common. She's nice, but I didn't see it progressing so I didn't view it as a big deal.
Me [laughing out loud]: Seriously? I actually wondered why I had never heard from her since we had gotten along so well. Now I know why. I would have walked out of the restaurant if you had done that with me.
I rolled my eyes and thought to myself:
What was I getting myself into?