My older man, Marco, let me choose which house we would live in together. My top two options were the four-bedroom, three-bath, 3,000 square-feet home with a two-car garage in a posh upper class neighborhood, and the older home in a less desirable neighborhood, but with beautiful hardwood floors and street parking. I chose the latter, simply because it had never been lived in by Marco or his ex-wife. My thoughts were that if we were going to do this, we should do it right and not in the shadow of an ex. I wanted to make new memories there together. Marco emphatically agreed, and so we made the move over the course of a week.
My family and I helped Marco move his stuff into the new house over a weekend. During that week, Marco and I furnished the new home with items we liked that fit our style. The following Friday, we packed my stuff up— not surprisingly, all of my stuff fit in the back of his small car. We headed into the city and began a journey I never imagined.
We were still in the “new relationship” phase, especially with our communication skills; working out the kinks took a lot of patience from my older man. There were times initially when we simply had to agree to disagree within the first two weeks of living together. Our cultural differences were very evident, but what was also very evident was that he was invested in me going to school. My dream was to have a successful career and become a strong, independent businesswoman, while still being a kept woman, if that makes sense. I didn’t want to have to be dependent on my partners, but wanted a partner whom I could depend on.
After getting somewhat settled in our new home together, figuring out routines, and the ever looming “first bathroom use with the door open,” we finally started to feel comfortable. Things became second nature to us, as is common with all new relationships.
So, now it was time. We made a trip to the grad school of my choice. Marco and I took the scheduled tour with all of the other applicants and talked with school counselors. Everything was going fine, until one of the school counselors asked if my dad—meaning Marco—would be helping to cover the costs, right in front of him. I was mortified, absolutely mortified. I immediately said no and asked for student loan information. This caught Marco’s attention.
We tried to laugh it off and thanked her for the information; we took our paperwork and continued with the tour, only to meet other people who mistook Marco as my dad. On top of this, Marco didn’t feel like this was a good enough school for me; he wanted me to choose a more reputable school, but I declined.
At this point, the tension in the air between us was so thick you could cut it with a knife. Again,we laughed about it out of sheer nervousness at that moment. But neither of us was prepared for that, until it happened. It was right in our face and we had to deal with it. Or, we could have sex and put it off until later. I chose the latter.
We headed home and discussed the school, costs, and the student loans I would be taking to pay for it. Marco lightly joked about being my dad, but I could tell it clearly bothered him that more than one person assumed he was. Our age difference was 25 years, so more than anything, it was our being unprepared and that caught us off guard. As time moved on, when the “Dad” question was presented, we came up with witty comebacks, funny stories, and alter-ego’s to make it interesting. The first time was a bit of reality stinging us both, though.