Sex with my older fiancé, Patrick, was becoming increasingly enjoyable. He was mechanically adept and very oral. I had adjusted to his schedule of needs, which was once at night and every morning. Weekends were more frequent.
In the morning, I would show up at my office with this glow and my boss, who would have liked to have a relationship with me himself, would look at me and smile like he knew exactly what was going on. I was like a purring kitten and I think it helped me in my interactions with others, especially those I supervised. I was kind, firm, and confident. And I was a lot more creative; I swear “creative juices” aren’t all in the brain.
It was springtime in the Windy City and I had a birthday coming up in a couple of weeks. I thought it was odd that Patrick hadn’t asked me what I wanted to do or where we might go, but we were both frantically busy with our work schedules and I was too happy to worry about birthday plans.
As it turned out, my birthday fell in the middle of the work week and on a night that I was flying in from Washington D.C. I had spoken to Patrick the night before from my hotel room; he took my flight information down and said he’d pick me up and we’d go out for a great birthday dinner.
My flight was late, but Patrick was right there waiting for me. I thought he would surprise me in his customary manner by taking me to a new restaurant, but instead, he drove north to one of our casual hangouts in the suburbs, near the Hubbard Street Fish Market.
I was rather disappointed that he was treating my birthday like another ordinary night and I was a little sharp with him when he asked me questions about my business trip. I grew quiet and, I suppose, a bit sullen. I couldn’t help but wonder if he was going to give me a gift in a small box. In my own mind, I knew I had grown a little spoiled by this older man who seemed to have unlimited financial resources.
We parked the car and began walking toward the restaurant. As always, he held my hand and was always there to make sure I stepped up and off the curbs in my high heels. Sometimes I wondered if he ever slipped up and forgot his gentlemanly ways. I doubted it. It was such an integral part of his character.
We entered the foyer of the restaurant and I walked toward the bar area, which had little tables covered in brown paper, close to all the fresh seafood in glass cases. This is where we usually sat. We enjoyed watching the people come and go and it was a more relaxed setting than the dining room, which had white linens and a more extensive menu. Patrick steered me away from the table and said he thought we should use the dining room tonight, since it was my birthday. “Finally, he’s acknowledging it’s a special occasion,” I thought to myself.
We entered the dining room and the maître d’ began escorting us to the far back of the restaurant. Instead of seating us at a table for two, he opened the French doors to a private event room. The room was filled with all of my friends from Chicago—mostly my girlfriends, but a generous sprinkling of men as well, many of whom we knew from sailing.
I was stunned to say the least. It was the first surprise birthday party of my life!