I decided to put aside—at least temporarily—the issue of kids with my older man, Patrick. I was too busy with my job and liked it too much to pursue motherhood immediately, anyways. It was still in the back of my mind, though. Oddly, the subject was in the forefront of Patrick’s mind. I think he feared he would lose me.
He started to do some pretty crazy things. One day when I returned from a business trip, he picked me up at the airport. When I got in the car, he handed me a little gray suede box with a ribbon. I recognized that the box was from Bailey Banks & Biddle, my favorite jewelry store. The box was small and it looked like the kind that would hold a ring. I was slightly panicked, but I opened it while we were driving into the city on the highway.
It was indeed a ring, but not an engagement ring; it wasn’t even a precious gem ring. It was a plain gold band. It was unmistakably a wedding ring. I didn’t put it on, but looked questioningly at Patrick, who said, “Hun, I thought it might be a good idea for you to wear this when you travel, so that other men think you’re married. It’s for your own safety. I know you get hit on when you travel and this might help.”
Once again, Patrick had taken me by surprise. It bothered me that he wanted me to appear married, but not actually be married. I couldn’t decide if it was an insult or a sweet gesture, but at that moment I decided his intentions were good, so I thanked him and slipped it into my purse. I did wear that ring on occasion, but certainly not every day, and only when I traveled.
A couple of weeks later, we met his son, Michael, for drinks after work at our favorite seafood restaurant. Michael was distant, but careful. It was only the three of us and we sat at the oyster bar, ordering fresh oysters and appetizers.
Patrick and Michael were talking about business and I was listening with only occasional attention. Then the conversation took an abrupt turn. Patrick asked his son how he would feel about being a sperm donor for me!
I’m not sure who was more surprised—his son, or me. I firmly told Patrick that was a ridiculous idea and apologized to Michael, saying this was something I had no interest in, nor had his father and I even discussed it.
Patrick, always the eager one, started explaining how this would be perfect. I could have a child and it would be as close as possible to being his child if his son was the biological father—Patrick had a vasectomy done over 20 years ago, which means it could never be reversed.
Michael didn’t say yes, but he didn’t say no either. I think he knew I was being honest in refusing to even discuss the subject.
Once again, I was stunned at the lengths Patrick would go to for me. But this time he was so clearly out of control that I questioned his mental state. Was he so afraid of losing me that he would want to become a father again at his age? Was he so desperate that he would ask his son to help?