In the weeks following my first encounter with Patrick’s ex-wife, I came to understand that there is a particular protocol to being the young girlfriend to a sugar daddy. It involves laying low and not having many—or any—expectations when it comes to his family. It also has a lot to do with understanding that, while it is possible you’re the only woman he loves, he will always love his family more, at least in certain ways.
Deborah, the ex-wife, was not a threat to me in the typical ways. I sensed she had no ongoing interest in Patrick, other than to needle him and make sure he understood that she was the matriarch of their family, and always would be. And I could certainly see he had absolutely no physical desire for her anymore.
My main encounters with her now usually happened when I called his office and she picked up the phone. There couldn’t have been a colder or faster way to put me on hold than what she did with me. She never said, “Hello,” and she never used my name. In fact, she didn’t even say, “Please hold” or “Hang on.” After I asked to speak to him, I would almost instantly hear the sound of music as she put me on hold. Fortunately, she had the manners to at least tell him there was a call waiting for him, although I doubt she told him that it was me waiting on the line. On the plus side, if it was around 5 o’clock in the evening, Patrick expected my call, so usually—as was his way with me—he would rush to answer the phone when I called.
Patrick and I always planned our evenings that way, and it always involved drinks and dinner at an upscale restaurant in the downtown area. I loved that part of the lifestyle.
When we walked into a Chicago restaurant together, heads always turned. People were fascinated with us: the striking, gray-haired, muscular, immaculately-groomed older man, with an obviously much younger, attractive woman dressed professionally, but sexy nonetheless. People were friendly with us; they always smiled and nodded and I rarely saw smirks. The wait staff and bartenders were eager to serve us; I think they sensed big tips.
One night, we were in the Cape Cod Room at the lavish Drake Hotel and our waitress asked us if we were movie stars. She was serious. That took us by surprise and we laughed. But she did get a very large tip with that compliment.
Patrick always ordered the wine, usually after he conversed with the bartender. I learned a lot about wines from him, especially French wines—Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, we drank it all. Patrick thought Champagne was an everyday drink, not just for special occasions.
And he never failed to toast me, never. He had charm and wit, so his toasts were always new, unique, personal, and in the moment. There is an old French saying that says, “A man falls in love through his eyes, a woman through her ears.” I think it is definitely true. Patrick was a lover boy in the first degree and I basked in the adoration.
Our life together was always spent “in the moment,” and I knew that if we stayed together, there were hurdles that would involve not just Deborah, but his three children. This was just the beginning.