Mrs. Understanding

Doc never responded that Sunday to my wedding picture, which didn’t immediately put me off because I know how busy he typically is. However when I didn’t hear anything Monday or Tuesday regarding either the picture or his schedule, as I was also still waiting on word of a second date, I sent a follow-up text on Wednesday just to remind him of my existence.

When he hadn’t answered THAT by Thursday morning, I started feeling a certain type of way and so I texted him to say in so many words that I’m taking his neglect at answering my recent texts and poor efforts at attempting to align our schedules for a second date as a lack of interest, and wished him well.

That obviously lit a fire under his behind because he wrote back immediately to say he couldn’t make the wine festival this weekend, but that he was free on the 18th. And thus this past Wednesday evening ended up being our second rendezvous. I didn’t apologize for my previous comments, per se, but I did retract them since he did actually respond favorably.

We decided on sushi in a town that’s a close mid-point between our respective residences. It was the perfect meeting of minds because when he mentioned the town in question, it turned out that I had been thinking the exact same one, and sushi was exactly what I wanted as well. Fate? Maybe so. Probably not. In any case, after work that day I headed down and hung out at the mall for an hour or so since our date wasn’t until 7 p.m. That gave me a perfect opportunity to refresh my makeup at Sephora and to browse around and purchase lip gloss I don’t need before making my way to the restaurant to meet him.

I arrived about 15 minutes before 7 and got seated at a table to wait. I was badly craving a glass of wine but I decided to be patient and wait until he got there. He arrived punctually looking every bit as handsome as I remember him – maybe even more so. I stood up to hug him and then we settled in for some great sushi and conversation. Same as last time: effortless interaction.

He asked what I wanted to do afterward, once again indicating that he enjoyed my company enough to extend our time together. He mentioned maybe a wine bar, but given it was a work night I really didn’t want the temptation of possibly getting intoxicated and being hung over, and I told him so, so then he suggested a movie. The theater was at the mall a half mile up the street; he looked up movies and times and we decided on a 9:20 p.m. showing of Money Monster, which gave us about an hour to kill when dinner was done.

The sushi spot happened to be adjacent to an idyllic lake, so he suggested we take a walk around it. We didn’t make it too far before the hordes of gnats made it cumbersome and it was a little too chilly for my taste anyway (but he was perfectly fine, being Minnesota-bred), so we reversed course and stopped at another nearby restaurant for a quick drink at the bar.

It was there after he promptly slapped his credit card down to pay once again that I figured it was time for me to step up and offer up my wallet (genuinely) for something, so I offered to pay for the movie. He wouldn’t hear of it. He said I deserve it all and besides, he’s a bit of a jerk.

I hitched a ride from him to the movie theater up the street, during which he asked to see my hand and gave it a tender kiss. What a sweetheart! He bought the movie tickets and snacks, and we proceeded into the sparsely-populated theater where I’d eventually end up falling asleep during some parts of the movie because I was already worn down and the alcohol on top of things made me drowsy, and a dark theater was just the icing on the cake. But some of the times I was awake, we kind of snuggled up a bit.

Once the movie was over, he drove me back to my car, and there I was at the tail end of yet another fantastic date with a handsome guy who I liked spending time with. A tall, intelligent, interesting gentleman who treats me like a princess? There’s gotta be a catch somewhere.

And there was. As it turns out, Doc is married.

And I actually knew this from the beginning of the date. When he entered the sushi restaurant and sat down, I immediately happened to glance at his hand and spy a shiny, round object on one of his fingers that couldn’t possibly be a wedding band, as the man I am out with had indicated he was single. So I thought perhaps I was seeing things or mistaking hands or miscounting fingers. But nope, we were facing each other and the hand in question was directly opposite my right hand, so it had to be his left. And no, that wasn’t the middle finger it was on, it was definitely the ring finger.

You have GOT to be kidding me.

But, no, of course not. My romantic life would not be the ridiculous disaster that I know and love if this very thing was not occurring.

But, you know…I’d already driven out of my way and I was feeling pretty hungry and I didn’t really feel like turning it into a “thing” at the moment, so I didn’t address it right away. I acted like I didn’t see it. In my career, in my life, and especially with men, I’ve pretty much seen it all, so nothing ever really shocks me anymore. I didn’t even feel angry. I was more so disappointed. In him, and in myself. I believed him when he said he was soooooo busy, but as I even said in the entry about our first date, if a guy is SO busy that he can only see you every few weeks, there’s probably something else going on. And unfortunately, that held true.

I had also caught wind of a possible red flag during our first date when we were discussing me getting home and he’d said he would drive me. We were about an hour south of my house and about 25 minutes south of his. So in lieu of him driving me all the way home, I had actually suggested going back to his place for a drink and because I wanted to meet his dachshund. Then I could just Uber from there and he wouldn’t have to go out of his way. But he declined that idea under the guise of not wanting to risk things going too far too soon or whatever, and opted to drive me home instead. Where he promptly asked if he could come in and we ended up making out. So since he suddenly had no problem with us spending time together behind closed doors at MY place instead of his, it was obvious that he just hadn’t wanted me at his own place for some reason. And now I knew why.

So it all made sense now. I had seen the signs but had tried to give him the benefit of the doubt and that was my own error. So I wasn’t angry. Just disappointed. Another one bites the dust. And I was totally incredulous that he had forgotten to take his ring off, actually. I kept stealing quick glances whenever he raised his left hand to see if he’d slip it off when it happened to be hidden from view under the table or something, but he didn’t. It was like infidelity amateur hour, which leads me to believe that perhaps he is not a habitual cheater, at least.

Yet, in the face of concrete prima facie evidence, I was STILL trying to create nonsensical rationalizations in my mind. Perhaps he wore it so women wouldn’t hit on him at work or something. Maybe he had just VERY RECENTLY gotten separated and so it was still a force of habit. Maybe this, maybe that. Or maybe he’s just married.

I excused myself to the restroom while he was paying the check. When I came back, I noticed it was gone. He had finally come to his senses.

So when he mentioned to me at the bar that he was a jerk, I knew why he was saying that, and I said so, but we still didn’t explicitly address the big elephant in the room. It wasn’t until the movie theater during the previews that I turned to him and asked – or told him, actually, as there was really nothing to question: “You’re married.” He reluctantly confirmed and said we’d have to have a discussion later. Um, yes. I’d say so.

As we were headed back to his car, he asked me if I was up for anything else. Keep in mind at this point it was approaching midnight. So…not really. I was blown and had to work in the morning and thus I wanted to go home. But since I napped a bit in the movie theater, I actually wasn’t too tired anymore. So, God knows why, but once we pulled up to my car I decided to be nice and invite him back to my place for a drink once again. I figured we could talk about things I guess. For what, I don’t know. He wasn’t up for driving to my place and suggested somewhere nearby, but I really didn’t want to risk getting too tipsy to drive home, so we just let that idea die and ended up staying in his truck awhile to talk.

One of his preliminary comments was that he wanted to continue to see how he and I progress. He went on to say how beautiful I am and how much he likes hanging out with me and blah, blah, blah. I rebutted that I don’t see how we can “progress” anywhere being as he’s married.

His sob story is that he’s been married for 3 years to the anesthesiologist he told me about on our first date. The one he said he had been dating but kind of faded away because their schedules were too hectic. Exact same story this time, except for the fact that nothing actually faded away because he’s married to her. But he’s not fulfilled emotionally or sexually and all the rest of that nonsense. They don’t have any kids (he claims…in married man speak that COULD mean that one is on the way, but since it’s “technically” not here yet, you know…), and they’ve had discussions about divorce because neither one is happy. He got on Tinder to sniff around some and see what’s out there, and got caught up in the fact that a girl as attractive as me was actually talking to him and so he decided to explore it.

So those were “all his cards on the table.” Better late than never, I guess. I asked when exactly he had planned on telling me. He didn’t know. Our first date took place in the city he works in and we gallivanted around to several places…what if someone he knew had seen us? He felt that there was little chance of that happening. I pointed out the fact that I STILL wouldn’t have known had he not inadvertently left his ring on. Scary.

It was a very civil discussion, given the subject matter. No raised voices or obscene language or insults or anything like that. Again, there was no part of me that was angry with him. Minus the secret wife, he’s done nothing but treat me like a princess, in all actuality. He’s treated me better than some single men have.

But…he’s a liar. And a cheater. And that’s just not what I’m looking for at this stage. Scout and I have our thing but I didn’t enter that under any false pretenses and it just ended up turning into a long-term thing and it works perfectly for both of us. I consider him a good friend and he’s special to me. But I’m not in the market to be a professional mistress.

I suggested to Doc that if she and he really aren’t happy this early on and don’t have any children or other ties, he may just want to bite the bullet and get divorced. In the meantime, I’m not keen on being his side action while he figures all of this out. Besides, given the sporadic intervals in which he is able to talk to me and see me as it is, I’m not sure that this would be enough to fulfill him anyway. Or me.

We left things on amicable terms. I even kissed him goodnight and texted him once I was home. He commented the next day that the night was “weird” and I sent him a link to a 5K I’m running in that he said he might be interested in. And that’s been it for now.

So…back to the drawing board.

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