Welcome to the fifth part of my stories about the men in my pants, oops!… ahem…past.
Sassy’s Past Part 2: Pop Goes My Cherry
Sassy’s Past Part 3: The Trio
Sassy’s Past Part 4: Martin
The second year the meeting was right after Martin dumped me, so I was in need of their comfort and support. We hugged eagerly like long lost friends, talking as if we’d never been apart. I ate with them, sat with them at meetings, and went to the bar with them at the end of each day. On the first night, toward the end of the evening, I was chatting with two men in the hotel bar. Though I did not drink, I found that much of the real business got done in the bar. One guy went to the men’s room and I was left with Bart, a 50ish large animal veterinarian from the midwest. He was very interesting. Very different from me. More than twice my age. Married. Staunch Republican conservative. Never traveled except for his military service. I was tall, thin, and busty with long dark hair. He was a rolly-polly teddy bear with thinning hair. I was a business lady from a big city. He tended livestock on farms miles from the nearest town. We disagreed about everything, but enjoyed it. I understood my life better as I tried to explain it to him.
He asked me questions like, “How can you work in an office with men all day and not have sex with any of them?” that let me know just how foreign my life sounded to him.
“Do you have sex with the livestock?” I quipped back. He chuckled and shook his head vehemently.
He leaned close to me and said, “I am smitten with you.” I stared. I had not caught any vibe from him at all. “I thought about you all year,” he admitted. I patted him on the hand. I couldn’t think of anything to say because I was thinking, “Um… I didn’t notice you at all.” Oops! The other guy returned and the moment passed.
Bart sat next to me on a bus ride to a site visit the next day, and we argued all the way there and all the way back! The last night, he walked me back to my hotel room. And hugged me good-bye. He started to walk away, then came dashing back and kissed me! I was shocked. I didn’t respond, but didn’t fight him. He said good night and was gone. He sent me a Christmas card, with only his signature. I sent one back with my newsy holiday letter about my job and cats and church work.
We met again the third year. We were inseparable. Day and night. So this is my first foray into the world of adultery. He was not skilled in bed, and I didn’t know how to make it better. But I could tell it meant the world to him, so I went along that year, and at the next two meetings. He finished his time on the board and I thought we were done. He cried as he saw me off to the plane. He still sent me a birthday card and a Christmas card.
The next year, the meeting was in the Midwest, a few hours from him. He called to invite me to see his place. So I tacked a couple of extra days on to my trip, and drove down there. He talked me into staying overnight in a nearby town. And stayed with me until late in the evening. Then he was gone. I never saw him again.
He wrote me letters and called now and then, for my birthday or his. The last time he called, I told him I had finally gotten married. He congratulated me, said he had called to tell me he would not call again. He had to stop. That it was taking over his life. I told him he could call when he needed to. He said that would be every day! I said I understood.
I got a Christmas card up until about five years ago. I wondered if something happened to him, but found a photo of him online from some local event, so I knew he was still alive. Thank goodness for nosy newsy local newspapers!
When I got cancer, I had a desperate urge to talk to him, to know if he was alive. I tried to find him or his children on Facebook without any luck. I had his phone number. I called but his wife answered and I could not say anything. I tried to think of a way to call back and ask for him. But I couldn’t do it.
I wanted to tell him how much I appreciated his part of my life. His wisdom and kindness. For making me feel like the sexiest woman he had ever talked with. He taught me to eat breakfast. He taught me that age didn’t matter. The political party, marital status, distance or time together… all that was not important. That someone can seem completely incompatible and still be one of the most amazing friends you will ever have.
I googled him again as I wrote this blog entry and there’s an article about him celebrating his wedding anniversary. On the day I was searching! Spooky. So I know he’s still alive! I think of him often. Thank you, Bart.
“Same Time, Next Year”
Starring Alan Alda and Ellen Bustyn
Stay tuned for Sassy’s Past: Part 6: The Adventures