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Amateur

My name is Giles and I’ve been at a crossroads in my life for the last year. A year ago, my wife of fourteen years was suddenly taken from me. I doubt that the driver of the car that broadsided her at the intersection of McKinley Avenue and SE 14th Street knew her; that she was my wife or even that he was about to run the red light. I don’t know why she was driving north on 14th Street since she had planned to shop at the Southridge Mall and we live south of there. I’ll never know since neither of them is available to answer questions.

Our friends from the neighborhood and church have been very kind and understanding. The men have tried to be supportive but they seem even more uncomfortable than I am during our conversations. The women have been wonderful, easily discussing how much they loved Iris and understanding my lonely life since the accident. Many of them have indirectly consoled me about life without Iris but all of them are married and there’s been no hint of any volunteers to assist in easing my concerns besides conversation and an occasional hot meal or a plate of cookies. I have to admit, I’ve harbored carnal thoughts about a couple of the women without attempting to pursue any of them.

I think the possibilities have occurred to their husbands and the conversations between all of us have dwindled over time. I think they’re unconsciously guarding their wives from temptation now that a single, forty-three year old male is suddenly in their midst. I, on the other hand, have become increasingly aware that I need friends but I also need benefits.

The pastor of my church, a woman about twenty years older than I and not a candidate for my fantasies, has been much more open about discussing my loneliness and offering suggestions that might help my increasing discomfort. Our faith does not condone self-satisfaction so her suggestions have included ways to meet single women about my own age. Many of her suggestions have focused on using the internet and its many resources as a better alternative to cruising the bars or attending gatherings that are mostly “meat” markets replete with desperate, and possibly mischievous, women.

I find that I mostly agree with her. I have no desire to hook up for one night with a woman of questionable health or character. Using the opportunities presented by the internet is the most appealing. An afternoon surfing revealed that there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of web sites promising sex with a nearby woman “today” if I promised not to ever reveal her identity or recognize her on the street since most of them professed to be local, “married” and only looking for sex. I’m suspicious that there’s more going on there than just unhappily married women whose husbands don’t satisfy them.

There are also dating sites, many focused on narrow criteria to introduce like-minded or similarly aged single people together. Some are undeniably offering sex as the goal while others claim to provide members with introductions to other widows or widowers seeking to establish a comfortable life as they age into life together.

None of these appealed to me. I’m too old to be seeking flamboyant sex and too young to be planning my declining years and eventual funeral. I realized that I just didn’t want to replace Iris physically. I wanted a debate companion as well. I wanted someone who I could talk to honestly, share my thoughts and frustrations and respond with understanding. Someone I could hold in my arms because I wanted to have her there and she wanted to be there. Some one who would come back for more rather than advertise on dubious web sites.

I settled on using the more mainline, social media websites. I chose Facebook as my vehicle. I thought I could post something that would appeal to single women also uncomfortable with the dating sites. I created an account. I was truthful about most of what I provided as a profile while withholding some information that would lead immediately to me and my location as a precaution against predators. I posted the following:

I wonder if there exists a single woman who would consider an evening of dining, conversation and more. I’m a young, middle aged, old-school widower who still believes in the goodness of people and would like to meet someone with similar ideals for an evening.

In my mind, the evening would progress something like this. I would pick her up at her home or a meeting place of her choice. I would hold the car door open for her to enter easily and close it firmly after she was seated. We would drive to a fine restaurant with white tablecloths, dim lighting, soft music and a maitre D’ that helped her settle into her wing-backed leather chair at the table before handing her a menu without prices.

We would be served by a career waiter in semi-formal wear who would take our orders. The wine would be served by a sommelier similarly dressed. The meals would be works of art and the service outstanding. We would linger over dinner for several hours, sipping our Bycasino wine, holding hands across the table and sharing a dessert.

After dinner, she would have the option of my taking her home where she would have an additional choice, does she invite me inside to prolong the evening or give me a polite kiss on the cheek and say good night?

Assuming she postpones the good night kiss, we could continue the evening at her place, my place or a suitable establishment where we would share more wine and conversation. We might progress beyond holding hands but only on her initiative. I would follow her lead. For example, if she were to unbutton a single button on her blouse, I might interpret that as an indication she would be amenable to my finishing the task. Under the circumstances, I would offer her the same opportunity.

It is my hope that the rest of the evening would be long, memorable and repeatable. Breakfast is an option.

Message me if you might want to test my discipline and endurance.

#dinnerhopeful.

I took several hours to compose the post. I wanted it to be specific without causing Facebook a problem. Even so, I wondered how long it would be before Facebook deleted the post and froze my account.

I posted the entry at exactly six pm and left my computer to find something for dinner. I didn’t expect too many replies, if any. When I returned about forty minutes later, there were a number of comments following my post. Most were complementary but several were angry, mean spirited or downright threatening. “Such is life in the twenty-first century,” I thought as I deleted them. I didn’t have any messages.

I went to bed that evening, anticipating a response but not hopeful. In the morning, after breakfast, I checked my Facebook account again. The hateful comments had tapered off and there were a few additional non-generic entries. There were also three private messages.

The first arrived soon after I had retired the night before. That first message was from a woman and I read it carefully. It appeared to be hastily written and lamented about how her encounters with men focused mostly on her over large breasts and how her “dates” wanted only to “play with her tits” and expected her to have the same “fun with their privates.” She wanted more “romance” in her life and my post had “struck a chord” with her and she was hopeful I would contact her.

The way she worded the message caused me to wonder as to the author’s age. I responded with a short message. “How old are you?”

“18” was her even shorter response twenty-five minutes later.

The answer concerned me. Eighteen seemed to me to be the default response from underage females seeking relationships with older men. I didn’t respond to her. I probably should have sent her something along the lines of, “I was hoping for 25 or older,” but I didn’t want to encourage a conversation.

The second message was discouraging. It was mostly a rant along the lines of the comments I had already deleted and I deleted it without delay.

I was beginning to lose confidence that I would have positive results. I opened the third message without expectations. “Dear Dinnerhopeful,” It began. I settled in my chair to read the rest of the missive.

Dear Dinnerhopeful,

I read your post with tears in my eyes. Many years ago, I met a man who was decidedly polite and always a gentleman. We shared two dinners similar to what you describe. Soon after the second evening, he joined the military to serve his “God and country” and never returned. We weren’t lovers but it could have easily gone that way if he had returned.

I’m a believer in second chances and would love to explore dinner and an evening with you. I might even be inclined to leave a button or two undone.

#Hopefulafterdinner

The message struck me as heartfelt and honest. I returned it immediately.

Dear Hopefulafterdinner,

Thank you for your response. I believe it is heartfelt and honest and propose we share a meal together at your convenience. We can postpone button diplomacy for a later time.

#Dinnerhopeful

Hopefulafterdinner must have been an early riser. She responded within minutes.

“Love to,” was all she sent.

We exchanged several messages and then followed up with a three-hour phone call. Jennifer was delightful and easy to talk to. She was forty-seven years old and never married. She admitted to “carrying a torch” for her long lost soldier but was committed to “moving on.”

I shared personal information with her without hesitation. Something I didn’t think possible with someone I didn’t know yesterday and didn’t know existed five hours earlier. We quickly agreed on an exchange of photographs and dinner. Jennifer told me she had two photos and couldn’t decide which to share.

“Why not both of them?” I suggested.

She sent the first picture almost immediately. In it she was dressed nicely in business casual attire. Bycasino giriş Her dark hair was up on her head and her eyes and smile lit up the room she was in.

I sent her a photo of me taken on a hike in Utah. I wore cargo shorts, hiking boots and carried a walking stick. I chose it because my smile dominated the scene. I didn’t tell Jennifer that Iris had taken the photo three years earlier.

Jennifer sent the second photo. “Holy shit,” I thought as I viewed it. I must have actually said it out loud since Jennifer began to laugh on the other end of the line. In the photo, she wore a barely legal two-piece bathing suit. She also wore an over large straw hat she held on her head with one hand and her hair hung down over her shoulders almost covering the most beautiful, over large, breasts imaginable. Her other hand was on her hip and her posture was inviting.

“I had no idea,” I told her breathlessly.

“I said I was carrying a torch, not that I wasn’t setting any fires,” she responded.

“I hope you didn’t take my comment about postponing button diplomacy seriously,” I asked.

“I’d be lying if I said I did,” she replied. “However, there may be other considerations as well,” she added.

“I can accept that,” I said.

We settled on a plan for dinner on a Saturday evening almost two weeks away. She sent me her home address and we agreed on a time. I told her I’d handle all the details and shared that I couldn’t wait to meet her in person.

There was only one problem that Jennifer wasn’t aware of when we hung up. Jennifer lived over a thousand miles from me. She was a fifteen-hour drive or a four-hour, $235 plane trip. I booked the only reasonable flight that got me to Jennifer’s local airport just after noon on Saturday. I considered that I might want to return on Monday so I also booked a full sized rental car for two days and a suite in the Hyatt downtown for two nights.

Just as I was completing the arrangements, Facebook dinged me with a new message. I didn’t recognize the sender so I ignored it for the moment and went out to have an early lunch. I splurged on lunch. A celebration of sorts about my impending dinner with Jennifer.

When I returned home, I checked Facebook again, possibly hoping for another message from Jennifer. There was only the single message I had ignored earlier. I still didn’t recognize the sender but resisted deleting it. “What the hell,” I thought as I opened the message.

The message was quite long and I quickly realized it was from “18.” It was a very coherent apology for her previous message. She insisted that she was actually twenty-eight and nothing like the immature teenager she pretended to be earlier. She confessed to thinking my post was an attempt to “lure” young girls and she had responded in kind hoping to draw me in and report me to the authorities.

She knew exactly what I would conclude if she responded that she was eighteen and thought she was clever baiting the hook with her answer. When I didn’t respond, she reread my post with a different slant and realized I was actually serious and she needed to “come clean” and apologize.

She continued to say that she would be open to a dinner with a “real” gentleman and she provided her personal information so I could check her out. She insisted that her “real” Facebook page was accurate and that she exaggerated nothing.

Her name was Brittany and she concluded that, if I agreed to dinner, she’d even cook it herself as a mea culpa for her earlier inappropriate comments.

I checked Brittany out and everything she said about herself was accurate. She was single, very attractive and wanted to have dinner with me. The photos on her page were conservative and none of them included a member of the male sex. Her offer was attractive and hard to resist.

What should a forty-three year old, American male, with a hormone imbalance do? Jennifer was waiting and Brittany was suggesting. I couldn’t, in any fair world, encourage a relationship with both of them. It wasn’t the decent thing to do. It wasn’t me. I also didn’t feel comfortable leading Brittany along until I knew how the relationship with Jennifer would unfold.

In the end, I compromised my principles. I waited two days before responding to Brittany. I thanked her for her apology. I told her I understood her initial reaction. I might have had the same reaction in her position and admitted that I hadn’t considered how my post might resonate that way with someone.

Brittany and I began a series of exchanging messages. Brittany would respond to my messages within hours. I usually waited a day or two before answering her. I knew I was doing exactly what I what I wasn’t comfortable doing. I have no excuse, just hormones.

As I communicated with both women I struggled with my conscience and my ethics. What I was doing was wrong. Burning the candle at both ends could only lead to disaster. I could lose both of them. They both had gentle Bycasino deneme bonusu personalities, quick minds and killer bodies. Brittany hadn’t lied about her big tits.

The reality was that I thought Jennifer was more aligned with me because of our age similarity and I did have reservations about how long Brittany, with the fifteen-year difference in our ages, would be satisfied. However, Brittany had some appeal to me that Jennifer didn’t have. Brittany was only a forty-five minute ride up the interstate.

I kept my relationship with Brittany to just messages without photos or phone numbers and removed any thought of her from my mind as I flew to meet Jennifer on Saturday morning. I picked up a full sized car from the few available and arrived at the hotel before two pm. I checked in early into a top floor suite with a view of the river. I took advantage of the time I had before I picked up Jennifer at 6:30 to rest, take a long hot shower, watch a little football and dress for dinner.

I knocked on Jennifer’s door at exactly 6:30. A stunning woman answered the door. I took me a moment to realize it was Jennifer. Her hair was flowing down her back and she was wearing a heart stopping little black dress and I do mean little. The dress had a deeply plunging scoop neckline exposing the bulging tops of her ample breasts, no arms and a hemline at least six inches above her knees. Her legs were bare and smooth as silk.

When I finally looked up to greet her, she was patiently waiting with a huge smile. “Giles,” she said. “You look incredible.”

“Not nearly as incredible as you look.” I managed to stumble out the words.

Jennifer quickly took my face in her hands, gave me a quick kiss on the lips, grabbed her oversized matching black handbag and slid past me out the door. She tossed a set of keys to me and said, “Close the door and lock up please.”

When I caught up to her she was standing patiently next to the passenger side door of my rented car. I opened the door and held it for her. She sat sideways on the seat and spread her legs as she put, first her left foot and then her right foot into the well of the car. In the process, her already short skirt moved further up her thighs and I thought I got a glance of black panties. She made no attempt to pull her skirt down as I gently closed the door and walked around to the other side of the car.

We drove the short distance to Calvert’s Restaurant, arriving five minutes early for our seven o’clock reservation. I was slightly disappointed in the restaurant’s location in a row of retail establishments. There was no valet parking so I parked in the common parking lot in front of the restaurant. I walked around the car and opened the door for Jennifer. I offered my hand to assist her. She took my hand and reversed the procedure when she entered the car. Her legs separated, her right leg emerged causing the hem of her skirt to slide further up her thighs. She turned in the seat providing a second view of what had to be black panties and her left leg moved out of the car. With my assistance, she stood up outside the car. She smoothed her skirt, turned, bent over to retrieve her handbag and treated me to an additional view of her very appealing backside.

Together we walked the short distance to Calvert’s entrance. Inside, I was pleasantly surprised. The interior was elegantly furnished with large, comfortable booths, dim lighting and white tablecloths with fresh flowers and place settings on each table. It promised to be both intimate and romantic.

The host led us to an isolated booth offering a level of privacy. I took him aside for a moment, gave him my credit card and told him to handle the check, with a twenty-five percent gratuity, when we were done and I’d pick up my card and the receipt as we left.

We were seated at a right angle to each other on two sides of the high backed booth. A waiter followed immediately with menus and a wine list. I could confirm they had remembered I had requested a menu for Jennifer without prices from the curious expression on her face.

The waiter described the daily specials and left us to consider our choices. As he walked away, Jennifer questioned, “Giles, there are no prices on this menu.”

“As it should be,” I responded.

When she continued to look at me for a more complete answer, I added, “Your choice of entrée should never be guided by the price, only by what is the perfect choice for you.”

Jennifer shrugged her shoulders and returned to studying the menu.

The waiter returned a few minutes later. Jennifer quickly selected the Cedar Plank Scottish Salmon with shrimp, scallop, lemon and roasted potatoes. I added a dozen Oysters on the half shell to split as an appetizer and my entrée of Roasted Rack of Lamb with bacon cheddar scalloped potatoes. I tried to balance our choices with a light red French Grenache.

Jennifer and I waited quietly for our oysters, holding hands over the corner of the table and talking about our day. The waiter returned with wine glasses followed by another gentleman with a towel over his arm, a bottle of wine and an opener. The wine was opened, I performed the required wine tasting ritual and the wine was poured for Jennifer and then me.