I was meeting a friend for dinner at a swanky Beverly Hills restaurant. I was on time but my friend, new to the area, was lost. I cannot stand to wait alone for anyone in a restaurant or bar. Although, I’m a very friendly person and quite confident in most areas, I feel incredibly uncomfortable and vulnerable in that environment. (I think it dates back to immediately after my separation when a girlfriend invited me to meet her at a bar. I got there and she was nowhere in sight. I had no idea at the time that I was in a well-known pick up bar on a Saturday night. Many men assumed I was there for the sole reason of hooking up. Apparently everyone in Los Angeles knew this but me and that’s precisely why they went there. It may have been my worst night as a newly single woman).
I was beyond thrilled that evening when the hostess allowed me to sit down at a table as long as I ordered something. I sat at the table and promptly ordered an 18 dollar glass of Sancerre and the bruschetta appetizer. I figured I could nibble slowly until my friend arrived. As soon as I sat down the older gentleman at the table to my right smiled. As time went by, and my date still had nor arrived, I am sure he and his buddy thought I was stood up. The gentlemen invited me to share their appetizers and I in turn invited them to try mine. Nearly an hour later my date arrived. It became dinner for four. By desert we all knew each other and had exchanged business cards.
A few days later one of the men called and invited me to an art opening. At dinner that evening he mentioned he had to attend a business meeting at a hotel property that he was a partner in. He would be flying down on the company jet. I’m not sure exactly how it happened but I was invited to come along. I said I would love to go as long as I could bring my friend (the same friend he had met at dinner). I called my friend from the bathroom at Mr. Chow and told him to get packing!
To make a long story short we took the helicopter to the private airport to the private plane. Before I knew it we were landing on a beautiful tropical island. It was paradise until I learned I was bunking with the old man while my friend was in his own suite down at the other end of the property. I guessed we were dating not just pals…
The first night we were exhausted from getting up so early. We crashed into the sumptuous king size bed without incident. Al was off to a meeting the next morning while my friend and I were given comp cards to purchase anything we wanted at the shop. The rest of the day was spent relaxing by our private pool with our own staff serving fresh seafood and colorful cocktails. I was trying to get used to the fact that I was dating an older man. Was there anything wrong with it? Was it weird? Maybe it would be a good thing. He certainly was showing me a nice side of life and was extremely generous to my friend and I
That night we want to a local place for dinner. I looked my date over from head to toe. He was attractive for his age, well-groomed, and was dressed in well fit white linen trousers and the palest of green linen shirt with a cashmere cable knit sweater the same exact color slung over his shoulders. After a festive dinner the three of us we went to see the straw market. This was al’s idea, he thought it would be fun and wanted us to see the other side of the island. We shopped for souvenirs at one stand. The proprietor was lovely and oozed local charm. She insisted that she take our photos in front of a fountain. “Here love, stand next to Daddy and your brother over her on the other side of Daddy.” I almost sit out my teeth. There it was! That’s’ what the world would think of me dating this older gentleman.