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Jonathan, 40, is Really 47.

May 1, 2010

It has happened to all of us at one point or another. We want to believe something is as good as it seems, even if there is information telling us otherwise. Sometimes when we see red flags, we ignore them, for one reason or another. We have all been there, and have made excuses for things we know deep down are clearly bad news. I myself have been guilty of ignoring them. At times I have not only ignored flags, I have ignored banners, bonfires, forrest fires, and volcanos. One time, and I have never shared this with anyone, I had men in hazmat suits come to rescue me in an emergency vehicle, yet I waved them away. “I am fine!” I screamed as they looked on in horror. I have clung onto ships sinking faster than the Titanic, and I have gone down trails with avalanche warning signs during avalanche season. It’s been me, it’s been you. It’s been all of us.

In this case it was me. Jonathan, 40, investment banker shows up to meet me for our Thursday night date. I am waiting at the bar when he walks in the restaurant. In the light (or at least a more bright restaurant than where I had first met him) he looks older than I realized he had, however, our first meeting was so romantic he was built up so much in my mind George Clooney may have been a disappointment. We say hello and i immediately ask him the burning question.
“So. You’re 40?”
“Actually I’m 47.”
Awkward silence.
“I thought you said you were 40.”
“I know. That was the first time I have ever lied about my age.”
Suddenly the tiny referee on my shoulder raised his first red flag.
“I don’t know why I did that”, Jonathan continues, “I have never ever done that and couldn’t believe I did!” He says, trying his best to convince me, although it seemed like he was working harder to convince himself.
We walked to our table and just like that, I ignored my first red flag.

Something about Jonathan seemed feminine. I couldn’t put my finger on it. Maybe it was his affected accent that was a cross between queens english and gayness, but whatever it was it earned him the moniker, GBF for Gay Boyfriend. Oh yea, flag number two.

We sit down and I ask Jonathan what he does, actually, I now thought Jonathan had ruined his credibility, so I was checking his new answers against his original ones. He mentions he is a very high level exec (he doesn’t use these words, he uses the actual title, but for privacy reasons I will keep it to myself) for a very very large bank. I am actually shocked. He then continues that he was on the board of directors of another large, very public company. Huh. What I was impressed with is how subtle the references were and if you weren’t knowledgeable about wall street careers, you might have even missed it. This impressed me. I have dated a lot of men who like to pepper the conversation with references to their private planes, their drivers, how powerful and successful they are, stories about their lunches with Don (Donald Trump) and so on and so forth. Jonathan did none of these things. I liked that. It impressed me more than his career and the fact that he was obviously incredibly bright.

I asked Jonathan how long he was married for. He said two years in his early 20’s. I did the math. He was 47 and not yet again married. Super handsome, super successful, seemed very kind. Suddenly an entire strand of flags unfurled from my mind and the restaurant looked like a grand opening for a used car dealer. I couldn’t control myself. Don’t ask Darcy. I could not help it. I turned to him.
“Are you gay?”
“Gay? Are you gay?”
“No I’m not gay!”
I didn’t let it go.
“Do you ever get asked that?”
“I have been asked that before” He admits “But I am definitely not gay.”
It wasn’t comforting that I wasn’t the first to ask this.
He tells me he was engaged again in his early 40’s but called off that engagement. I didn’t know how I felt about this whole thing. But the oysters came and for the time being I was occupied.

Jonathan was clearly incredibly well read, and had a socially awkward habit of quoting books and poems and random things that I knew nothing about, other than they were probably famous. I am not a “lit” person, unless we are talking about chic lit, and in that case, I am an expert. Many of the references were lost on me and made me cringe a bit. I dislike poetry but love rap.

Fifteen minutes into dinner Jonathan asked if he could kiss me. I said no. I found this request odd. We hadn’t even gotten half way through our first drink and the restaurant was not dark AND I had already asked if he was gay. It seemed that Jonathan was not good at picking up social cues. Of course I looked past this too. I would have made an excellent WASP the way I just sweep things under the rug and look the other way. That or a great mafia wife of some kind.

As dinner continued I found myself liking Jonathan. He was still cute, a little gay, but seemed like a gentle soul. Jonathan told me he thought the date was great and asked me out for the very next day. I said I could not go then and set a date for a week later.

Our next date was great. We had dinner at 8 and closed out the restaurant at 11:45 not before dancing the hustle together (don’t ask- long story- involving a drunk restaurant manager with an excellent Ipod playlist). Jonathan seemed straight, more laid back than I had originally assessed and we had fun. Jonathan dropped me off at home and sent me a text that basically said he was excited about the prospect of someday having children with me. It was crazy I thought, but he was a little crazy so I just chalked it up to eccentric and crazy (read ignored more red flags) and smiled myself to sleep. We set a date for the following week. He was headed to LA for a long weekend.

I thought it was odd I didn’t hear from Jonathan for a few days. For someone that wanted to have children with me, he certainly didn’t want to speak to me. On our next date I asked him about it. It didn’t take much for Jonathan to come clean that he was visiting a woman in LA, but he broke up with her, because he would rather date me. Because I could give him children and I was what he was looking for. I could give him children? Was Jonathan mistaking me for a cow? Had Jonathan been playing too much farmville???

My mother called me when I was out to dinner. Jonathan took the phone from me and told her he was sorry he had lied to me (again) and he hoped someday she would be his mother-in-law.

Jonathan asked me to come home with him that night. I told him his penis had had too much action that week and no thanks.

Jonathan now tried to woo me even harder. The next day he delivered flowers. He also messengered over a book he bought me. It was a serious book by a serious author with small print and big words. A topic he knew I would find interesting (if it was a movie?) I panicked. UGH. I have to read this now I thought. Oh, but no. Jonathan informed me that he wanted to read it to me. Oh boy. Help me. That could be worse than having to read it myself.

The next day Jonathan called me. “Do you have a minute?”
“Sure, hi.”
OK, I am going to read to you for a bit.”
“What? Now? On the phone?”
“Yes, I bought the same copy of the book I bought for you. I can read it to you. Do you have the time?”
“Um, hi? how are you? how was your day? Please don’t read to me.”
“Come on, just for a minute.”
I put the phone on speaker and began to do things around my apartment as Jonathan read this book. He read with a monotone voice. He could have at least done the character voices with some inflection, I thought to myself. After basically cleaning my whole room and possibly shaving my legs I heard a lull in the reading.
“Is that the end of the first chapter?” I asked.
“NO! It’s only the end of the second page!” He laughed.
“Listen, this is really sweet and cute, but please don’t read me another page. I am distracted.”
“By what?” He asked.
“By every single thing that comes into my line of vision!” I said.

Jonathan let me off the hook and was a sport about it, but told me that he was going to be reading to me soon. Yay! I thought.

Overtime I discovered that Jonathan had been engaged a couple of more times and called each one off. He was a classic commitmentphobe. Peter pan syndrome maybe. I also discovered that he didn’t sleep with his bed in his bedroom, his bed was in his living room so he could sleep in front of the fire place. His apartment was littered with classic literature and Audrey hepburn Dvd’s which i found incredibly disconcerting. Oh, I should also mention that he told me he still had feelings for his girlfriend Roberta in LA. One of my best friends was sure Roberta was really Robert.

This was a perfect example of ignoring flags, which I say I will not do anymore. Jury is still out.


Want to know what ended up happening with Jonathan? See: Jonathan, 47, Really Had A Girlfriend !

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