I have the song “Never Can Say Goodbye” stuck in my head.
BP sang a few bars of it as we sat at the swankiest bar in town this afternoon with BFD. It is also appropriate given the very strange and exhilarating day I’ve had: BFD and BP in the same room, at the same table, bookending me. Bonding. Deciding, yep, we definitely want to work together. All three of us. Doing this for real.
It’s hard for me to think about it all chronologically when I have so many impressions sticking with me. I see clearly, BFD’s smile, his gestures, his manner of dropping his head. With me, he’s can be dominating or domineering or challenging, but with BFD, he was reserved and respectful and really freaking honest and open. Beautifully so. BP was in performance mode in the beginning, but he warmed up to BFD and by the end pulled him into a bear hug. Seriously. I could have cried.
I have impressions of the meeting that are sticking with me: The bear hug at the end. BFD saying to me as we stood by the fireplace while awaiting his car: “You’re wonderful . . . from the time you walked through that door, you were my angel of salvation.” BP doing a spot-on impression of me that made BFD giggle. BP saying to me when BFD left the table for a couple of minutes, “I see why you got so skinny . . . dude is tiny!” He said later, “he’s all muscle, no body fat, like one big muscle, with a dick.” This was after they went to the men’s room together, too. And, yep, he is.
BFD looked good. They both did, actually. Nearly mirror images of each other style-wise, both in deliberately unfashionable jeans and collared sweaters, both way more expensive than you can imagine to look casual and unaffected. Having never been in a business meeting with BFD, a couple of things surprised me: he takes notes in a big spiral notebook with a mechanical pencil. Like he’s a college student. And carries a backpack, which I guess I knew, but assumed it was for traveling. The impression he makes is very modest, very young, with a definite lack of sophistication. Part of it is that he does not want people to know that he is as wealthy as he is. Part of it is that he retired 8 years ago in his mid 30s, jumping from a career that was all surface (and he has the jewelry and wardrobe to prove it) to retirement to a career that’s all substance. It was interesting to see his style. I assume he felt the same about me.
They commented on each other’s style, hair, etc.
BFD is so lonely, so damaged, so desperate for a family, for acceptance. And yet, so lovely. He’s really such a wonderful man. I saw him today more clearly than I ever have. I saw him not just through my own eyes in the context of our relationship, but also through BP’s. “Ya’ll are funny,” BP kept saying when we were alone, meaning, I think peculiar. We are both funny and peculiar.
But I am getting ahead of myself.
BP called me at 215 pm before our 3 pm meeting to give me a hard time about “what is the point of this meeting? why am I meeting with this guy???” He was just being a dick, and I got pretty fucking angry, but I walked him through the points as I watched the time tick down. I knew I had a single minute to catch the bus, so I just asked if he’d pick me up. He agreed. BFD then called to say he was there, half an hour early.
I finished getting ready. I wore a somewhat wacky outfit that worked: a grey knit cocktail dress sans crystal-embellished belt, it’s very form-fitting, very sexy, but effortless, paired with a fitted black cardigan that is shaped like a 2 button blazer, black patterned tights and knee high black boots. I also brought a green thai silk scarf, which I wrapped around me when it got chilly.
BP and I arrived, after parking on the street, and found BFD sitting by the fire. I thought it was interesting he had not been seated or selected a table. I reached him first and we hugged warmly and then I introduced him to BP. They shook hands and were pleasant. BP excused himself to wash his hands and BFD and I selected a very private table, tucked into a corner. I sat in between them and they were facing each other, which was perfect.
As we got started, I mentioned to BP that I was wearing a new dress, turning to BFD to say BP always evaluates my clothes. BP beckoned me to stand so they could really see it and it was cute. My body was angled toward BFD but I was leaning toward BP. Equal between them always. BFD loved the dress, and appreciated the whole look as I caught him checking out my legs from time to time.
We began with BP telling BFD about himself. BFD is very analytical, so at times, he interrupted to ask about certain details that were insignificant to the narrative, but appealed to him. It’s quite endearing and he was surprisingly humble.
I moved the conversation from time to time, but really, I was just the pretty girl for them to look at on occasion, a sidekick.
A lot of interesting things were said, and I am still amazed by how much better I got to know BFD by hearing what he chose to tell BP. His relationship with his father in particular is fraught. BFD is a first generation American and his father is quite famous for what he does professionally, but that did not translate into wealth. BFD is instead completely self-made and driven and the difficulty he has had having a father who is not connected to him culturally (although he mentioned that it has improved over time) has driven him to seek out relationships and mentoring from older men, father figures really. BP would also fit that role.
BFD mentioned that he would have a different relationship with his children than he had with his father because they will be more culturally close. That’s the first time in a long time he’s mentioned children, not since we broke up while he figured out why he wasn’t ready.
BFD often spoke mournfully of how hard he’s working and how much he’s sacrificing to do it. He talked about taking the season off. He talked with such joy about the competition — in fact, that was the happiest he was all day, which was lovely to behold. What BP told him and what I reemphasized is that it’s time for him to refocus his workflow to better suit his talents and our vision for what his company can become. He slowly warmed to what we were saying, and over the course of our time together began to realize quickly that everything I had every told him had been 100% accurate. He had been suspicious because it seemed absurd, but seeing BP, hearing the same things from him, and hearing how BP sees me and how I fit in to BP’s equation, he began to realize that he could get from A to E in one step rather than two, that how hard he’s been working to lay groundwork has ALREADY been successful and he was ready to two-track the strategy right now. It was a revelation to him, to think that he could actually get what he wants. Now. (And I don’t mean just in business.)
BFD said, at one point, if I knew this then, I would be even richer than I am now. Which is a ridiculous thing to say in any setting other than the one we were in with a man far wealthier than he who is giving him so much knowledge about working smarter and more connected.
I never realized the extent to which BFD is lonely. He has mentioned, at times, how much he wanted to develop new partners, but I never really understood how much he actually needs to connect strongly with people. He needs it so badly and bringing BP into play, and my stepping up in his life, made him so very happy.
We will be partners, the three of us. Me the tiny minority partner to these two “great men,” but frankly, that’s how it should be as I am bringing the least to the endeavor.
We discussed two out of town trips — one within the state, a day-trip, the second a 3-4 day west coast trip. BFD said, I have to tell you, this is a work-trip, it’s not going to be fun. BP and I said we understood, but we also made it clear from our affect that being there with us would be fun.
(I of course wonder a bit about the logistics. I know very well that I will not be staying with BFD. I know him and there will be two functionaries on the trip at a minimum (one for BFD and one for BP), so I cannot see a one-room deal happening. But even if it were just us three, I don’t know that we would share a room as we’ve never shared a bed. I do know that if we’re traveling together, BP will instigate things and BFD and I will be having sex.)
BFD is fascinated by BP and BP was far more honest with him than I would have thought possible. He actually said, I want the book on you, I am really looking forward to getting to know you. We talked about the silly stuff, with BFD and I admitting that we have discussed the silly stuff in detail developing new ways of doing things. BP already knew this of course, and shared things about himself with the three of us collaborating on a couple of ridiculous ideas as I always knew they would if I could just get them together.
BP described the big deal we’d worked on and where we had been when the global financial crisis hit and BFD, who knows all of this, listened and responded as if I had never told him anything. When I mentioned BFD’s brilliance and described the conversation we had on Tuesday (omitting the subject matter, as it is the deal with BP), BFD again understood and kept my confidence about that and the silly stuff. He is very honest and very fucking loyal and I really appreciated that.
We were very clearly a team, very clearly a couple, but not obnoxiously. Our legs were often touching under the table and we had a nice easy rapport. At the end, BFD made it clear that he would be driving me home, which was adorable.
BFD drove me home, admitting that his “5 pm meeting” was really an excuse to hit the gym, which he had to miss since we’d gone until nearly 6 and it was now almost 620. We kissed just a little in the car, but he was far less engaged than normal because his brain was clicking so fast.
BFD thought BP was really funny, handsome, charismatic. Watching us together, he understood me better. I have been at the side of this wealthy, powerful, well-connected man for years because, as BP said, I give him credibility. He told BFD that I am a thoroughbred, that I am polished and graceful and that I bring so much to the table. BP teased us about the workout we do, mostly me, as a way of again suggesting that my sophistication and polish, this aura, makes me an invaluable part of the team.
It was lovely to hear myself spoken of that way in front of BFD. I again go back to how I longed to have him see me as smart and successful and well-connected and as the perfect compliment to him.
I realized, as we stood by the fire, that I had accomplished all of that when I saved him. That was when our relationship changed. It wasn’t just that I saved him, it was that I took over for him responsibilities, engaged with him fully. I owned part of his life. I have done that from time to time when my friends have derisively referred to me as his “personal assistant,” never realizing the level of intimacy it takes for BFD to release things or for me to assume them. Assholes. But, that was when BFD understood who I have always been and what I bring to the table.
As we stood there awaiting his car and I wrapped my arms around him and said, “so, how’d I do?” he said, “you’re wonderful . . . from the time you walked through that door, you were my angel of salvation.” He went on, but I was just so happy. That moment he mentioned, the walking through that door, it is forever seared into our memories. That was when things changed, when he realized I would always be there for him, had always been there for him, and that he was no longer alone.
We have embraced each other over the past 3 months. We’re still troubled and the relationship is constantly imperiled because he’s still so afraid and I am still so uncertain about our future (and dating other people, of course).
I have no idea exactly where all this is heading and how. It is quite possible that BFD and I will move ahead together with our relationship, which is what he has said he’s always wanted: me in his life forever, in bed, in the office, on the ranch, whatever. I see him more clearly than before. He sees me more clearly.
The most surprising thing from our meeting was that I saw clearly that we could actually be great together, after all this time.