Tuesday night was the first time I’d seen BFD since I got the email and the phone calls on Sunday.
I’ve still not published the breakup post, but essentially, he said he thought we needed to end our relationship so he could help support me, without me actually being his girlfriend because that’s a more like a sugar daddy scenario that would diminish us both. It was a beautiful, intense, emotional, and moving email, which he followed up with a couple of calls.
As mentioned before, he’s rather inarticulate, but his point is clear: I need to take care of you right now.
And he does.
He reinforced this when we spoke later, mentioning, poignantly: “[Plan], how can I even think about getting [a dream sports car for 200k+], when you can’t afford to buy a class card for [our workout].” He kept repeating, it’s just not right, and you’ve been so amazing and done so many wonderful things for me that I just can’t do that.
The economic disparity between us is absurd — my dvr and cable modem are off (he does not know) and I have no idea how I will survive through the weekend (he does not know this either) — and he’s looking at multimillion dollar houses.
I don’t begrudge him his wealth or success at all. He’s self-made, a wildly successful man who made his fortune in a very challenging and competitive field, and he works hard all the time. Even if he weren’t and didn’t, I would not begrudge him his wealth or success. I don’t actually care about it, which he finally understands.
We acknowledged after his email that we love each other, that we consider each other, quite movingly, to be family, but that we’re still dealing with the same issues that have dogged us for a year: he’s very rich, and I am very poor and he worries about me and my future (and by extension any future family we would have together). He has provided opportunities for me to make a lot of money, and things look very good on that front, but nothing is final, yet.
We have been speaking daily and emailing and he’s in a weird head space. His birthday is in two weeks and he’s always obsessed with aging, so now, he’s also obsessed with mortality. We’ve been discussing his estate daily, arguing about his best moves. He is incapable of understanding the lack of connection between capital gains/income tax and estate/gift tax. Last night, over dinner, I had to say “[B], shut up for 45 seconds and listen to what I am saying!” So, he did, and then he understood.
At the very end of the night, he said, you know, I think you just saved me a couple of hundred thousand dollars. I corrected him that it’s more like x.5 million, but whatever. He said, “I will pay you for this advice,” which is why we broke up and how he is going to be taking care of me, hiring me for small projects here and there, enabling me to cash flow until our deal closes.
Then he kissed me good night, unexpectedly, and I realized I again have no idea what in the hell we’re doing.
Despite what you all are undoubtedly screaming at the screen (or clicking “close tab” in irritation), I am just not ready to shut the door on him and he’s not ready to shut the door on me. Apparently.
To start at the beginning . . .
I arrived at the workout via the bus, and made backup plans for later — meeting JF at Cheers 2 or W at Cheers. One of them would then drive me home or entertain me for the hour I would have to wait for the bus. (In all this time, I’ve taken the bus like 2x to go home.)
At the workout, there were a ton of new people, which was odd, so I sat in the hall with one of my buddies chatting away. BFD sauntered in with 10 minutes to go, early for him, and sat close to me talking. We joke-argued a bit about the estate stuff, and he made the, well, that’s what I pay you for, comment as he walked in ridiculously close, his arm pressed against me and was positioned three feet from me the whole time. (He, as of yet, does not may me for it, which was part of the joke.)
Class was amusing. At one point, he was within easy flicking distance, so I flicked his foot, and he flirted with me outrageously, and asked me if I wanted to go to an upcoming performance for which he was getting tickets (um, of course!) and asked the girl half of a married couple he knows well who was also next to us. We talked throughout and it was really fun to be there with him.
After, we spoke to GT, who had just announced her pregnancy. My clumsy language cast a moment of doubt in both of their minds as to whether we were also expecting. (Unsurprisingly, he was not unhappy about it.) She treats us as a couple, though she knows we’re not very public and we’re very on/off, and he responds to it very well.
The whole time, I am treating him like my friend. I also give him a hard time about driving my car there, although I am the only one who thinks of it as my car right now. I assume, as I slide in beside him, that he is driving me home. He decides he wants a quick dinner. Not chinese, where we have sat for hours concocting schemes and sharing secrets, as he does not have much time. I suggest a few things and then he asks about our new culinary outcropping of food trailers. I start to send him off in one direction and then remember the best one (allegedly) is in my neighborhood, so we drive on with only a vague thought of where it is. He’s completely depending upon me, and I have literally no idea how far it is or how we’ll spot it in the darkness (at 7 pm). Finally, it’s there and it’s amazing. I had the best steak sandwich of my life. It was mini, and we loved it so much we got another to go. We also got the famous dessert adjacent. (The good thing about working out and being fit: I ate ridiculously and gained not an ounce.) It actually made him sick because it had so much sugar.
We continued a semibusiness discussion, which was actually quite fun as a reporter and photographer wandered around shooting where we were. He has begun to understand that I am extremely smart and completely not afraid of him and his bullshit. As it got colder — and we were still dressed in workout clothes — we slid into the car, with seat warmers on full, to finish the dessert and await our to-go order. We kept talking, and he got queasy . . . that much confectioners sugar started to sit very poorly in his stomach.
Once we were sandwiched (he ordered one and had her cut it in half so we would each have a half), we headed off the back way to my building, continuing to chat about his estate plan, and stomach ache, until he saw a really cool building he’d never seen before, so we stopped and I grabbed flyers and we checked it out. A few blocks later, he saw another great building and we did the same, hoping the model unit was still open, but it was not. He had long lived in a brownstone, and he really loves the idea of vertical living.
He also finally understood my neighborhood, and really loved it. In fact, he asked if we could repeat this drive during daylight so he could really take it all in.
We arrived at my building and he said that he needed to pay me for the advice I’d given him. (Um, duh.) He was still ailing, so I invited him up to be sick upstairs, but he declined, which was good for us both. He quickly leaned over and kissed me. It was a perfect kiss, soft, tender. I was surprised. I leaned to him and hugged him and kissed him on his temple. It was lovely, actually.
I spoke to him again an hour later, he was working at nearly 11, but he was good and feeling better.
It’s hard to say where we are right now, or where we go from here. I am playing the situation as though we our friends, because we are. The date-iness of everything surprised me, but not unpleasantly. For now, I am continuing to maintain emotional distance from him, as I have no idea where we stand. I assume that we’re done, but he’s being adorable and making plans with me, publicly, and kissing me, tenderly. I assumed it was final, but it wasn’t it. It never is . . .