One of the men who passed the “Blondie test” with flying colors turned out to be married. He was separated from his wife but the couple had just given birth to a baby girl. When first we met, I didn't notice a wedding band on Hank's left hand. Apparently he had taken it off and neglected to inform me of this important tidbit proving even the “Blondie test” was not a guarantee of success. I did notice a big, soft, cuddly teddy bear of a guy eager to please.
Hank asked if I would join him for dinner and I thought to myself, why not?. Even though I really didn't find men with facial hair attractive, he seemed extremely nice. Anyway, his beard and mustache were neatly groomed.
Hank showed up at my apartment that Saturday night, dressed in khaki pants and a plaid shirt. His casual attire was a welcome sight since I had on my tight blue jeans and a light pink sweater. When I opened the door, I was over powered by his cologne, and not in a good way. I didn't say anything about the sickly, sugary smell. Instead, I smiled sweetly and grabbed my purse and coat as Hank pet Blondie. It was strange that she didn't bark at this man. I took her silence to mean Hank was the one. I could get over the cologne.
"Blondie, you're going to stay here," I told her and her little face sank in disappointment.
Hank was a true gentleman, helping me put my coat on and opening the car door for me. He was easy to talk to and made me feel comfortable. Before we reached our destination, my heart sank when I learned about Hank's marital status. It sank even further when he told me that he had just become a dad.
“Were you there for the delivery?” I asked.
“I was even her Lamaze coach,” he boasted to me as he drove, pushing his wire rim glasses back on his face. He started sweating when he spoke about his wife, even though it was chilly outside. I kept my coat buttoned up inside the car, embarrassed to politely suggest he turn the heater on.
“That must be hard to split up with someone you once loved enough to marry after going through something as important as bringing a new life into the world. I mean I would think something like that would bring you even closer together,” I commented.
“It’s been hard,” Hank sighed. “The most difficult time is at night. Samantha can't talk on the phone yet," he grinned. I smiled back, even though I dreaded having to spend an entire evening with this man who clearly wasn't in the right space to begin a new relationship.
“I can’t even imagine that,” I touched his shoulder like I would a brother. “I have trouble sleeping without my dog.”
“You understand,” Hank seemed relieved that I wasn't judging him. “It’s like a part of me is missing. From the first moment I held her in my arms, I don’t know, I felt complete. You probably think I’m crazy.” He hit his steering wheel with the palm of his hand in embarrassment. “Why am I telling you all this? I just met you.”
“It’s okay,” I said as he pulled up to the valet at the restaurant, Café Angeli. I needed a glass of wine (or maybe an entire bottle) to make it though another disappointing date.