By: Heather Somaini
Kids. It’s such a strange subject to try and bring up on a first date. Luckily, I had an easy “in” to that conversation with Tere. It happened before we even met, actually. Her online dating profile said she didn’t want children. So, I asked her in one of our many phone conversations if that was a deal-breaker for her because it was for me. I wasn’t sure if I really wanted children but I definitely wanted to know that the door was open and that it was a possibility. At 39, I understood why Tere thought kids were not an option. But at 32, I was still trying to figure it out. And although my career was everything to me, Tere had been on a much more steep track – seriously upwardly mobile. Tere worked all through school. She worked full-time through her undergad and then after 6 years of climbing the corporate ladder, she continued climbing while she got her MBA at night. By the time we met, she was a good bit ahead of me. She had the spankin’ new Mercedes and the fancy house near the beach. I had a cramped apartment in West Hollywood and a 7-year old Lexus. It was exciting but a little bit of an issue for me. I wanted to know how much money Tere made but knew that once I knew, it wouldn’t have any mystery to it anymore. The not knowing was clearly better than the knowing. So we let the elephant stay in the room without mention.
Our first date in LA was at Lucques. Tere came to pick me up. I was nervous that she would think poorly of me because of my less-than-amazing apartment. She didn’t. When we got outside, she said I should drive her car to the restaurant. Now I was nervous that she would think poorly of me if I drove badly. Her car was very different than mine – heavy since it was a convertible. I tried to act nonchalant as I weaved through traffic down to Melrose. Yeah, I drive expensive Mercedes all the time – no big deal. Before we got out of the car, she made it clear that driving cars and opening doors were my jobs. Ordering wine too. Those were all mine. I wasn’t completely sure; it was new, but I kinda liked how it felt. I guess it was the beginning of creating our identities as a couple – delineating between what each of us wanted and needed. These were the things that Tere wanted and I was pretty determined to give them to her. To this day, I drive everywhere. I’m not always great at opening doors but I can order an amazing bottle of wine.
[Photo Credit: Flickr Member JeanBowe]