Chapter 1 - Todd convinces his widower father Jim to double date with him with Penny and her daughter Sarah. The plans fall apart when there's chemistry between the four of them, and a surprising crossed set of relationships develops. There's a further surprise as well. I walked to the theater too, and even peeked into that new restaurant they're building on Main.
Except for people at work — the same ones day after day, and clients — mostly the same ones day after day, that was as social as I got. I hadn't 'gotten laid' in well over three years — or maybe it was four. The more I thought about it, I realized I couldn't remember the last time I had sex it was so long ago. My son rolled his eyes, "Your business contacts don't count in my book. Mostly, you've done little but sit in your chair staring into the back yard or trod into work and put in your time.
I was Morris, and had two junior partners. I specialized in estate planning for high-end clients. We did very well in this market. My son sounded exasperated, "Why? I have done some weeding, but it'll never look as good as when she was caring for it. The landscape guys that come only do the grass and edging, unless I ask for something special.
They always use those damn noisy grass blowers too; I hate those. As for my job, I love it because it's so consuming. We'd been married for almost thirty years before she passed, and I missed her more than anything.
I hurt to even think about her, but I thought about her all the time. Todd said, "Dad, Mom's been gone almost two years. It's time to move on and stop hiding from life. I'm not saying you have to forget her. We all loved her dearly and will continue to until we're gone. She wouldn't want you sitting at home moping and pining away for her, or working twelve to fifteen hour days just to avoid the real world.
I know she told you to move on with your life after she died. I'll try to get motivated. Todd had given me about eight months to get over my wife's premature passing, and then he'd slowly started to nudge me to get out and do something social. He'd started to get really aggressive about it recently. As a master of passive-aggressive behavior, I'd agree with him and do nothing. After that, he'd suggest general things, and I'd do nothing, and then he got specific but I always had something that got in the way — work things usually.
Todd said, "How about I help you? Would you go on a double date with me? You'd pick some cute girl your age for me, and there I'd be not knowing what to say, even how to talk about the music of your age, and her having no idea what real rock and roll is about, or stuff everyone my age knows. She'd think of me as an old fart. Todd was twenty-six and unbelievably handsome.
I'd watched girls practically fall at his feet and beg to be his slaves, but he remained aloof from their charms and always seemed to be in control of the situation.
Todd argued, "You know more than you think, besides I would not try to set you up with a person my age. I met this girl at work. She's nice, and her mother works in my company too. They're both good looking, smart, great jobs, and I'm sure you'd have a nice evening; I was thinking we could team up. You know, divide and conquer. I thought he bore a slight resemblance the way he was standing to Mr. I stared into the yard again — thinking. Edith told me quite specifically not to sit at home.
She even made me promise to get out and be with people, even telling me I should get married again. Despite my salt and pepper hair, I was still a vital person in my early fifties. I had a few good years left — well, a few months anyway.
Todd had stopped grieving at the loss of his mother after six months. For me, it might never stop. I ran that through past my 'What would Edith do? She'd tell me to get off my ass and go out. She'd even laugh and tell me to go get laid. Todd whirled on his feet. I could tell he'd been about to protest my reluctance. He was a catch — the epitome of tall, dark, and handsome, plus he was well off by way of a great job, had a winning personality, and a wicked sense of humor.
After college, he'd gotten a job in sales for Gleason Glass Works. Todd worked the east coast part of the country territory from Virginia to Ohio to Maine, traveling for a few days many weeks to visit prospects for the special industrial-grade glass products his company made. He'd hit the ground running, and already had a reputation as a 'hot shot' in the company.
He was going places — fast. His latest coup was an all-glass clad skyscraper in Manhattan. The job was worth millions, and his bonus had let him buy a sedate but hot car — a new Jaguar F-type convertible. He also had a pile of money left over. He was truly sex on wheels in that car. I guessed there were few women that weren't subjugating themselves to his every whim. He didn't give most of them a chance, however. Todd rolled up to my house the following Saturday afternoon, his red convertible taking a prominent place in my circular driveway.
We'd had several conversations by phone about our date with Penny and Sarah Ward. I hadn't been too enthusiastic about a father-son-mother-daughter date, and the closer to the occasion, the more I felt that way.
Of course, I would have felt that way about any date. This was now the first date I'd been on — other than with Edith, in over thirty-two years. Penny was the mother — Penelope; maybe five or so years younger than me, so late-forties, and she worked as the head of customer service for the eastern states.
I could see why she and Todd met. Sarah was a mechanical engineer, and worked designing the enclosures and frames to hold the heavy glass panes in place in specialty buildings, like Todd's skyscraper. I was still from an age where women engineers were a rarity. Come on, we're going to be late. We can't all fit in your car.
You're riding with me, and we're meeting them at Penny's home. We'll have cocktails there, and then dinner down at the marina driving in Penny's sedan. We're playing this all by ear about what the outcomes are. I took the two of them to lunch on Wednesday before I went out to Pittsburg for yesterday's meetings. We had a good time, and we talked about you a lot, so they'll feel they know you.
This was almost like saying, 'Hey, your date is a sure thing. Did modern day sons do this for their dads? You're a handsome and vital man. You are not old, contrary to how you think about yourself. You've just been on the bench for a couple of years. It's time to get back into the major leagues. He said, "Dad, welcome to the twenty-first century. In this country, it's a time when men and women can easily agree to indulge in pleasures of the flesh without anyone feeling like a slut or uncomfortable, unless I suppose you're my father.
Penny may be old fashion, but my feeling from knowing her a little is that she's in tune with modern times and is a sexually liberated woman. You will like her; she will like you. On that basis, you and Penny should feel at ease making love to each other. I don't fall in love in a couple of hours. You two should feel at ease fucking each other's lights out tonight. Just follow her lead.
If she wants you, she'll let you know. Go with the flow. You don't have to make a long-term commitment in order to have some sexual fun. At least the two of us knew we were now on the same page.