Along comes Manny
It just takes one person to open your mind up. One person who says what you were hearing from someone else and makes you rethink whether your interpretation was correct. For me, that person was Manny.
I moved quite far from where I grew up not too long ago, and that’s where all of this began. We got settled in the South and it was a very different world from the densely populated Northeast that we were used to. Everyone is more laid back. Things move at a slower pace. People are much friendlier. It’s a whole new world that I’m still not used to a year later.
I got a job fairly quickly working for a large public system. That’s where I met Manny. No, he isn’t an actual coworker, I’m not that stupid to start things out that way. He does work for the larger organization, and was actually a trainer for a safety course everyone has to take. Right off the bat, he was on me. He insisted I sit in the front of the room. He made a nickname for me and started using me in every example for the class. He tried to find out where I was going for lunch. It was quite obvious he was hitting on me; frankly, he wasn’t trying to hide it. I doubt he thought he was going to get very far given the fact that he was more than twenty years older than me and I mentioned that I was married, but if there is one thing I’ve learned so far it’s that older guys are way more brazen.
What Manny didn’t know that he had going for him is my history; as a teenager, I had what adult me considers a very ill-advised pseudorelationship with a man 17 years my senior and have always had a thing for the older gents. Sure, he’s not exactly what most women would consider panty-dropping; he’s overweight, looks his age, kind of short- not exactly most women’s checklist. However, as a tall chick I’ve always favored the shorter guys and my husband is a chubby guy so that was nothing new to me. In retrospect, my husband is absolutely correct that he was comfortable to me.
Needless to say, he kept me after class that day to shoot the shit and after getting as much information about me as he reasonably could he steered the conversation towards me being attractive. Despite being a vicious introvert, I’ve learned to take compliments in the spirit that they are intended and be flattered. We ended the conversation that day with him telling me not to make my husband too jealous, and with a great deal more insight than I realized I replied, “I don’t know, I’m starting to think he likes it.” That night, I found him on Facebook just for the sake of staying in contact, despite not yet having come to the understanding that this was something my husband wanted for me. Soon came the e-mails, then the phone calls “just to talk”, then my obvious distraction at home. Nothing ever crossed the line as I was adamant about the fact that I was married, but obviously something about this guy tweaked me a little. A week later, my husband again made his joking commentary about me and other men and this time I replied, “Okay, so what if I had someone lined up?”
The rest isn’t quite history yet, but that’s how it really began. After getting over his surprise about him being so much older (embarrassed about everything as I was, I never spoke with him about my teenage affairs that were even remotely outside the ordinary), he seemed happy and a little relieved and encouraged me. He admitted later that he had been trying for so many years to see if I wanted to but he didn’t want it to be “his idea” or “something he forced on me.” When I spoke with Manny the next time, he was, shockingly, fully on-board. Two days later I started a new leg of my sexual journey that I hope doesn’t end anytime soon.