Overcoming that awkward, “Do you have a girlfriend” moment

You know how one minute you’re in a happy and fulfilling marriage and the next you find out that your husband of 20 years has been cheating on you with someone 10 years younger? Well I do.

Woman hiding behind hands

I went from country club wife and mother of high school students to a single, 39-year-old “cougar.” In this weekly feature, I will share with you all the mind-boggling, head-scratching, is-this-someone’s-idea-of-a-joke moments from my so-called single life. Consider this your private invitation to my tremendous learning curve…

How you doin’

I have a crush on my realtor. He’s incredibly handsome, smart, hard-working and has been tremendously helpful in assisting me with buying my first home by myself. We’ve been working together for over a year now, and I’ve always had a boyfriend during that time. But now, I’m very single. Naturally, I can’t do anything about my crush as our relationship is strictly professional. Or is it?

Distinguishing between a pass and a sale

I write my emails like I write my columns — funny, smart-ass and sassy. It’s just who I am. The bulk of my correspondence with my realtor has been through email. I outline my professional business with him, but it is typically juiced up with a couple funnies here and there. I don’t do that because I have a crush on my realtor — it’s just the way I write.

The other day I sent him an email saying that I was sorry for being a pain in the ass, and that this would all be over soon, I promise. He responded with a few comments on housing stuff, and then at the end assured me, “You’re not a pain in the ass. I enjoy your company.”

Huh. He enjoys my company? I sold real estate for two years, and I never said that to a client. I would think that he’s just laying down some solid salesmanship, but after a year, he knows he’s in, um, so to speak. He doesn’t have to worry about getting stiffed, um, so to speak. With this encouragement (it doesn’t take much), I emailed back thanking him for not adding me to his “Hold all my calls, especially if it’s Miss B. Haved” list. He then fired back with, “I enjoy your emails almost as much as I enjoy viewing homes with you.”

Game on

Yes, I am that pathetic to make a “thing” out of this. I polled a couple of friends, and they agreed that he was flirting. I asked my daughter (she’s an adult) if it was wrong to make him show me a bunch of houses I had no intention of buying just so I can hang out with him. She didn’t think so. In fact, she suggested I take it a step further and show up to one of the listings with a movie and a six-pack of beer so we could have a “date” on the seller’s couch. “Don’t mind us. We just need to watch a movie, have a few beers and make out on your living room furniture before I decide if I’m going to buy your house.”

Before I could do that, I had to find out if he had a girlfriend. But how? It’s so awkward, especially when your relationship is supposed to be strictly professional to say, “So how does your girlfriend feel about (insert lame attempt at conversation here)?”

So I did what I used to do in 7th grade. I called my girlfriend. She knew a couple of girls in his office and texted them (without using my name of course) to check his status. You really can’t put a price on this kind of information. This would save me from getting my hopes way up if he had a girlfriend and/or making a complete ass of myself. Turns out he is free, he is looking — and he wants kids.

And there it is. The deal breaker. I’m pretty sure my ovaries are doing little more than farting dust right now, and I’m totally at peace with that. I’ve done the kid thing, loved every second of it, but I’m not willing to give up freedoms I’ve worked so hard for at 42. Heavy sigh. Now I just have to lust from afar, kicking the dirt about what can’t be. Oh well, someday soon I’ll need a new car. So I’ve got that going for me.

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