The further adventures of Stan -9
After my disasterous bridge party attempt at seeing if I could get back in the dating game, I decided that there was no point in trying to manufacture a situation whereby I could get involved with an older man. If something came up, fine and good, but if not, no problem. I did look twice and maybe even three times whenever there was a new man at church, or at one of my bridge sessions. But I didn't want to be the sort of person who chased after new widowers or divorced men. Maybe it would mean that I would miss out – but I wasn't comfortable in making the first moves in any relationship.
After awhile Stan seemed to be going out more and more frequently and getting home later, and staying out more. So I suspected he had found a love interest of his own. I didn't want to butt into his business, but I also felt that as friends, I'd like him to feel he could share something like that with me. So one evening when he wasn't going out I came right out as asked him if he had a new girlfriend.
He blushed, which seemed to me to be as good as giving himself away. “Not really a girlfriend as such,” he said, “but I do like this girl. She's Fred's daughter, and I met her when she came to see him. She's at University at Nottingham, and when she's back in this area, she normally lives with her mother. I think I told you that Fred is divorced,” he put in. “But sometimes she wants a break from her mother, and spends a day or two at Fred's house.”
“I thought he was in the middle of a big restoration project on the house,” I put in.
“Oh, yes, he is, and the place is a real tip. He's put in a proper staircase in the kitchen area and has built a bedroom and shower room/toilet in the attic space. She sleeps in the living room on a fold-away couch bed when she's there. But when he gets the extension done, she'll have a big bedroom with an en suite, so that will be much more pleasant for her.”
“How much longer will it take him to finish it off?”
“He's taken his month's holiday from his regular job, so if all goes well for him, he could have it done by the end of August, maybe before Sharon goes back to Uni.”
“Didn't you say he had two daughters?”
“Yes, but I haven't met the other one yet. She's older and doesn't live locally. Sharon drives a little red convertible, which I think Fred got for her when he sold the other house. He's got a black sport's car convertible too. First thing he did when he bought the place was to build a garage for his car. He even put a heating/cooling system in the garage to keep his car comfortable.”
“He sounds a bit of a nut case to me,” I said, but not meaning to be unkind.
“He just loves his cars. He's also got a truck and an estate car.”
“What does he think of you going out with his daughter?”
“He seems fine with it. I still think you might do worse than make a play for Fred yourself. Shall I see if I can get us on a double date?”
“No thank you. I can't think of anything more awkward. Does he have any interests besides his cars and redoing up houses?”
“I don't think he's a bridge player or church goes, if that's what you have in mind. He likes painting – you know artistic painting of pictures type painting.”
“Have you seen his work?”
“Oh yeah, his living room is full of his pictures – some on the walls and some just propped against the floor. They are big, and bright – with bits of cars in them in a sort of modern artistic way sort of like Picasso.”
“Sounds weird to me.”
“I thought I might buy one. Then you can see for yourself. He really is very talented. But maybe not the sort of pictures that you are used to – you know scenery and stuff like that.”
“So do you think you might get serious about this girl Sharon?”
“Oh, no, as she's back to Uni soon, and no doubt has dozens of men hanging around with her. She's really beautiful – long blond hair, slim, and very smart. I doubt that she would look at me except for the fact she doesn't know anybody else young in the area.”
“It doesn't sound like you are about to get your heart broken, anyway, Stan.”
“I like things kept casual – but if she came back in ten years maybe, and I was ready to settle down, then I might think twice about a future with her.”
“You'd better get your business on a better financial state then, if you want to tempt somebody who is used to having convertibles.”
“I'll get there, no hurry. Which reminds me, I wonder if you could help me with doing my tax. I've never had to do it before as I never made enough money to pay tax. But I guess that is one job that I need to do from now on.”
So we settled down and with the help of the computer programme for self assessment, we got
together all the relevant documents in order to do the return.
I was glad that I had brought up the situation, and even more glad that Sharon was going back to Uni soon.