When my landlord decided to lease the guestroom in my house, Gaefan became an incidental member of our family. When he moved into our lives, I was one year into the divorce process, one year into a job hunt, I was way behind on rent and I was shouldering $80k of credit card debt my ex created by secretly supporting his failing business with my credit cards. Since he used my cards, I was also dodging the phone calls from Citibank.
My parents were retired and lived inTexas. Still do. My father had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I was working six part-time jobs and still not able to pay the bills. I had also started dating a guy fairly regularly. He was employed, good looking, crude and probably an alcoholic. Some of my best stories have to do with the Boyfriend Candidate. He was and is quite something.
So basically, I was busy and panicked. I had relationships going and coming. I was trying to keep the lives of my three boys normal, at a level of privilege they had gotten used to, but was impossible to maintain. The days of immediate gratification and spontaneous generosity were over. I came up with an empowering action list. I love lists.
Option 1. Get a job. I had been a stay-at-home, home-schooling mom to my slightly autistic son. That would have to end. He started brick and mortar and I started pounding the pavement. I submitted my resume to over 500 companies in the 8 months I was out of work. I had temp jobs that floated me. I transcribed. I participated in surveys, and I dated for dinner. Best of all I started web and blog writing.
Option 2. Get remarried, quickly, to man who would make all our problems go away. It could happen. I figured I’d fall in love again one day. If that day could be today, that would be really convenient.
Option 3. Prepare to move back to Texas. If 1 and 2 didn’t work out, singularly or in combination, that would be all that was left. Me and my three would be moving into a three bedroom with my elderly retired parents, one of whom was suffering from dementia. These are not the warm fuzzy grandparents that I hear other children have. My mother takes no prisoners and my dad is a mystery. So finding a job or finding the love of my life was really critical.
So into my very ordered, yet unpredictable life comes Gaefan. He was all hippie auras and holistic transcendence. He was so far out there he looped all the way around, back to self-righteous and had no idea.
When I met Gaefan, it was late at night. I opened the door to a much older man, shaved head, energetic. I didn’t get any kind of a vibe off him so he seemed safe. Not a child molester, not a gay pedophile, not hot for me. No flags.
He was British and had the accent. Clearly delightful. I gave him the tour. We have a yard; he had a dog. I told him then my children were allergic to dogs so his would need to have limited range. He seemed ok with that.
And he was in.