After the carriage ride Bob took me to dinner. I no longer recall where we went but Bob never skimped so I'm sure it was one of the better restaurants in town.
I started to learn a few things about Bob - he had been married once for 20+ years, had been divorced for 3 or 4, recently broke up with his last girlfriend, had two boys, one that was still in High School, and had a 5 year old Grandson. Pretty run of the mill, nothing unusual in any of that, of course if you were to assume that, you would be wrong. Even the norm I soon found out wasn't normal when it came to Bob.
For example Bob explained to me his oldest son got his girlfriend pregnant and had not yet married the mother of his Grandson, but intended too. Bob didn't seem bothered by this, in fact he felt his son had some growing up to do. He really adored the mother of his Grandson and back when she had become pregnant, both of them were very young and didn't have good jobs or the means to do much. The mother had an interest in becoming a dental hygienist, so Bob paid for all of her schooling so she could become one. I quickly learned he was endlessly generous.
Bob also shared details about his past girlfriend that I very quickly figured out I was supposed to be learning from. Detail number one - and might I add the most important detail... she was nosey. Bob never missed a chance to tell me she had asked too may questions. She tried to get a look at his cell phone when a call came in, and she frequently asked who had called. She also asked "other" questions. He made it very clear that was a big reason he broke up with her. Hmmm note to self - don't ask questions...
Apparently Bob's generosity with her was never shorted either. He told me used to pay for her car insurance, all her gas, and on and on. It was amazing listening to this man. The one things I did realize was, I didn't have to ask questions, I only needed to listen carefully.
I stayed the night at Bob's house after that first date. It was late when we got back and we were enjoying each other's company tremendously, neither of us wanted the night to end, so we didn't let it.
Bob's house was beautiful and everything was in perfect order. It was an older home that had been brought back to life. His taste in furniture was eclectic in that I found some rooms to be contemporary and some rooms had beautiful antiques. He enjoyed golfing so his family room was decorated with a golf theme. He had been to some of the most exquisite golf courses around the US and had the golf towels to prove it framed all around the room. It was clear Bob was not hurting financially.
The house had a three car garage attached by a covered walkway. The previous evening, before our date he had me put my car in the garage. There were two other cars in there, one was a '57 Chevy he had picked up for his younger son who could not yet drive and the other was a collector car of his friend Frankies. It was when Bob was showing me Frankies car that he told me his friends called him "Bobby". I never called him that, I stuck with Bob, but I soon learned all his friends had names that ended in "ie".
I was learning other things about Bob as well, he was routine, he had his way of doing things and he didn't like to stray from his ways. When we went to bed that first night, I learned he could not go to sleep unless the room had 100% darkness. He had a routine of letting down curtains, turning thing around, covering things, it was interesting to watch as he prepared the room so he could sleep. He had no alarm clock because of they light up. He asked me if any of this bothered me. It didn't in the least, I have my own routines in life, so I understood. He seemed relieved, and told me his routine ways had bothered his ex-girlfriend and he never missed an opportunity to tell me she was a slob. Note to self - don't be a slob.
The routineness of Bob was everywhere. I wanted to shower and Bob kept his towels in his laundry room. I went to get what I needed and I just stood there in amazement. On the wall were several shelves, full of towels. It looked like Bed, Bath, and Beyond. He owned three colors and had multiple sets in each color. They were all stacked perfectly by type and color. I went to put my glass I had been drinking from in the dishwasher and found all the dirty dishes and glasses perfectly organized. Bob had also made an interesting comment during our conversation about his impeccable organization. He had said, "you know why I keep everything in perfect order, in case someone comes in my house, I'll know they were here".
I went home that morning, but only after Bob wanted to give me a key to his house and shared his alarm code with me. I noticed something about how I felt when Bob wanted to share this information, and give me the key - I felt as if I were being tested. Bob and I chatted more and more after he had put the key next to my purse on the counter, so it was really easy to "forget" it when I left. I wasn't ready for a key to this man's home yet.
Of course before I left Bob wanted to know what I was going to do for the day. He didn't have much planned, but he did have an obligation that night to go to watch his Grandson play soccer I believe (I don't recall the sport that well anymore). When he told me that I immediately assumed I would not see him, when all of a sudden he said, "I would really like you to go so you can meet my family". I was shocked. Could this man move any faster... I did agree to go, I liked Bob and as much as he wanted to spend time with me, I wanted to spend it with him.
Another interesting fact I'll mention about Bob at this point, remember he made it clear asking too many questions was a quick way to end things with him, well that was a one way rule. Bob never quit asking questions about me, he wanted to know everything he could learn. And any time he uncovered something that wasn't just right, he did his best to fix it. For example, just in conversation I shared with him how I had shipped home all my tools I owned, but the tool box had just been too heavy, so I left my tool box in the back of Fred's truck. Next time I saw Bob, he had a new tool box for me. Once we went shopping at a clothing store because he needed something. I found some clothes I wanted, of course Bob paid for them as well. These are just a few small examples. Within the first week of knowing Bob, the items he purchased for me piled up at Lisa's condo.
After going back to Lisa's for a bit and getting ready for our evening together, I went back to Bob's. I immediately was asked, "why didn't you take the key, I really want you to have it?". I explained it was so soon and it's a big deal to trust someone with your house. He looked what felt like right to the core of me and said, "I'm sure I can trust you". So not only did I get a key, but I got my own garage door opener.
That night we went to the event for his Grandson and I met his older son and his girlfriend. They were all very nice. The girlfriend told me she was surprised she was meeting me so quickly, that he had not brought the previous girlfriend around for over 6 months after he had started dating her. She also told me that Bob was very generous and the girlfriend had taken advantage of that. She felt she was definitely a gold digger. Interesting conversation...
From that point on I spent most of my time with Bob. In the first week I was going out to dinner with Bob each night because he didn't like to cook, and his friends were all Italian restaurant owners. We ate at all the best places, then we would come back to his house and hang out. It was really nice. I was finding it to be a little hard to get ready for work. My clothes, hair care, makeup, etc were all at Lisa's, so I had to get up early, go to Lisa's, get ready, then drive to work. Bob noticed this because he didn't care much for me leaving early in the morning. I told him I had all my stuff I needed there. Of course Bob had the solution. Here's how it went - Bob always had a roll of hundred dollar bills on him, so he peeled off about 4 of them and said, "here, take this, after work go buy everything you need so you can get ready for work at my house. I'll make room in my closet for your clothes, and then you won't have to go back there.". I was thinking to myself, really, and I've known you less than a week...
In the midst of this whirlwind with Bob, all the fun, the fancy dates, the gifts, cash, I failed to notice something significant. Bob had managed to create an environment where he knew my every move. He had me coming home from work to his house and not leaving unless I was with him or he knew where I was going, until I left for work the next day. Anywhere Bob went, I went with him with one exception. When Bob ran low on his $100's in his pocket he would tell me he had to go do something (it would always be the silliest thing, such as go get some bread), and I couldn't go. Of course his made up errand always took longer then it should of based on what he told me he was going to do and he was always restocked with cash again. I may have failed to notice he knew my every move, but I did not fail to notice this, nor had I stopped "listening". But I never asked a question, I just watched, and listened.
And this was week 1....