posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy
Yes, we all have them. In addition to friends, family, and significant others, we all have other important relationships in our lives. I'm talking about relationships with certain professionals... AHEM! Like your doctor, your plumber, or your mechanic! If you are very lucky, you find excellent people in these important professions and develop long-term relationships with these individuals.
I feel fortunate to have developed three such long-term relationships. One of them has been going on even longer than my relationship with the DH! Oh, and all three of them happen to be men. They are my dentist, my hairdresser, and my mechanic. They are the "other men" in my life and I couldn't get by without them.
Until a couple of years ago, my longest relationship with any man was with my dentist. I know, I know, everyone HATES going to the dentist, but that's because they didn't go to Ben. I don't exactly remember how I happened to start going to Ben's office. I think it was because he was in the same office complex as my son's orthodontist. Yes, it was THAT long ago... the mid 1980s.
Ben was a few years older than me, his middle daughter was the same age as my son, and his wife worked with him part-time as a hygienist. Ben and his office staff were friendly and did their jobs very well. I actually didn't mind going to the dentist because it was almost like going to see family members. They were always happy to see me and usually in good moods. Then, a couple of years ago, Ben did the unthinkable -- he retired and sold his practice! ACK!!! Yes, I even got invited to his retirement party because I'd been his patient for sooo long (my file was so old and thick that it was held together with duct tape). But I told him I was never going to forgive him for retiring on me! Never mind that *I* had retired from my day job first...
Now I go to the dentist who bought Ben's practice. I call him "Baby Dentist" because he is younger than my son. In fact he and ALL his staff look like they are fresh out of high school! Don't get me wrong, he is an excellent dentist and his staff are all quite nice, they just make me feel SO OLD!
My second oldest lasting relationship started in 1988 -- the year before I met my DH. My new BFF recommended I try her hairdresser. I did, and I've gone to Guy ever since! When we first met he was young, single and a big party-boy. I followed him to three different salons, through his marriage and the birth of his two kids, and a few years ago, his venture into opening his own business. He has been an enthusiastic beta-reader for all my manuscripts. Last year I helped him celebrate his son's acceptance to UCLA on a full athletic scholarship. Two weeks ago, we celebrated his daughter's graduation from high school.
Guy knows where more than a few of my skeletons are hidden and I know the same about him. Thank goodness he's a few years younger than me because after all this time I can't imagine anyone else cutting my hair! If he ever retires, I'll probably just start shaving my head.
I was actually introduced to the last "other man" in my life by my DH. No, this is not as kinky as it sounds! It was 1990 and I was filled with frustration over taking my car to the dealership to have it worked on. They were slow, I didn't trust them, and their 'customer service' was non-existent. The DH said, "Take it to my mechanic, Dwayne." So I did, and it was the start of a wonderful relationship!
Dwayne is as honest as the day is long. He will tell you how long something will take, how much it is going to cost, and he usually finishes earlier and cheaper. He will also tell you if something is not worth fixing (this happened more than once with my son's old clunkers). Also more than once, I've showed up at Dwayne's shop with my car on the tow truck's hook, five minutes before he was due to go home, and he stayed open, not just to get the car inside, but also to wait for the DH or my son to come pick me up! A true gentleman, he would never leave a lady stranded in an industrial strip mall, which is where his shop is located.
Dwayne is a few years older than me, and I live in fear that he will retire and leave me in the lurch! However, he is also one of those guys who is only happy when he is elbow deep under the hood of a car. To my knowledge, he has never taken a vacation. If he ever does retire, I may have to start using regional transit!
So now you know my secret... I have three OTHER men in my life who are all essential! I've known them all for decades and truly appreciate not only their professional expertise but their friendship.
Do you have some long-term relationships in your life, besides your family members or spouse? Please share who they are, what they do, and how you met them.