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Meeting The Kids

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After my traumatic divorce from a cheating husband and enduring random dates through internet sites and pick-ups, I finally was fixed up with a great guy. Fix-ups are definitely the best way to meet people. Your friends usually know who you would like, and they presumably would not fix you up with an axe murderer.

This particular man was sexy and smart and successful -- the "big three." We clicked right away and threw ourselves into a dating frenzy, seeing each other four times a week from the start. One of the pleasures of finding him was that I did not have to endure the horrors of the dating world. Finally, I had a respite from random dating and its depressing consequences.

About six weeks into our relationship, my guy suggested that I meet his children for lunch. We are both over 55, so neither of us had children living at home. He even had grandchildren. But this was still a difficult request.

For a woman, meeting the children is a major event that is fraught with danger. No matter their age, most kids are too selfish to see you as the key to their father's future happiness. Instead, you are a competitor for his affection, attention and money.

This is especially the case with daughters. The words "Daddy's Little Girl" should be tattooed daughters' arms as a warning to anyone who tries to get close. Even after they are married, some girls believe that they own their fathers. The new girlfriend must approach them diplomatically and humbly, and at the same time, please their boyfriend by being attentive and flirty. It is a difficult balancing act.

My guy had two daughters, both married and living in Los Angeles. We meet for lunch in a trendy trattoria. Both girls were pretty blonds. The older one, a 32-year-old with a child, was far more suspicious of me than the more relaxed "baby" of 28. I decided to be light and breezy and self-deprecating, but it would not have mattered if I had been the next Mother Theresa -- I was the evil witch out to snare their father for his money, which was rightfully theirs.

Over their plates of pasta, they made one snide comment after another in response to my neutral questions as they glowered at me. But their father beamed with pride. It was not that he supported their obnoxious behavior. It was just that he was blind and deaf to it all.

I saw a bleak future with these brats flash before me. After almost two hours of abuse and snickering, I invented a doctor's appointment and excused myself from the luncheon from hell.

Within 10 minutes, there was a call from my guy. He was raving about how wonderful his daughters were. He said that they have never been warm to any woman that he had dated because they had trouble accepting the divorce. He found this to be adorable.

But it was not. He had been divorced for ten years and had dated scores of women. These daughters were not 13-year-olds. They had their own lives and husbands and needed to move on and stop feeling threatened by their father's love life. And a father who found this behavior to be not just acceptable but loving and cute was a major problem. I did not want any part of this drama.

I decided to end the relationship. To be confronted with so much hostility was not something that I was willing to take on. I realized that I wanted to be around mature adults who valued a loving companion for their father and were not so self-centered as to see me as a threat. And I wanted a companion who would protect and defend me from undeserved criticism and meanness. I had at least learned valuable lessons for the future.

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