Wealthy 52-Year-Old Man Who Dates Only Models Falls in Love with Poor Café Cashier His Age – Story of the Day
A wealthy 52-year-old man who only dates younger women finds himself falling in love with a woman his own age who is not impressed by his money and power.
Paul Barnett wasn't a romantic. He wasn't a kind man. He was decidedly unpleasantly and universally disliked. But that was alright. Paul Barnett could afford to be disliked or hated even, he was obscenely rich.
So when he was rude to his employees or bullied them, they just smiled and said: "Yes, Mr. Barnett." Paul paid huge salaries to make sure they did, and that was why he was extremely generous to his many girlfriends.
Paul liked beautiful women and so he dated a series of stunning models young enough to be his daughters (though he had never married). His relationships were usually brief and shallow -- it was hard to be intimate with him.
The ladies he had relationships with would have described him as inconsiderate, selfish, and rude. He was all that and he felt that since he was showering them with jewelry, cars, and exotic vacations, he had the right to be himself -- warts and all.
Of course, the result of all this is that at the end of the day, Paul was an extremely lonely man. He knew that everyone who put up with his company for long was in it for the money -- be it employees or romantic partners.
The sad part was that Paul could have been quite a charmer. He was tall, handsome, and in great shape for his 52 years. When he smiled (rarely), he gave those around him a glimpse into the man he should have been. But it was only a glimpse. Seconds later, the shutters would slam down and there was hard-as-nails Paul Barnett again.
One day, Paul was having a bad day. He had a meeting with his department heads over a delay in a new project and he ended up having a tantrum that had half his staff in tears and the other half choking on their humiliation. He screamed, "Tomorrow I expect COMPETENT suggestions!" and slammed the board room door behind him.
He stormed out of the building and became aware of a nagging pain settling between his eyebrows. He groaned. It was a headache and a bad one.
His doctor had told him that his headaches were triggered by stress and offered medication, but he refused. What often helped was coffee — expresso, as strong as possible.
Paul saw a small cafe tucked in between two large restaurants and headed for it. It was a small little place, but from the aroma sweetening the air, the coffee was good.
He approached the counter and asked the woman behind it for an expresso. The woman smiled. "Brazillian, Tanzania or Sulawesi?"
Paul groaned with pleasure. "Are you serious?" he asked.
The woman smiled. "I grind them up right in front of your eyes. Your choice or you can try Lucy's Special Mix."
"Who's Lucy'" Paul asked.
The woman laughed. "I am! And believe me, I can take you to coffee heaven!"
Paul wasn't just smiling, he was laughing! He looked at the woman. She was pretty, very pretty, with chocolate brown eyes and a mane of unruly black curls. "Let's try this famous special mix, Lucy!" Paul said.
The coffee was just as good as Lucy claimed and Paul found himself nursing his cup and lingering over the conversation. Finally, he paid for the coffee and left with a vague feeling of regret.
That night, he kept thinking about Lucy. She wasn't young he realized. Not his type at all! There was a fine web of lines around her eyes that crinkled charmingly when she smiled, and a few strands of silver at her temples.
"She must be in her forties at least!" he told himself. But thinking about Lucy in terms of her age didn't seem right, or to reduce the powerful impact of her smile or the soothing quality of her voice.
Paul was intrigued and attracted, but he knew that a relationship with Lucy would be nothing like his brief flings with shallow pretty faces. Was he ready for a commitment?
Early the next morning, Paul was there for a cup of Lucy's Special Mix and a chat with the proprietor before he headed for the office. Even though he didn't know it, he walked in a different man.
Power and money do not empower people to humiliate others.
His hands were tucked into his pockets and he was whistling. "Morning, Marge!" he said to the receptionist and his lips actually twitched at the corners. He almost smiled!
Marge was in a state of shock, as were the heads of departments when Paul listened to their proposals calmly and without interruption, and actually agreed with their conclusions!
That evening, on his way home, Paul popped into Lucy's cafe again. "I think this brew is magical!" Paul said smiling.
"Yes, it is." Lucy smiled back. "At least, all my customers say so!"
"You should market it," Paul said. "You'd make a fortune."
"Why would I want to do that?" Lucy frowned. "Then I wouldn't be HERE in touch with people, seeing the pleasure my coffee gives them."
"But... what about money?" asked Paul aghast.
"I earn enough for my needs and for my future," Lucy pointed out. "What would I do with MORE?" That night, Paul asked himself what HE did with the many hundreds of millions 'more' he possessed.
The answer, of course, was nothing. The money sat there. So why was he working 14-hour days to make even more? The next day, he asked Lucy out to dinner and she agreed.
Paul's life started revolving around the little cafe and Lucy. He saw her in the morning and in the evening on the way home, and now, they had dinner at least twice a week.
Their friendship was growing and Paul finally worked up the courage to shyly hold her hand. He'd never been shy with his girlfriends, not at all, but with Lucy, he felt like a boy on his first date.
The transformation of Paul Barnett had become an 8-day-wonder at his company. He was more accessible, less rude and abrupt, and sometimes even smiled. He was almost human!
One day, Paul made a decision. He was going to ask Lucy to marry him. He booked a table at a romantic Italian restaurant that boasted candlelight and roving gypsy violinists and made a date with Lucy.
The evening was a delight! The food was incredible and Lucy was amazing as always. When the moment arrived, he placed his napkin on the table and went down on one knee, ring box in hand.
Unfortunately, just as he dropped to the floor, the restaurant's violinist was sauntering by playing a romantic song and he didn't see Paul. The result was a disaster.
The violinist bumped into Paul and sent him sprawling face down on the carpet at Lucy's feet, and the ring box flew out of his hand and landed in the minestrone of the man at the next table.
Paul jumped to his feet, beet-red and raging. "You oaf!" he screamed. "Don't you look where you're going?" The violinist started to apologize, but Paul just wasn't listening.
"Who do you think you are? Some second-rate trash fiddler!" he ranted. "I'll see you fired! You'll never work in this town again..."
A movement caught his attention. Lucy was standing up and turning away. "Lucy!" he called. "I'm sorry this idiot spoiled our evening!" Paul held up the jewelry box dripping soup. "I was going to propose..."
Lucy was very pale. "Then I must be very thankful to the boy because I would have said yes," she said sadly. "But now, thanks to the poor violinist, I see who you really are. Please, Paul, stay away from me."
Paul let her go, but the next day he sent her flowers apologizing. He sent texts, but to no avail. Lucy sent him a message in reply: "Paul, the man I saw at the restaurant is not someone I want in my life. I'm sorry."
The next morning, Paul was there, begging Lucy for a second chance, but she just shook her head. "But Lucy," he said. "You have no idea how you've changed me..."
"Listen, Paul," Lucy said. "I can't change you. The only person who can change you is YOU and you have to WANT to change. I don't think you do. I don't think you even know yourself."
Paul walked away devastated, but he didn't go back to his former unpleasant self. He started thinking before he reacted and addressing people in a polite manner. He was finally aware of exactly how lonely and unhappy he was.
After three months, Paul couldn't stand it anymore and he walked into Lucy's cafe. "I've changed!" he blurted out. "I don't know how I'm going to prove it to you, but I've changed and I love you and I want to marry you!"
Lucy raised an eyebrow. “Have you really changed? Then do me a favor and take this cappuccino to the third table -- he's one of our regular customers.”
Paul looked down at the cappuccino on the tray and then up at Lucy's steady brown eyes. "You want ME to serve...I'm not a waiter..." Then he took a deep breath. "OK! No problem."
Paul walked over to the third table and placed the cappuccino in front of an old gentleman. "Your cappuccino, sir," he said with a smile.
The man looked up at Paul and snarled: "Cappuccino? What cappuccino? Do I look like a namby-pamby cappuccino drinker? Are you an idiot? I ordered an espresso!”
Paul glanced up and saw Lucy watching him closely. "I'm so sorry, sir," Paul said smoothly. "I'm new, it was a rookie mistake...Please allow me to bring you an espresso and a muffin on the house with my sincere apologies!"
Paul took the man his expresso and his muffin and returned to Lucy. "Did you give me the wrong order on purpose?" he asked.
Lucy had a big smile on her face. "Yes, I did! I knew old Mr. Solomon would read you the riot act and I wanted to see how you'd react. You've certainly made some changes."
"One thing hasn't changed," Paul said shyly. "I still love you, and I'd like to take you to dinner tonight and ask that question..."
"Yes!" said Lucy.
"Great!" Paul said. "Pick you up at eight?"
"No, silly," Lucy laughed. "I meant 'YES' to the question. Yes, I will marry you!" And she did, and all of Paul's employees were grateful to her ever after.
What can we learn from this story?
- Treat people the way you would like them to treat you. Power and money do not empower people to humiliate others. Kindness and politeness cost nothing and bring huge rewards.
- It is never too late to make a change. Paul had become used to trampling over everyone, but when he met Lucy, he realized she wouldn't put up with his behavior, so he made serious changes in his attitude.
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