Here is a true story from the archives.
Getting chatted up was a regular occurrence when I was a trucker, only to be expected given that most of the people I came into contact with while working were of the male species. The young ladies of today go to great lengths to to get noticed by the opposite sex, they tart themselves up, stuff their bodies full of botox and silicone, and stagger around town on a Saturday night wearing very little clothing. I didn't have to do any of that. A pair of rigger boots, a hard hat and a big truck was all I needed to get them flocking around me.
I was unloading my cement tanker at a brick and block factory in Essex one afternoon, when another tanker pulled in from a rival firm, and backed in alongside me. After the driver had connected his hoses up and had started to unload, he came over to me and started chatting.
He was pleasant enough, quite a bit older than myself, nothing special, not the sort of man I would normally go for. My tanker was empty first so I switched everything off, disconnected the hose and put away my equipment. Brian carried on chatting to me, following me around the lorry as I was working. He asked if he could have my phone number.
‘Here we go again,’ I thought. “No,” I replied, “I don’t give it out to anyone.”. He was persistent and asked the same question several times, I was getting a bit irritated. In the end he asked if I would have his phone number and give him a ring sometime. I took the scrap of paper from him and shoved it in the bottom of my bag, promising to phone, and drove off.
It was about 6 months later when I was loading up at St Neots in the afternoon, for a delivery near Folkestone the following day. I knew I would have to have a night out, probably in Kent, then I remembered Brian, he lived near Rochester. I rang him from the cab phone, “Hi Brian, I’m on the M11 heading your way and I need to have a night out.”
“Great,” he replied, “There’s a layby a mile from my house, I’ll pick you up from there.” I knew where he meant because I had parked there when I used to take machinery to a power station on the Isle of Grain. He was waiting for me as I pulled in.
That night we went out to a cosy country pub for a meal. Surprisingly he was the perfect gentleman, considering how much effort he had put in to get my phone number. ‘He’s not so bad’, I thought, not exactly your Burt Reynolds, but a decent sort. Maybe if I got to know him I would warm to the kind heart he obviously had.
After a few months, things were going well. He was a widower, with a nice bungalow, two cars, one for work, and a Range Rover with a private plate, for leisure. He didn’t seem to be short of a bob or two. Since his wife died, Brian had made a very good job of looking after himself. His bungalow was immaculate, everything tidy and in it’s place, not a speck of dust anywhere. I started spending my weekends in Kent, and Brian treated me like a Princess.
He was a qualified chef and spent hours in the kitchen preparing a meal for me when I arrived, often with vegetables from his own garden. I met his family, and was invited to spend Christmas with them; everyone was very kind and made me feel welcome. I could see that Sugar Daddy, my pet name for him, was becoming very serious about our relationship.
Now at that time I was still a free spirit, my independence meant a lot to me, but I was beginning to feel trapped. It was very nice being treated like a princess by someone who obviously thought a lot of me, but I started to get panic attacks. ‘Let’s get married’, he would say, ‘You won’t have to go to work, you can ride around in my Range Rover all day’. I must admit I was tempted, but only for about five minutes.
Me, not work, but I like working, I can’t play the stay at home wife, clean the house, cook the meals, do the washing. The thought of it filled me with horror, not work! It was like a death sentence, the end of life as I know it. Besides, I didn’t like Kent very much, not sure why, just had a feeling about it, it’s too close to London.
When I said I couldn’t marry him because I loved my job, he offered an alternative, “Just come and live with me then,” he pleaded. I struggled with my conscience, I could probably take this man for all he had, and live a very comfortable life. All I had to do was go along with his dreams, act out his fantasy. Sugar Daddy was my passport to a better life, he adored me, and would do anything for me. But would it be a better life? It might be for a while, no mortgage to pay, no worries about earning enough money to meet the bills, it was all offered to me on a plate. Some women might jump at the chance.
But I couldn’t live a lie. My feelings for him were not as strong as his were for me, it wouldn’t be fair. I was very fond of him, a true, kind and honest man, but there was no spark, no madness, no spontaneity, it was all too predictable. I tried to explain, but I’m not sure he understood, he was of the old school, when women were grateful for the security of a good, hardworking man. The trouble was, I was a good hardworking man!