The Sugar Baby Chronicles: That Time I Was Forced To Walk Home On The Freeway
A long, long time ago (‘bout 2011), I lived in a place called Houston, Texas. It was here that I acquired my first job, my first apartment, and my first sugar daddy. All within six months which, if you think about it, is a damn good list of accomplishments for an 18-year-old community college dropout.
I don’t know how I learned about the world of sugar daddy dating, but I found its mecca, Seeking Arrangement, via Google, and within 48 hours of signing up, my entire life changed.
Now, there’s never been a shortage of men wanting to have sex with me. And even at 18, I’d clocked a year on OKCupid (thanks to a mom who had no idea how to monitor my internet usage and my own personal laptop), so I was used to a bombardment of online (and offline) attention from horny men. What I was not used to, however, was a bombardment of online attention from horny, rich men. Men who wanted to pay my rent, buy me shoes and take me out to restaurants with napkins folded into swans and shit, all just to spend time with me. And hopefully, eventually, spend time with me naked.
Shit was lit.
My very first taste of sugar was from a man named Rod. I mean, that wasn’t his name, but I didn’t change it to protect him, I changed it because I forgot. After a while, all rich White men start to just blend together. But I digress. Rod was, in the words of Nene Leakes, very rich, bitch. He owned several car dealerships and lived down the street from a couple of Houston Rockets. He’d spent millions of dollars on custom suits, wine he’d never drink, and really awkward African statues with huge penises that he informed me were meant to “promote fertility.” Why a 72 year old man needed to have anything to do with fertility is still beyond me.
Before our first date, Rod asked if I’d been to any of the “nice” restaurants in Houston, yet. At this point, “nice” to me was still Luby’s on a Sunday evening, so, of course, I answered no. He named some fancy ass place and asked if I had anything to wear. It was Houston in the summer, and as a barely above-minimum-wage employee, my wardrobe mainly consisted of black collared shirts, shorts for work that I kept getting written up for, Keds and some Forever 21 dresses. Again, I answered no.
Now, you’ll probably call me stupid and naive for this next part and I won’t blame you.
Rod was sympathetic, but probably also just didn’t want me to show up and embarrass his ass, so he asked for my info, so that he could send me a little cash with which to buy something nice. I didn’t hesitate. I gave him all the details required to send a Western Union transfer, and he sent me a receipt.
Three. Hundred. Dollars.
This man, who I’d never met, sent me $300 just to buy something to wear to dinner with him. I was blown away.
The day of the dinner, I got off work around 4pm. Since I worked downtown, I just walked over to Macy’s to go get my outfit. Unfortunately, it took me absolutely forever to find something, and I scrambled back to work to drop my clothes off in my locker, change, and rush off to catch the 81 bus to the restaurant on Post Oak Blvd. I fired off a text about running late, and my phone died just as I was walking in. I didn’t worry about it, as I knew my way home and he’d offered me a ride back, anyway. We had a lovely dinner and I had my first glass of wine. I was a lightweight then, and I’m a lightweight now, so that one glass of chardonnay had me tipsy enough to agree to go back to his place.
It was a long drive up to the Woodlands, but goddamn, his house was nice. The biggest house I’d been in at that point had been my godmother’s with four bedrooms and two stories. His had six. All for him. And two living rooms.
Now, Rod, like most old, rich White men I’d encounter, was really fucking horny. And weird about it. He kissed with too much tongue, he made stupid sexual jokes, and would reach over and grab my breasts in the middle of conversation. At the time, I was a very sexual young gal, but I still hadn’t gotten to a point where I could just have sex with someone for money, especially if I didn’t find them attractive. Obviously, that’s changed, but then, I was just creeped out, so I pretended I was tired and he said he’d drive me home.
In the car, Rod turned into every boy I’d dated in my one year of college. “You got me so worked up,” “can’t believe you’re leaving me with blue balls,” “come on, just touch it.” When he unzipped his pants and put my hand on his penis, I snatched my hand away, and that’s when shit got dark.
That’s when, at 11pm on a Wednesday night, on i-45, near Spring, Texas, a 72-year old man stopped his car, unbuckled my seatbelt, and told me to get out of his car.
I was stunned. I told him to stop joking, and he assured me he wasn’t. Tears sprang to my eyes, my heart started racing, and all I could think about was my dead and useless phone in my purse. “Please.” The look in his eyes told me not a chance, and I slowly—still hoping he’d change his mind—opened the door, and stepped out.
He sped off before I even closed the door all the way.
And there I was. Stranded, with no idea where I was, in a too-short dress with too much cleavage, on the fucking freeway with no way home.
So I started to walk. And I walked. And I walked. I probably walked about two miles before I got to an exit where I could see civilization. I passed a couple car dealerships and distinctly remember Rod saying he owned one on the way to his house. I wondered which one. I kept walking to a Kroger. Teary eyed, I bought a bottle of water, and calmly asked my cashier if there was a phone I could use because my date had stranded me and I needed a way home. She called her manager—luckily, also a woman—who took me to the employee break room, let me use the phone, and gave me twenty dollars for the cab ride. It ended up being more than that. Life before Uber was tough.
As soon as I got home, I opened my laptop, ready to delete my Seeking Arrangement account forever.
Instead, I noticed I had a new message. From a man named John, in Los Angeles.
I looked at the new shoes I’d bought with Rod’s money—that surprisingly weren’t ruined after walking two miles on the freeway. I looked at the gorgeous Betsey Johnson clutch I’d bought for the night, and the BCBG dress I got on clearance and, finally, at the $100 I still had left because my momma raised me to be cheap.
I messaged him back.
The next day, I bought a spare battery for my phone that I kept charged and in my purse. And just six days after that, I was on my first plane, ever, to LAX.