Photo: zoetnet, flickr
Howard Brandt isn’t exactly the man of most women’s dreams. While his 5’6” tall and roughly 305 pound frame often compels a second look from the opposite sex, it’s generally followed by stifled laughter or a suppressed gag reflex.
“I’ve got a lot to offer,” he says, wiping a light beading sweat from his brow as we sit idle at room temperature. “I just needed to find ‘The One,’ you know. Someone who loves me just for me. And I did.”
Absentmindedly tugging at the prominent, button-like mole on his cheek, Howard explains his rise through management over the last decade, into the senior executive ranks, and the curious parallel increase in his dating life.
“Now that I’m middle-aged, I’m a helluva good provider,” he continues. “With six figures, a hefty bonus incentive program and a generous pension, I’m the kind of guy a smart woman would latch onto for the long haul.”
His 24-year-old fiancee, Brenda Wilcox, who measures in at 5’9” and 121 pounds, pats his hand cheerfully before wrapping both arms back around her torso. “Yes, that’s my Howie! And he’s got such a wicked sense of humour.”
Psychologist Debi Burkholder describes this phenomenon as rare but not unheard of. “Yes, opposites can attract. Yes, love can be blind, but often it’s to more subtle incompatibilities: fundamental beliefs, personal values, divergent goals. In this case, I’d say love is experiencing a rather alarming degree of sensory impairment.”
“Don’t think we haven’t discussed it,” Brandt states. “As much of a catch as I may be, I wondered why she’d be attracted to a much older guy. But it’s nothing to do with the money.”
Wilcox, who separated from her second husband at 22, agrees. “Absolutely nothing to do with the money. We’re definitely soulmates. Cut from the same cloth.”
Asked about their physical compatibility, Brandt laughs. “Well just look at her. I definitely foresee a healthy relationship in that department, but we’ve decided to wait until after the wedding.”
“I’m a born-again born-again virgin,” Wilcox explains. “Howie’s been such a darling in understanding.”
“For true love like this, it’s worth the wait,” Brandt grins.