Saturday, November 19, 2011

If the Grass Is Greener, It Still Needs Mowing...

I am happy to report that my fellow grandmother friend Helena is fully recovered from her physical trauma (bulimia, obsessive exercising, unnecessary surgeries) and her psyche is on the way to complete healing thanks first to God Almighty and a wonderfully compassionate and highly skilled therapist. Having said that, let's move on to the latest scuttlebutt in her life.

Helena is married to a wonderful guy. I've known Stanford Clayton for years and never knew him to be anything else but a stand up kind of guy.  Faithful husband, devoted father and savvy businessman. Helena and Stanford have built a marvelous, almost fairytale like life together. He worked hard and she did too right by his side building the business and raising a lovely family, always being the perfect example of parenthood and grandparenthood. So you are wondering what's up, right?

You guessed right if you thought infidelity. Yes, that ugly word that all couples dread and sometimes manages despite best efforts on the part of the couple to rear its malevolent head into what others perceive as a perfect marriage.

Nothing and nobody is perfect here on this earth. No matter how well a man and his wife get along in their lives apart and together. And that applies to what one partner thinks he/she may want from outside the marriage bed. Time marches on through the years of problem solving, illnesses, financial challenges, buying and selling and buying houses, and various life upgrades, and because life does not come with guarantees stuff  happens. Feelings get side-tracked, they go through progressive changes just like anything else, but when the vows get spoken a covenant is formed and we all know that covenant is meant to be broken only by death.

So now that Helena has bounced back from being two steps from a complete breakdown, she is once again showing a side to her friends we knew nothing about. She began dropping hints about this man whom she had met at the car dealership where she gets her Audi serviced about how attractive he was and how so "professionally" attentive he was to her when she came in. And she mentioned to Bonnie, Claudette and me the other day at the spa that she really didn't see the harm in meeting him for evening cocktails, or a lunch every now and then. I mean girlfriend just came straight out of the gate and told us they had exchanged business cards on her last visit, and he had called her and asked her out for lunch.

Well you can imagine our surprise. I mean my mouth was open in a perfect "O" and she simply laughed at us and called us "naive" think that a man and a woman could not socialize innocently without their spouses being there. She had no second thoughts about what she wanted to do and she merely shrugged when asked how she would handle any unforeseen romantic or physical overtures made on the part of her gentleman friend. She left no doubt in our minds that she was primed for an affair.

Now a lot of us have been in a similar situation where we window shop (so to speak) looking with no intention of buying, and maybe fantasize what it would be like to have a clandestine meeting or two with another man. When we allow ourselves to go there and take up residence there mentally, we conjure up a Prince Charming image and we see ourselves as needing to be rescued from some equally imaginative humdrum life. Then when the situation presents itself and we meet someone however so casually, we tend to fit him into that molded image of perfection and the story unfolds in reality if he shows the slightest bit of interest in us.

Our inner psyche (the part that tells us we need a change to spice up our lives, or that for some reason or reasons we are underappreciated at home) assures us that the perfection we seek is not necessarily of the physical attractiveness kind, but rather more about having a man pay undivided attention to us and shower us with trinkets that we don't really need and compliments we have gotten before over and over from our husbands and significant others. No, this forbidden love takes center stage in our lives and slowly inches out all reason, conscience, and coherent thought from our minds.

We live for the stolen moments we can have under cover of darkness and the hushed and covert phone calls we get. If we could first of all speak with his wife before we embark on this illicit journey of doom we would find out that his socks smell, he leaves skid marks in his underwear, he belches and farts, and he has morning breath just like our own husbands do. We would discover how the grass may be greener on the other side, but it will still need mowing. Perhaps if we could observe unseen him at home with his family (a special tenderness reserved for being with them) we would have second thoughts about interfering in a marriage...perhaps just in time to save two.

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