After Elliot, I snuggled back with hubby spent more time in the office but by 1990, three years after Elliot, on turning forty, I rebelled against being a middle-aged woman.
The children in college no longer needed my cinnamon rolls. I was their past tense mother, the mom who raised them. Now we were all "adults", my position, the one who takes care of holidays and pays household bills.
At the office, I could be replaced by a bookkeeper. My business card title, Office Manager was a misnomer for social secretary. I didn't have a real job and finding one outside of the office made no economic sense with the income the business generated. I was simply an appendage, not necessary for anything. While often accompany hubby on business trips using his frequent flyer miles, I was more often left at home alone.
He had his mistress, the business. Who was I? Only the provider of domestic tranquility. Financially well off, I became a Nordstrom's and Saks' Fifth Avenue attired ornament who spent half a day, once a week at a salon, maintained shoulder-length hair, bathed in bubble baths, applied exotic lotions to keep a supple skin and layered it with expensive French lingerie. I drove an SL500, cream-colored, hardtop Mercedes with a vanity license plate. In short, I was a stereotype rich, bitch, a title that didn’t annoy me.
It kept me from seeing myself as past tense but wasn’t enough to avoid a mid-life crisis; I needed a dramatic statement greater than an orange dress.
After for yearning for larger breasts since seeing Erica’s, I decided the dramatic statement need was an ornament boob job. They went from 34 B to 38 C on a summer afternoon in a plastic surgeon's office with periareolar saline implants, not to be a big boob bimbo, just a notch up, so I told myself. Once the soreness receded, I put on heels and stood naked before my full-length mirror and admired my new shape. I was a boob girl, they looked great.
They needed to be shown off, test-driven, if only Erica could see them. Shopping, I tried different outfits to see how to enhance them, selected bras that promoted them and developed other attire accents which made my presence known. I selected a perfume few wore to announce my presence by smell, wore heels which drew attention by their walking tap, decorated like a Christmas tree with expensive jewelry, and used TV news anchorwomen as dress role models. It was a full middle age life crisis.
The attention my re-fitted appearance garnered ensured I wasn’t a past tense woman. I wanted men to notice my eyes, hair, neck nape, legs, clothes, and breasts, when walking past, entering a building, getting in or out of a car, visual attention, I avoided when young. I smiled thinking of my Pee Che folder concealment when young. Now I wanted to be what was crudely referred to, as the attention whore. It was fun to flirt as a forty-year old woman but only if men flirted back. I made sure they did.
With the enhancement, I was a tad top-heavy. Like a teenager rapidly growing, my enhanced outline bumped into things. With their soreness eased, hubby had his playtime with them. He loved them and his libido response increased to thrice a week. Once my enhanced profile was incorporated into my movements, it was time to see what they could accomplish.
While originally blaming my husband's swinging idea for my unfaithfulness, with Elliot I’d realized I was promiscuous and stopped blame shifting for who I was, a woman addicted to affairs, their excitement, and self-esteem assurance. Affairs were my craved drug stimulant that controlled me. Even while with Elliot, I fantasized about milking three men. When it ended, I knew it was partly because it was time for his replacement.
When with Elliot, I was honest with myself, I craved illicit sex, and accepted I was going to continue being libidinous and seek men’s attention The real reason for my breast augmentation, was not for myself, not for hubby but for men yet to be met. I don't think even hubby believed it was all for him, though he had no objection and encouraged me when I brought up the idea.
I was a sex predator and wanted to experience more men before I was no longer desirable, difficult to admit until the honest realization, I was my father's daughter. The dilemma was not being faithful, it was keeping my addiction hidden. I wanted the sanctuary of marriage and affairs.
Reviewing my past, I realized Edward had almost cost me my marriage. I ‘dstupidly thought my husband's swinging agenda would provide a rationale for his acceptance. Once his jealousy was exposed it was too late to stop seeing Edward. My lies it was over were not entirely convincing. It made my life schizophrenic, in love with two men, one dramatically changing me. More importantly, it remained the elephant in our marriage closet. With the elephant in there, we were not the same couple who married on the church altar. The elephant was never mentioned but we both had to move around it.
Enrico only played a sexual role and was easy to hide with his own need for cover. I ‘d been circumspect with Darryl and Elliot but much of my cover was due to hubby’s preoccupation with business. If discovered, he would have been devastated. Even if we remained married afterward, due to his forgiveness, we would no longer be husband and wife, just two people living together. Like a spy; exposure meant death, the death of our marriage.
I’d learned to compartmentalize two personas, not just physically but in everything and never commingle them. My duality was my reality. I kept separate memories, presents and futures. To be two in one, the two puppet shadow characters couldn’t let the wrong word slip out, had to keep track of what was said and done in each life and keep an escape hatch answer if questioned for a discrepancy.
My secret puppet shadow was unsuspected unless there was a run or a rend in the silken screen behind which she played. I needed ensure there was no screen tear.
I’d gambled and won but made unwise bets. I’d kept physical contact with, Enrico, Darryl, and Elliot limited unless there was a cover excuse; unlike I’d foolishly failed to do with Edward. Still, there were errors. The members of the shattered “Affairs Circle” knew too much. Rumors could spin out from the fallen. Elliot could confide about me to one of his hens or trophy conquests who would then spread the word. Darryl’s new love could come out in spite to haunt me.
Time was my friend as my past mistakes drifted into the dream world of memory and out of collective consciousness. Previous infidelity was covered by lies on the wing as they occurred because I failed to recognize who I was. Luck had always protected me in a pinch. I couldn’t rely on luck in the future.
I accept who I am. I’m a married woman who wants to be married to hubby who I love and admire and must not hurt.
I’m addicted to the excitement, intrigue, sexual attention of adultery.
I’ll cheat, let events unfold, and take advantage as what opportunity presents. I’ll carefully manage my secret puppet shadow in a secured stealth mode and be a professional cheater.
With mental enlightenment of who I was and enhanced physical assets, I looked forward to the rest of my life.
Author Notes: With middle age crisis also comes the realization it is her and only her who is to blame for her wantonness.
Accepting herself she understands she needs stealth to keep her marriage.