I let Edward call again and again as my marriage vows eroded as a couple of time stressed weeks passed. During them, hubby and I argued during the little time we had together when we never did before. At our workday breakfasts, I was sullen, created issues, and got cross over little things. I blame shifted guilt of Edward’s calls. Hubby had not changed, I had. I compared him to Edward, unfavorably to provide excuses to take Edward’s calls and meet him again.
He asked me to go for a ride in his Porsche, but I was afraid to be alone with him in his car. After each phone call, however, the desire to see meet again built up until it was uncontainable. During a noon call, I suggested we meet again for lunch. Instead, he suggested dinner at Michael's, a French seafood restaurant in Sunnyvale. It had a theater next door and we could also take in the movie Chinatown he wanted to see. It had to be a Saturday evening, his only night off.
Meeting on Saturday evening was difficult for me. No shopping excuse would work. With desire to meet him out of control I still said yes. As I set the phone down, I resolved to scheme up an excuse even if weakly contrived, my thinking only of Saturday night.
On Saturday afternoon, my concocted, feeble plan for an evening’s escape was implemented. Household duties completed, a family meal prepared, I announced I was eating out. Hubby taken aback wanted to know why, where and with who. I retorted.
“Just a couple from work. Patty and a gay guy at work who wants to see the movie Chinatown. We’re just friends. Are you jealous? It’s just dinner and a movie. I can go, can’t I?”
I pretended to seek his approval but was going with or without it. Confused and unsure, he asked.
"Who is he?"
I knew to provide true distraction details.
"I just told you, a guy from work, a gay nerd. Looks weird, suffers from acne, girls make fun of him. Patty and I met him at the Mall. He asked us to see the movie. We agreed, as long as he pays. No one’s nice to him. I pity him.”
There was a guy at work who fit my lie but I didn't talk to him either. Patty was a girl at work who would lie to back me up.
“You want me to be sociable so I am. His name’s Randy, Randy the Gay Dandy the girls tease. You wanted to go swinging. Now you get jealous over nothing, me seeing a movie with friends from work."
"Who is he?"
It was time to confront. More detail could result in a trip up. In a terse tone, as if to start an argument, I replied.
"You’re jealous as expected. Well, I'm going! It's too late to call and change everything It’s just dinner and a movie!"
"Be back by 10."
He was avoiding an argument but also assumed my going might promote a second swinging attempt. It never occurred to him, I would be jealous if we went swinging, I didn’t want to be a grope toy, or I was going on a date with a man. The latter upset me the most because it meant he took me for granted. Wile upsetting, it also provided guilt relief. I’d show him I was not to be taken for granted and another wanted me.
He watched intently while I dressed. I donned the silken dress, strapped on the shoes and put on the dangling earrings Edward bought. He observed I kept my wedding ring on. I taunted him by waving my hand before his stare, as if he was ridiculously suspicious.
As I tilted my head to hook an earring in an ear lobe hole, he asked.
“Where are you going for dinner?’
“Denny’s, it’s Dutch treat, except for the movie.”
I said Denny's to keep him from barging into Michael’s to create a drama scene and said it was Dutch treat to belie possible suspicion it was a date. He had to take care of the kids but might still do something rash and take them to Denney’s to check up. If he did, I’d say it was the Sunnyvale Denny’s, not Mountain View’s, smug with the cleverness of my expanding lies.
Setting my previously prepared dinner on the kitchen table for him and the kids, in coded words the kids wouldn't understand, I reiterated his questioning my seeing a gay nerd meant he was irrationally jealous. I said I was going and he should forget swinging due to his irrational jealousy. This deflection kept him quiet, but he insisted on my being home by 10, his way of accepting defeat. With his conditional surrender, I agreed by saying, “yes, yes.” knowing back by 10 avoided sex. I was pleased with my lies.
Before leaving, I returned to the bedroom bathroom, opened the vanity, took the condom package he’d bought for his swinging fiasco and hid it in my purse. Back in the kitchen, I repeated my lies to confirm them and dump guilt for my betrayal on to him.
“It’s only Denny’s, a movie and back by 10. I’m glad you’re jealous. I assumed you didn’t care.”
I kissed him bye, opened the garage door and got in my white banana station wagon. He watched from the kitchen window as I backed out onto the street, the car the best evidence of innocent intent.
At 10 PM, I’d tersely phoned from the theater and said I’d be late as I was going to have a glass of wine with Patty and hung up before he could protest.
After an elegant dinner at Michael’s, a movie and torrid sex on a water bed with someone I was afraid until that night to ride alone with, I returned home to the only man, up until then, I knew intimately, a man I felt safe with but was now afraid to confront.
The night with Edward opened a new world but one I was afraid would destroy my existing one. I was in love with another man, a man who maybe loved me but would never marry me. Now I had a husband to face. When I entered the house past 1 AM, he was waiting in the kitchen as I exited the garage. My hair was rumpled and damp from the shower at Edward’s. I couldn’t look at him. It was obvious.
He asked accusingly.
"What happened, why are you so late?"
Looking down at the kitchen floor, I replied ambiguously.
"You asked me to socialize, I did! Now you're jealous! What do you want?"
Then I remembered Dad’s advice on lying.
Never look away. Keep it simple, something he’ll believe. Add something he knows is true.
I looked up directly into his eyes.
“I had too much wine with Patty. That’s why I’m late.”
Terrified of his reaction, I awaited his response, head tilted to one side, looked directly at him, ready to accept screaming, perhaps a blow. Instead of yelling or hitting me, he led me to the bedroom, stripped me and threw me on the bed.
Naked, I lay back and let him have it. Warmth flowed over me as he thrust in and out and kissed passionately. Things were turning out okay, spousal rape an acceptable penance. As he climaxed, I lifted my pelvis to assist. As his semen, sans sperm, spewed into me, I was still his wife.
We rolled apart and I went into a deep sleep. In the morning, he again hopped on me, finished in a frenzy of ownership declaration then grilled me after his deflation. I avoided answers as best I could, talked about an imaginary book discussed, suggested we see the movie, told him the name of the wine we drank and let him fill in the blanks. After grilling, I admitted to a cheek peck kiss on departure which shocked both Patty and me. As a result, I’d never see him for a movie again. When asked if we used a condom, I replied.
"What an insult. I didn’t want him to touch me let alone cheek kiss me. If we were going to do it, I would but didn’t because we didn’t!"
This caused me to remember the condoms and Michael’s matchbook memento in my purse. I pretended to use the bathroom and put the little packet back, pleased I didn’t need to cover for a missing one and then hide the matchbook next to my diary.
The next week, I bought a fish tank for the family room, got some guppies and a little frog and convinced my husband to comb his hair straight back. His inquiries abated in our morning and afternoon kids' handoffs.
I had to re-establish a “girl’s night out” routine for cover. The next Saturday morning I casually said the girls at work wanted me to go bowling and asked if that was okay. He had no objection but I didn’t tell him when. After dinner, I announced I was going bowling. We argued but I reminded him I’d already told him he’d agreed to my bowling with girls from work. Again, he watched from the kitchen window as I hurriedly backed the car out. I was out of control.
At Edward's, I finally rode in a Porsche. Learning I could shift gears, Edward let me drive to Sunnyvale Bowling Alley. The car surged with power, leaped forward or slowed each time I fondled the gas pedal, floor clutch, shift knob and changed gears, the Holy Trinity on steroids. The sharp turns swayed our bodies. In the bucket seats, my mini dress rode up my thighs as my pumps worked the floor pedals. The car reeked sex. I loved it. It made me wet.
Why bowl? Let’s race back and hump on the bed. God, I love shifting these gears, even downshifting.
He was a good bowler and tried to improve my game but to no avail. I enjoyed his holding me to guide my arm but was nervous about being caught seen with him. I glanced about but recognized no one. Despite the unease of being seen with him, I became at ease being with him.
After bowling, he introduced me to sushi and sake at a Japanese restaurant. At his apartment, after a glass of pinot wine, I led him to the bedroom, undressed him and had him lay on the bed, face up. His penis stood erect, straight out, like the Poersch gear shift. I mounted him, rode him as my Poersch. He flipped me over and we finished together, me a bucket seat as he shifted gears.
I showered but kept my hair dry and returned home with a full goodbye kiss at my car door. He squeezed my buttocks and opened the door for me. Driving home on the El Camino Real in my domestic white banana, I felt elated yet guilty. I still wanted family and the safety of home. What was I doing driving home at 1 AM after seeing another?
At home, the grilling began but I deflected with innocent admission details such as having eaten sushi but with the "girls". His inquiry soon ended as I was led again to bed for sex and then left alone to sleep. When I awoke late Sunday morning, I realized it was too late to visit our parents. Edward was already disrupting my family pattern.
It was okay. I was in love, so I thought. We never went swinging. Well, I did but my husband didn't.
Author Notes: Infidelity starts to stress her marriage.