A couple of time stressed weeks passed while I let Edward call again and again as my marriage vows eroded. I blame shifted my guilt of taking Edward’s calls to hubby’s faults. At our workday breakfasts, I was sullen, created issues, and got cross over little things. We argued in the little time we had together when we never did before. Hubby hadn’t changed, I had. My comparing him to Edward unfavorably provided excuses to take Edward’s calls and meet him again.
After each phone call the desire to meet Edward again built until it was uncontainable. He asked me to go for a ride in his Porsche. I suggested we meet again for lunch, afraid to be alone with him in his car. He responded by requesting a date, a real date of us together.
“Let’s meet and Saturday night and have dinner at Michael's. It’s a French seafood restaurant in Sunnyvale on the El Camino Real. Next door is a movie theater. We can also take in the movie Chinatown. I want to see it. Saturday evening’s the only night I get off.”
I blurted out.
“Okay, I know where it is, what time?”
“Seven thirty so we can eat and catch the eight thirty movie time.”
“I’ll be there.”
“Wonderful, I can’t wait to see your beautiful face again.”
He hung up.
Too late, I’d committed myself. Saturday evening was a difficult time for me. No shopping excuse would work. With desire to meet him out of control I’d still said yes. As I set the phone down panic of how to meet swept me. Then resolve set it. I’d scheme an excuse, even if weak. Seeing him again Saturday night swept away thoughts of family and their betrayal.
On Saturday afternoon, my feeble plan, concocted in desperation, for the evening’s escape was implemented. Household duties completed, a family meal prepared, I announced I was dining out and seeing a movie with friends from work. Hubby taken aback wanted to know why, where and with who. I retorted.
“Patty and a gay guy at work. They want to see the movie Chinatown. During work they were talking about it and asked me to come too. We’re going to eat first. 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 just told you, a guy from work, a gay nerd. Looks weird, suffers from acne, girls make fun of him. He asked us to see the movie. We agreed if 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. You wanted to go swinging. Now you’re 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 of my lie. 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’d be jealous if we went swinging.
In justification, I thought about his swing agenda.
I don’t want to be a group grope toy. I’m going on a date with a man I want to see, one who appreciates me. Hubby isn’t jealous, he only wants to barter me.
The latter upset me the most because it meant he took me for granted. While upsetting, it also provided guilt relief. I’d show him I was not to be taken for granted. Another wanted me. Someone who thought me beautiful.
Hubby watched intently while I dressed. I donned Edward’s dress, strapped on his shoes, and put on the dangling earrings. He observed I kept my wedding ring on. I taunted him by waving my ring hand before his stare, as if he were 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 on me. 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 movie with Patty and a gay nerd meant he was irrationally jealous, and he should forget swinging due because of it, a last blame shifting response. 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 my being back by 10 avoided possibility of 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 more guilt on him for my betrayal 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 waterbed 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.
That Saturday night opened a new world. 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 One 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 drinking too much. When asked if I’d had sex with another I responded.
"What an insult. I didn’t want him to touch me let alone have sex with him!"
This caused me to remember the condoms and Michael’s matchbook memento in my purse. In the bathroom I sneaked the little condom package back in the medicine cabinet, pleased I didn’t need to cover for a missing one and then hid the matchbook next to my diary.
His inquiries abated on our weekday morning and afternoon kids' handoffs. I bought a fish tank for the family room, got some guppies and a little frog, convinced my husband to comb his hair straight back and bought him boxer trunk underwear.
During the week Edward asked me to go bowling on Saturday night. I had to establish a “girl’s night out” routine for cover and concocted a better excuse. 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, and 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 the Sunnyvale Bowling Alley. The car surged with power, leaped forward or suddenly slowed each time I fondled the gas, clutch, and brake pedals as I glided the shift knob to different 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 to my responses.
I showered but kept my hair dry and returned home with a 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 am I doing driving home at One AM after seeing another? Why am I doing this. I’m ashamed.
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. I lied to myself by saying I was only doing what he wanted, swinging with another man. My only infidelity was not letting him swing too.
Author Notes: Infidelity starts to stress her marriage.