The following story is true. All names have been altered to protect the guilty.
Through their mother, my kids are 1/32 Lenape. They once qualified for a Native American Heritage class, although the kids with far larger Native ancestry genetics didn’t make them feel welcome. One of the interesting things I learned about from their class materials was that when a Lenape couple decided that they could live together no longer, one would put the other’s belongings outside the residence. No public fights, no divorce lawyers; a nice clean break – and everyone knew it.
We’ve frequently discussed the problems men especially face from the divorce industry, so I shouldn’t have to explain in detail why many men aren’t in a big hurry to initiate proceedings. But if the Lenape separation practice were the norm in the Land of the White Eyes, would it happen more often? I suspect so!
Like most co-workers everywhere, at my place of employment we discuss our relationship issues to a limited degree. For instance, one co-worker constantly harps about how his wife is a non-stop chatterbox. Is it just a coincidence he’s literally going deaf? Another started up a relationship with a debt-swamped neighbor after his bipolar wife tried swan-diving off the top of a tall building while he was at work. A third lives with a retired chain-smoking television addict who suffers from migraines, and yet expects her severely diabetic husband to go buy her cigarettes so she doesn’t miss her shows.
You now know as much about their relationships as I do. It’s just enough for male acquaintance bonding purposes. Their knowledge of my relationship issues is about as limited as my representations to you about theirs, and you regulars know more than they do about mine if you’ve regularly read my posts during my tenure here at Spawny’s.
Just days ago, another co-worker (I’ll call him Joe) shared with me his recent developments. Joe’s never been very expressive about his domestic arrangement, yet he tells me that his youngest of three offspring finally started her own life away from the natal nest.
Like many fathers, this would be a notable achievement in itself, considering how many offspring never make the leap to living away from the parentals (as three of my own have yet to do). Like many fathers, he expected that his wife would return to seeing only him in her life, and want to restart the honeymoon (as too many television commercials hint at while trying to sell you Viagra and other such “necessities” for a “happy” marriage).
What connubial bliss they once had has evaporated into the Great California Drought. Joe says (and I take him at his word) that he hasn’t gotten any sex in months despite frequent attempts, and he’s beginning to think he never will again – at least with her. He announced, “I can’t even remember the last time I had sex.” His attitude was that if she wasn’t going to be part of his life, he’d get one going without her if he got the chance.
What he’s done was to join three different party bands so that he’s too busy on weekends to do much with her when off work, and she’s apparently OK with this growing distance between them. None of these bands play very often. But as anyone who’s ever done this knows, you can attract female interest just as if “You’re So Professional, Howie….[like] Robert Planet and Elton John and all those big guys” (see: The Mothers Live At Fillmore East at about 23:00, or listen to Do You Like My New Car if you don’t want to listen to the entire show. Just be aware it’s a bit risqué. Actually, it’s a LOT risqué! Don’t complain I didn’t warn you!!!). Joe hasn’t said if he’s been hit on at these gigs yet, but my experiences remind me that it can happen, and probably will sooner or later. Based on the following, I suspect it already has.
So Joe asks me point-blank: “If you had a chance to get some strange, would you? I mean, without ending your existing relationship?”
This caught me short. As I was driving to a job site at the time, I had to focus on that as well. “What makes you think I know anything about that situation?” I replied, stalling for time to think about this.
“Hypothetically,” he answers.
We had arrived at the job site, and attended to our assigned tasks. Once completed, as we were returning to our base of operations, I brought up his question.
“Regarding your earlier questions: were I in your shoes, I’d be most concerned about my privacy. No Facebook, no Tweets, no pictures spread across the Internet or emailed to all her friends, no awkward intrusions into my life. I would have to trust that my home life was completely separate from my interaction with her, and that she would be OK with honoring the boundaries of my separate life without her. Otherwise, it’s a no-go.”
This must have gotten him thinking, for that was the end of the conversation – at least for the moment.
So what do you all think?
I’ve been having Internet equipment problems lately. This particular connection is being made on old equipment which may not last long. So if I don’t soon respond to comments, it’s not because I don’t want to.