So I’ve waited two hours past the time I originally wanted to post this, in order to see if I REALLY wanted to post this. It turns out, I do – so thank goodness this blog is sometimes, occasionally, about marriage. Be warned – if you don’t want to hopelessly indulge me on this topic you might want to skip this post and turn to any of the many, many intelligent and thought-provoking links on my blogroll before I get all Jerry Springer on you, here, with today’s topic: Does this woman want my husband?
So when S. started his new job he returned to a place he’d previously worked (he works for a university and basically, he moved to a different department on a different part of campus). Upon returning to said campus he also returned to a bunch of old co-workers. One particularly co-worker, we’ll call her U., lives in our neighborhood and on more than one occasion we’ve met up with her for dinner and/or happy hour. She’s divorced, with two little boys, and she’s 13 years older than we are. ANYWAY, S. now has to work regularly with U. – U., we’ve surmised, as a cash-strapped single mother, is lonely, without a lot of friends, but she’s charming and enjoyable and we like her company. Well, since S. returned to work, U. has decided they should meet for happy hour every single Friday afternoon. S. was fine with this and, since I’m such a cool wife, secure in her marriage, I was too. I am always invited to attend said happy hour but I work in a different town and I work much later hours than they do so this invitation is formal, the kind of thing that should be said and not based in reality at all. So, no big deal, S. and U. work together and have happy hour once a week. Fine. Well, sloooooowly U. is corrupting said happy hour. One time she needed S. to watch her kids while she ran her baby sitter home – the upshot of which is her little boys now adore S. and want him over to play with them. We will be spending all day Saturday with her at an university function, which is cool, but she wanted to meet S. for drinks tonight to celebrate receiving an award for something or other. To his credit, S. recognizes the, um, weirdness of this and didn’t go, but I have to say I had to act pretty bitchy to get to that point. Now, this is one of those proverbial situations where I really do trust S. , and I want him to feel free to hang out with his co-workers, but quite frankly I don’t trust her. Is this unsisterly? Unfeminist? Is it such a reach to think this single-mom-of-two has perhaps ever so slightly fallen for my handsome, witty, about to graduate from law school husband? I hate being one of those women who doesn’t trust another woman, but quite honestly I can’t imagine any scenario in which I would clamour for so much time with another woman’s husband. S. sees her as simply a lonely mom desperately needing adult conversation. As much as I would like to agree with him, my gut tells me not to, that this situation is just bad. Am I being ungenerous? Am I underestimating the isolation this (really very lovely) woman is experiencing? Or was I right to roll my eyes dramatically and behave all passive-aggressive like until S. caved on meeting U. this evening and instead offered to take me to dinner?
I just don’t know. These are the kinds of situations that make me laugh when single people talk about how much happier they would be if they were married. Marriage, I’m convinced, can turn you right into the person your nineteen-year-old self swore you’d never be, and it can make you feel, yuck, just bad. This is probably why so many couples get divorced – society has us so convinced marriage is supposed only to make us happy, and there are times where that’s just not even remotely possible, and we have to do things like compromise and find solutions and talk things out.
As for me, I’m not rushing towards divorce or even some little yellow pills, but I wouldn’t mind beating on U., just a bit.