Like Solomon Said, It’s All Vanity

From my research of the literature on extramarital affairs [and, trust me, I’ve done a lot of research on the subject!], I’ve learned that physical attractiveness is rarely the primary factor that motivates someone to have an affair. It’s usually about how the affair partner makes the cheater feel about himself or herself that is the root cause.

In other words, the attention and excitement from a shiny and new person provides a bolus of narcissistic dope that the majority of narcissistic cheaters find irresistible.

So, How Is This Humorous, You Might Be Wondering?

Frankly it tickles my funny bone that most of us [myself included!] automatically ‘assume’ that a woman/man who broke up someone else’s marriage had to have been some female blonde bombshell or a hunky male Adonis with a six-pack. That’s rarely the case.

As a matter of fact, the majority of cheaters are considered by onlookers to have ‘affaired down’—at least where physical attractiveness is concerned. Put even more simply, a lot cheaters become involved with someone not even as physically attractive as their current spouses. Go figure. [Case in point, Tiger Woods and Jesse James. No one would say that Elin Nordengren or Sandra Bullock howl at the moon, now would they?]

Hey Old Friend! Nice To Hear From You. How’ve You Been?

Something happened to me not long ago that illustrated that point—causing me to acknowledge the vanity of my own mind—as well as the illustrating the ridiculousness of my pre-programmed imagination. One evening I received a pleasant and unexpected call from a male friend of the family. He and I had not spoken for decades.

This young man is the brother of a friend of mine back in middle school. Our mothers were friends and this girlfriend and I often had sleepovers at each other’s homes. My friend’s brother was several years our junior, so he was essentially like a little brother to me.

So—as old friends who haven’t seen each other in years will do—he and I spent several hours on the phone catching up. We shared our stories, each detailing the chronology of what we’d both been up to since we’d last seen each other. ‘”Where’s so-and-so now?” … “Whatever happened to whats-her-name?”…  “Oh that’s terrible. When did your mom/dad pass away?” etc.

At the end of our nice long conversation, we agreed that we’d both send pictures via text messages. neither of us maintain social media profiles, being of the mindset that if people want to know what’s going on then they can pick the phone and call or send an email.

Picture This

So, in keeping with our promises, I was the first to comply—sending several pictures. Each one represented a different period of my life. And—never having been one to resist a good gag—for grins and giggles, the last picture I attached was one of a woman standing by a boat—captioned ‘the woman my husband left me for‘.

I need to take a moment to explain that the appearance of the woman in this picture surprises [shocks] nearly everyone who sees it for the first time. Numerous people have gasped and furrow their brow as they saw her—surprised by her manly-looking stance, stern facial expression, and overall harsh countenance. Several have even said: “Who is this? Your ex’s husband’s mother?” [Ironically, she really does resemble his mother—a lot.]

Hold The Phone

Now before anyone jumps to conclusions and starts high-fiving me, thinking this is some sort of ‘Other Woman’ put-down, let me say it is NOT. One time, a waitress asked my husband if ‘I’ was his mother when we out dining at a restaurant. So, I am definitely not throwing stones.

In any event, after my little buddy reviewed the various pictures that I’d sent him, he quickly sent me back a series of texts … saying how nice it had been talking to me … how it seemed just like old times … etc. In one text, he was sweet and added that despite all the jokes we shared about our wrinkles, bags, and grey hair—he thought I’d aged ‘gracefully’.

His last text—in his usual humorous way—he told me that he would be sending me a photo of him, ONLY if I promised I would not use his picture to ‘scare little children’ in the neighborhood.

His sense of humor is one of the things that I absolutely adore about him. It makes our conversations so much fun. Our interactions are always so light and breezy. We both effortlessly play off the other’s quick wit. And once we get on a roll, we’re a bit like Laurel and Hardy—never able to figure out who’s on first.

So, as I was still in the process of reading his first set of text messages, I heard another text tone. A final text had arrived separately—apparently an afterthought—a P.S.

When I opened that message, it simply said: “Oh yeah, by the way …  ‘Nice boat’.

A Man Of Few Words

I howled with laughter! With just those two words [‘nice boat’]  I knew exactly what my buddy meant. I also intuitively knew why he’d said what he had said—and why he said it in that manner. Bless his little raised-in-church-and-always-mannerly heart; my old friend found a way to make an editorial comment—all without actually making one!

Like the rest of us [myself included]—he too had been surprised that this was the woman that my ex had chosen to Control+Alt+Delete three decades of his life for.

Disclaimer: I am NOT insinuating that my buddy and/or I look any better than this woman—because we certainly do not!  As a matter of fact, he the same age as this woman. I am four years older. We too, have the same age-related imperfections: … wrinkles … dark puffy bags under the eyes … sags and bags … and the like.

Back At Ya

What can I say? As we learn in anatomy and physiology class, knee-jerk reactions do not go to the brain for interpretation; they just happen. So when I saw my little buddy’s short and politically-correct editorial reply, my humor monkey jumped into action—and from that point it was on!

With lightning speed, I texted him back. [FYI: To get the references, keep in mind that my runaway ex and my old friend both have IT backgrounds.]

This was my reply:

    • I know, right?… (Man rubbing his chin)
    • Hmmm … Decisions … Stay with current wife? … Or leave her for Other Woman with access to a boat? …
    • Thinking …
    • Loading choices into RAM  ….
    • Please wait …
    • BSOD (Blue Screen  Of Death) …
    • Windows encountered an unknown error …
    • Checking Disk …
    • Control-Alt-Delete …
    • Rebooting system …
    • Please wait ….
    • Please wait …
    • Please wait …
    • Control-Alt-Delete …
    • Rebooting System …
    • Please wait …
    • Please wait …
    • Please wait …
    • Cannot load operating system …
    • Drive not found …
    • Please insert key and start boat motor.

The Pot Can’t Call The Kettle Black

By now, it should be abundantly clear that my friend and I were not making fun of The Other Woman’s looks. As I said, I don’t look any better and I am about to prove it.

Not to pat myself on the back, but many people have told me that they think I’m very photogenic. Well, when the word got out on the street that my husband had left me and I was single again, I was approached by a local magazine about doing a photo shoot. [Okay, it was a senior citizen’s rag … Okay, it was a fiber supplement ad … But hey, it was an offer and our options get rather limited after we pass age 60.] In any event, they were looking for ‘mature’ women who considered themselves to be a bit avante garde and who pride themselves on having ‘aged gracefully’—as my friend had said about me.

My immediate response was “Put down the Ensure frappe’ honey and call me a cab!”

Say Cheese, Baby Cakes

Enthusiasm aside, a lady must maintain he dignity, so I told the magazine—in no uncertain terms!—that at my age, I was not [!] about to put on any of those modern skimpy clothes—nor was I about to do any of those cheesecake type photos. My rules were that if I would consider doing the photo shoot only if I could wear my long skirt and sensible shoes.  They were ‘down with that’, so off I trotted to the photo shoot.

I’ll circle around and end this somewhat long post right here and now by saying that with all this talk about aging, wrinkles, bags, and startling photos that make people gasp, I thought it might be fitting to insert my own gasp-worthy proof from that photo shoot to illustrate the fact that I certainly don’t look any better than my ex husband’s New Floozie—now new wifey.

But, as you look at my un-retouched photo, I’d like you to remember, like the L’Oreal commercial used to say, “Don’t Hate Me Cause I’m Beautiful. Okay?’

Come On Folks!

Lighten up! It’s humor. Sometimes you just gotta laugh … And with that in mind, here’s a relevant musical backdrop for the occasion.

If you want to be happy for the rest of your life
Never make a pretty woman your wife
So for my personal point of view, get an ugly girl to marry you
If you want to be happy for the rest of your life
Never make a pretty woman your wife
So for my personal point of view get an ugly girl to marry you

A pretty woman makes her husband look small
And very often causes his downfall
As soon as he marries her and then she starts
To do the things that will break his heart
But if you make an ugly woman your wife
A-you’ll be happy for the rest of your life
An ug-a-ly woman cooks meals on time
She’ll always give you peace of mind

If you want to be happy for the rest of your life
Never make a pretty woman your wife
So for my personal point of view
Get an ugly girl to marry you

Don’t let your friends say you have no taste
Go ahead and marry anyway
Though her face is ugly, her eyes don’t match
Take it from me, she’s a better catch

If you want to be happy for the rest of your life
Never make a pretty woman your wife
So for my personal point of view
Get an ugly girl to marry you

Say man! Hey baby! I saw your wife the other day!
Yeah? Yeah, an’ she’s ugly!
Yeah, she’s ugly, but she sure can cook, baby!
Yeah, alright!

If you want to be happy for the rest of your life
Never make a pretty woman your wife
So for my personal point of view
Get an ugly girl to marry you

If you want to be happy for the rest of your life
Never make a pretty woman your wife
So for my personal point of view
Get an ugly girl to marry you