We’ve all been through it. Break-ups and infidelity.
At first it’s hard to take in. You’ve got the job, you’re winning awards, you’re happy. You had no idea your husband or boyfriend would ever cheat on you. He loves you so much. He never looks at another woman, ever.
Then it happens. It’s sometimes a midlife thing. It starts in one’s thirties, a doctor once told me. You can read some statistics about infidelity at The Huffington Post. According to data in The Normal Bar, a study of romantic relationships by Chrisanna Northrup, Pepper Schwartz, and James Witte, 33% of men and 19% of women said they were unfaithful.
I know the scenarios. He sleeps with that woman in the office. Or maybe he has an affair with that very good friend of yours who kept bringing food to the house while you were ill.
Someone always tells you, and you deal with it in different ways at different times of life. When you’re young you lose your looks because you cry all the time, sometimes for months. And then you get divorced and all the single guys are either 20 or 80. All the married men suddenly want to go out with you. No, no, and no.
My cousin was in love with a man who cheated on her. Now she’s alone.
Booze no longer allows her to sleep.
I tell her to go to a doctor and get antidepressants or Ambien, anything to help her sleep. When she sleeps, she’ll feel better. Sleep can be her new lover.
I tell her my stories.
I threw a bagel at him. He ducked. It was a lot like the time Bush ducked the shoe.
I double-locked the door and told him to go to a motel.
I flew to Veracruz.
Twice divorced, and of course I’m MARRIED. These experiences are a part of life.
She pulls out an adult education schedule. She wants me to take a “Knitting for Couples” class with her.
It’s a class where you work on a knitting project with another person. You decide what you want to knit, maybe a big blanket or an ottoman, and you have eight weeks to knit it. It’s supposed to be therapeutic. You learn how to work together, and you talk about it in class.
I will do anything I can to get out of a knitting class, so I tell her, “We’re not a couple.”
“I checked on that. She said I could bring a friend.”
I only like adult ed when I’m the teacher. I took a knitting class and learned nothing because I couldn’t see the teacher. (I needed new glasses). I taught an adult ed Latin class for a while, and it was fun, a nice group, and most of them obviously wanted to meet people, so I tried to structure things accordingly.
I know that this Knitting for Couples isn’t a good idea for her. She needs to take something with people who aren’t in couples.
Maybe a cooking class. Didn’t I see that in Hereafter? (But it didn’t work out for Matt Damon.)
My cousin is used to getting her way, but she doesn’t seem too surprised when I say no.
“Maybe I’ll get him back,” she says.
I’m so glad I didn’t trash him, because maybe she will.
Anyway, I don’t have to take the knitting class.