The two article splash (July 8) on this very page about affairs left me postively aquiver, not with outrage or passion, but with chagrin that here was another social trend of which I was not even aware.
The statistics staggered me: "40 to 50 percent of wives said to have an affair by age 40." Goodness (poor word choice for this subject?), I've missed another deadline. Perhaps the public-service-minded Washington Post has clued me in before anyone notices my gaffe, but I feel inadequate to correct the situation.
For one thing, the articles pointed up the ready availability of possible "affairees": "Affairs can happen anywhere . . . between family friends and neighbors . . . over a cup of coffee at work, on an out-of-town trip, with a former flame not forgotten, with your doctor, lawyer or other conforting counselor."
I presume, although it's not stated in the article, that all these possibles are attractive enough to fall for. But it doesn't happen that way with the men who casually cross my life.
My exterminator kills bugs that are better looking than he is, my butcher suffers from advanced pork belly, my plumber's looks went down the drain years ago, my accountant's personality is taxing and the last telephone repairman who showed up was a woman.
But what would I do if some real dreamboat (there's a clue I'm 40) appeared on my horizon? Would I succumb to the double whammy of his charm and my peer pressure? Of course not! The whole idea is ludicrous.
Before you heap accolades of moral praise upon my head and ask me to design a new "A" for Hester Prynne, let me be utterly honest. Moral issues and social issues aside, one thruth shines clearly to illuminate this murky question and that is this: any woman who is still trying to get out last year's Christmas cards is simply not organized enough to have an affair.
The articles stated clearly: "Because most were actively involved in other aspects of their lives -- career, school, family -- they met with their lovers only once a week, or less."
Once a week! I'm not sure I could manage once a month and even that would be pushing during soccer season when I'm carpooling. Maybe once a year would be a resonable goal. Perhaps between fits of passion he could help me get the Christmas cards finsihed. Yes, I could get two annual tasks out of the way at once.
But is it easy to find an arrangement like that? The situation is so unusual that it was used as a basis for a hit play. I tend to think that's the only place such a guy exists.
Even if such a creature did exist, I'd probably forget even our once a year appointment. I can't remember my dental checkup unless the nurse calls to remind me. It would be too insulting to ask my affairee to call and say, "Hey, don't forget our fling again this year." And goodness knows (or doesn't), I can't stick a big reminder about THAT up on the refrigerator.
So there it is: I'm a social failure. I confess that I have nothing to confess. If this means my friends drop me, so be it. If they can't respect me for being respectable, let them look elsewhere for companionship. I don't care. I figure it's no affair of mine.