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Love and Tears – And So It Begins

It takes a minute to have a crush on someone… an hour to like someone… a day to love someone… but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.

Allow me to relate a story about two special women in my life. One is the one I am still married to, after more than two decades. The other is the woman I had an affair with. I’m going to call her Joanne. She knows who she is, but it would be highly indiscreet to name names. 

What is it with this 25 year syndrome? It seems that 7 years is a turning point in most marriages. It was in mine… and we made it through it. It was incredibly difficult at times. It also seems that 25 years is another turning point.

It’s easy to love someone. We all love more than one person at a time. Everybody does. But, to “be in love” is completely different.

When I was 20 years old, I had a friend who was the distant object of my affection. I was in love with her. I just didn’t have the nerve to tell her. We went out a few times, and were very close friends… and I suspect that’s how she felt about it. She wound up marrying someone else, and I was crushed (from a distance).

I allowed this to get inside my head and stir things up for several years. And, just about the time I had come to the gross realization that I wasn’t ever going to see her again I met this really great gal. We had the same political interests, social interests, and likes/dislikes… pretty much, anyway. Suffice to say, we had a great deal in common. And, like most of our friends at the time, we wound up getting married.

The seven year itch

My wife got it. I had it, but didn’t scratch it. She scratched. Big time. With two of my friends, and three others as well. I’ll never forget the day she came home from work with a book about adultery. I think the title (rather long) went something like this: ‘Civilized Adultery: A modern couple’s guide to extramarital adventure.’

It was pretty good at addressing issues of discretion, basic rules of having an affair, why you should or shouldn’t tell your spouse. Anyway, I think my wife used it to ‘break me in’ to the fact that she wanted to have sex with other men too. It also helped me to realize that my own insecurities would cause me to be jealous of any relationships she might develop.

So, after bolstering my self esteem, she began a series of affairs with several different men. I was always free to pursue this sort of thing, but I never really had the nerve. I thought that getting married would eliminate the need to look for someone to love.

After she started having an affair, I almost felt compelled but never really had the time, nor had I met anybody interesting enough. There was a lady I carpooled with, but she was very noble, and refused to become ‘the other woman.’

There was my secretary, but THAT would have really screwed up a good working relationship. And we both realized that. Madalen and I went out for dinner a couple of times during what amounted to a brief separation between me and my wife.

BUT NOW, AFTER ALL THESE YEARS, I HAVE HAD AN AFFAIR…

I ran into Joanne in an office building in January. We went to lunch right away. We hadn’t seen each other in 28 years, and she was now divorced. She was officially married to him for 27 and one half years… but she calls it 25. That’s when she told him she was leaving him.

One thing led to another…the emails went fast and furious. I was falling in love all over again. My wife and I had been talking divorce for well over a year.

And Joanne was just as she had been years ago. A little heavier, perhaps. A little grey around the edges ( after all, she IS approaching 50), and a few new wrinkles… but she kissed me like she had so many years ago. Funny, I still remembered what she tasted like. I was falling in love again… with the woman who had unknowingly broken my heart so many years ago. Finally, it was going to come true.

I didn’t care that she had two grown children (I have one of those myself). I didn’t care that I had to wait for 28 years. All the emotions and feelings came to the surface… so quickly. I had kept them locked away for so many years. Now, they just seemed to explode.

My wife and our relationship didn’t matter any more. I had Joanne back in my life. Nothing else mattered. I knew after the first lunch together, we would have to see each other again.

About three weeks after our initial meeting, I was working about 40 miles from her office. (I don’t live close to her, nor does my work take me near her very often — so 40 miles wasn’t out of the question). I drove to a point closer to her office and called her. I asked her out for lunch, and she readily agreed. I was in her office’s lobby in about 15 minutes.

We had a very enjoyable time, and after lunch sat out in her car and necked like a couple of teenagers. I felt a little strange. I am a respected member of my community. She was on the School Board, for goodness’ sake. There we were, off in an unoccupied corner of the parking lot… necking and getting all worked up like we did when we were 19.

The next day, I mustered the courage to send her an email expressing my desire to see her again… perhaps during a weekend. She agreed, and we set things up for a weekend in February.

And so, began the deceit…

I covered my tracks so well. I set the stage by sending myself an email from someone having to do with my business…a nd a “weekend conference” in the major city near where Joanne lives. Anybody can create a phony email account.

This was so simple, she never suspected a thing. It was very official looking, and I even printed it out to let her know I was going to attend this ‘conference.’ I also threw a strange twist into it. It was a weekend conference that started at noon on Saturday and ended at noon on Monday. Joanne scheduled a vacation day for Monday.

And I began to count the days until I would see her. The anticipation was incredible. My sleep time at night grew shorter and shorter. I couldn’t keep myself asleep after awhile. I bounded out of bed in the morning… and stayed up late at night emailing Joanne. We had the hots for each.

I got to live one of the fantasies of every man. I got to spend an incredibly erotic weekend with an old high school sweetheart.

I took a train to the city, and rode the metro train to her suburb. She met me at the station. The kiss hello was magic. My heart was light as air and ablaze with anticipation. Finally, after all the years, love was real… and right here, driving the car!

© Dick Ogden