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Saturday, March 14

You're Not Frigid--The Other Woman---Lies We Tell Ourselves---The Truth Phone

Before I commence to stirring the shit pot, let me just say, that whole "She's frigid" thing fries me. I hear guys saying that crap all the time. Once, me and the Only Man I Ever Really Loved were just minding our own bidness in a local drinking establishment and this totally casual-acquaintance guy happened by and struck up a conversation. We exchanged the usual surface-level comments, one of which was, "Where's Cathy?" That was the casual-acquaintance guy's wife. The husband launched into this whole deal about how, man, has he ever got it made. He's got this swell free time on account of ole' Cathy just looooves to be busy, and so she was washing the cars and cutting the grass and cooking and cleaning and all manner of crap----for him---while he was out drinking with his worthless buddies. He ended the proclamation with, "Yeah, if she still liked sex, she'd be perfect!" And with that, he sauntered off, leaving the two of us sitting there alone. I mean, all we wanted to know was whether Cathy was in the next room or what, and instead we got this whole litany of her activities, which did not any longer according to him, include sex. Way too much information.

We talked about it betwext ourselves for some time, The Only Man I Ever Really Loved and I, and soon we fell to describing what all we wished we'd said to him in response, "Boy, that Cathy---she's a nine-day wonder, doing all that stuff, ain't she?" I was wishing I'd said, "Now, me, I am one lazy-ass woman....I won't and don't do nothin' around the house. This man waits on me hand and foot, carries my ass around on a little pillow 24/7, but man alive, I'm telling you, I'll put out in a New York minute. So you tell me, which one of ya'll is the happier, you reckon?" The Only Man I Ever Really Loved fell out of the booth, squirting beer out his nose. He swore he'd go drag the guy back in here if I'd swear I would actually say it to him. He finally accepted that it was just one of those things that sounds good after the fact and that I had no intention of saying it out loud to another living soul besides him. Then he told me what he wished he'd said to the guy: "Don't kid yourself, man, she's just not interested in having sex with you." Frigid, my ass.

Now, I'll grant you that the sex drying up may be one of the chief reasons divorce happens. It is one of those chicken/egg situations. Here's what I think happens. She marries him, thinking he'll change (and she's convinced that she can make it happen), but he doesn't. He married her thinking she won't change, but she does. He won't do any of the stuff that she though she could trick, force, or manipulate him into doing after the "I do's" settle in. So she gets pissed off and starts nagging and pretty soon he quits doing even the stuff he had been doing right, and she gets more pissed off and ceases to be in the mood for sex---with him-----ever. And then he gets pissed off and does even less, if that can be said of a live person. The bottom line is: Ain't nobody in that house gettin'any, and ain't nobody happy about it. And lemme tell you what, if they ain't gettin' it at home, they gonna get some somewhere from some-body. I ain't seen too many who will do without for too terribly long. And this is not a good thing for marriage, although it keeps divorce attorney's kids in good schools. So the saga continues. Enter the Other Woman.

Now, we can all see how it happens that the Other Woman gets into the picture. The mystery to me is this: Given such a situation, why is it that the women will blame each other? I have seen grow'd women physically attack other women with whom their piece-of-shit man has been indulging in all manner of outside-the-home fucking. Hear me on this now. It is not the other woman's fault that your man is a lying, cheating sackashit. He is what he is 'cause it's what he wants to be. I mean, think about it. When was the last time you were able to get a man to do something he didn't want to do? Let me answer that for you----never. If he wants to cheat, he will find somebody to do it with, and he doesn't much care who. And by the same token, if he doesn't want to, no woman on earth could persuade him, by any means, to do it.

While you're being all indignant and outraged at this other woman, let me reiterate that your lying, cheating sackashit did not come to her singing your praises and telling what a happily married man he was, only to have her set her sights on him and decide right then and there that she was going to steal this prize away from you. Naw. What happened was, just like the casual acquaintance we talked to in that bar, he came around telling her a big tale of woe about how y'all haven't slept together since the last baby was born, and that was five years ago, and that child was just a drunken accident that somehow happened during the last "mercy fuck" he gave you before y'all were gonna file for divorce, and he's pretty sure, actually, that you're a lesbian and he's just been staying with you because he loooooves his children sooooo much that he just can't hardly stand to be away from'em for a single solitary second, except for, of course, this special happy hour he takes for himself every afternoon from four till nine, just to, you know, clear his head, before he goes home to you, his screaming bitchcuntwhorefromhellpossiblelesbian wife.

That's what he told her, and there' is no telling how many other women he told that to before he got one to sit still for it. Trust me, if a guy wants Strange, he'll say anything, do anything to get it, and he doesn't particularly care who he hurts in the process---not you and certainly not the Strange. He cares only about himself and what himself wants at any given moment, and this is not what you'd call news.

If you are involved with this man, your problem is not another woman. (And if you somehow succeeded in running off that woman, there'll only be another one along soon.) Your problem is him.
And, more important, you are the one part of this equation that you can absolutely do something about----the only part, as a matter of fact. You need to examine what it is about you that makes you think you love and want to be with a man who clearly shares your low opinion of yourself. Perhaps that's what y'all have in common---you both think you don't deserve any better.

Maybe you've been living with his crazy-making behavior for so long, it doesn't even seem crazy to you anymore because you are completely insane. But you'll be relieved to know there is a cure. Just step back and take the blinders off your own eyes and ask yourself:
What really exists in this relationship that is making my life better? I forcefully emphasize the "really exists" because you cannot actually be in a relationship with some else's potential. As in, "Well, if he would only quit drinking, everything would be fine," or "if only that other woman would leave him alone, he'd want me again," or "if he didn't spend more than we both make on racing tires and cashmere socks, I might be able to get my teeth cleaned."

None of that is ever gonna happen, but if it miraculously does, it won't be because you were silent and long-suffering. And tell me please, why would anybody aspire to be "long-suffering"? I'd say go for "short-suffering" any day. After, all, it's suffering and I'm against the prolonging of it, whether it's mine or somebody else's. Well, that's not entirely true; there are some folks I could, gleefully, watch suffer for days on end. But I am absolutely 100 percent against the suffering of myself and those I care about, and I welcome any shortcuts toward ending it.

And while we're at it, let's talk about another mystifying piece of "logic." When Silly Girl, against her better judgment and the advice of all her friends and family, falls for and gets into a relationship with a man she knows form the get-go is involved with somebody else----or even married to'em-----how come she is invariably stunned and hurt to the core of her silly being when she discovers that he has cheated on her? And the wife or girlfriend is equally shocked and appalled, and dismayed that she also has been cheated on by this sorry ass. I mean, this has only been going on since penises were invented---how is it possible that anybody is still surprised by their behavior?

I used to be a regular customer of Sharper Image, and I loved to peruse their catalogs for gadget I can could no longer live without. They used to carry an intriguing item called The Truth Phone, which they claimed could detect lies emanation from your callers. The phone was designed to somehow discern whether the person on the other end was issuing any whoppers, fibs, and little white lies, as well as any subtle prevarication, mendacity, and/or falsehood. It would light up a certain way in response to the truth and light up in other ways for various levels of untruth. Unfortunately, I procrastinated in ordering this invaluable tool, and when I tried to get my very own Truth Phone, it was no longer available. So now we have to improvise.

Let's just imagine that your best friend has a Truth Phone, and it really does work. You call her up and tell her everything that's been going wrong in your marriage, along with all your justifications for staying. How much of what you tell her is going to register as "truth" and how much of it will register as "lies"? Lies you are telling yourself that are keeping you stuck in your misery. It's bad enough to have someone else lie to you, but if you can't trust yourself to tell you The Truth, your situation is indeed dire. You can't deal with a situation if you won't even acknowledge what the situation really is. And that's no lie.

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