The "honest" reason, as it turns out, is that Lisa Taddeo is better than you, you frigid bitch. Great.
In the car on the way to the favorite restaurant, the Tom Waits song "Shiver Me Timbers" came on.
"I'm leavin' my family / I'm leavin' all my friends / My body's at home / But my heart's in the wind."
Her husband said, Turn it off. Turn it off now.
She said Why, even though she already knew, it was up in her throat like a horse vitamin. She said, If you are about to say something that's going to crush me, then don't take me to my favorite restaurant and do it to me over wine. Pull over, be a man, and do it now.
This story always upsets me. Not because I imagine my parents in these roles. But because I wonder what they'd think if they knew I've been the other woman.
I don't know—maybe they would think, "I wish my daughter would quit telling me about all the married dudes she's fucking"?
I sat down to write this eighteen different ways.
I contain multitudes. I am like the Walt Whitman of unrepentant husband-banging.
I thought, What does someone want to read about affairs? You've had one and you want to relate to something. You haven't had one but you fantasize about the girl with the keyhole shirt and the shoes your wife would call cheap.
Fuckin' wives. So elitist. Always shoe-judging and not wearing "keyhole shirts." It's like they WANT to get cheated on.
Every time I meet a married woman, I think about the things she does that likely annoy her husband.
Yay, sisterhood! It's really a pressing problem these days that women aren't being fucked over and undermined enough by other women. Thank god you're here, Lisa.
I think a great deal about the evanescence of sexuality.
That's funny, because I think a great deal about the evanescence of BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After a year or so, Cobb started thinking of dark hair. The swish and wealth of it. On wide southern avenues brunettes jerked his head around.
That dude wants to fuck some hair so bad.
It was forty-five-year-old brunettes at Lancôme counters. It was twenty-seven-year-old cashiers and the dark-skinned Jewish brunettes who perform sure-footed blowjobs on porn sites. Then it was Meg. Then it was the cashier. Then it was both, in his head in the bathroom in the bedroom on a reel billowing like horse manes.
Ah yes, the legendary sure-footed blowjobs of the galloping Jewesses.
More than I believe in the sanctity of union and promise, I believe that everybody cheats. If you have not cheated yet, it's because you are still too grateful to be secure, or you have not yet had the opportunity, or the right color of red hair has not come along and sat down at the bar on a Tuesday when the jukebox was playing Leonard Cohen and your manhattan tasted like the future.
Oops, I'm dead now. I died. I'm a dead person now. You did it. Murder was the case. My manhattan tastes like being dead now.
It's this past summer at a country club in New Jersey where the pool twinkles like 1985. I am reading aloud to a friend from a David Foster Wallace essay—
STOP. STOP RIGHT THERE. JUST STOP. I JUST REANIMATED MY CORPSE SO I COULD DIE AGAIN.
We were doing midnight things but across the rest of the city it was 8:00 P.M. and with one hand on my waist, he picked up the phone and said, Yeah honey, don't worry, having a drink with Brian, I'll bring home a pizza.
More than the illicitness of the sexuality, there's a sexuality to the selfishness. To doing precisely what you want to do. Being crudely, smilingly, on the side of the winners. I'm arguing for Wild Moments, because you never know what your last one will be.
You see, women? Lisa Taddeo is a "winner." You are losers. You wish you could use Precious Capitalization like Lisa Taddeo.
Don't you feel bad for the woman alone in the kitchen? says a friend of mine.
Yes, I say. But not as afraid as I am of being her.
See, this isn't an article about desire or attraction or vulnerability or an "honest appraisal" of why people cheat—it's about transgression and power. It's about turning other women—total strangers—into vessels for all your insecurities and self-hatred and pointing at them and saying "At least I'm not THAT. I'm better than HER."
Maybe I just can't stand this article for one of the usual reasons that women throw at each other. Because I'm more of a wife than an other woman. Maybe I'm blonde and bitter and jealous and threatened and constantly toppling over in the middle of super gentile blowjobs. Or maybe I hate it because it sells out women in order to titillate men, or that it reduces complicated social issues to a mean-spirited, insulting, million-word-long masturbation session. I'm not even making a value judgment here about cheating vs. not cheating; I'm making a value judgment on how selfish it is to hurt other people and then revel in it. OR, I DON'T KNOW, MAYBE IT'S JUST THE WRITING.
People in affairs are hackneyed. They talk about what would have happened if we had met five years ago, seven years ago, twenty-four years ago, if you had been alive then. Nothing probably, is the answer. A Tom Waits song would have come on in the bar and you would have decided her hair was too red or her laugh was too loud.
Jesus Fucking Christ. It's like this was written by Jack Kerouac's vagina.
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