Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Laughable Affair

Last week we received a postcard from a local mega-church advertising their upcoming workshop for married couples. The headline above the incredibly happy looking, above-averagely attractive couple was, "Hot Topic: Affair-Proofing Your Marriage." I read that and laughed out loud. My wife asked what was so funny, and when I handed her the postcard, she laughed even louder.

Now, please don't misunderstand, we don't think that extra-marital affairs or attempting to affair-proof your marriage is funny. Nor did we think that this church's attempt to help affair-proof the marriages of their congregation and the surrounding community was humorous. What we found laugh-out-loud funny was the thought of me trying to have an affair.

"Yeah, right! Like you could keep it a secret!" she laughed.

Hey! Wait a minute, that’s not why I thought it was funny.

She’s totally right, though. I can take no offense to her comment. I can’t keep a secret to save my life. Anyone who knows me well will never tell me anything covert in confidence. It’s not that I’m not trustworthy, per se, it’s just that I’m not hardwired for certain secrets. Let me try to explain. You can easily trust me with your bank account numbers, or your password. I won’t accidentally tell someone those things, because, in my brain, they are supposed to be a secret. Just don’t tell me that Julie Fitzgerald is secretly in love with her pool guy, because my simple brain doesn’t register that in the same “supposed to be a secret” information storage area as a password. I will inevitably end up… Oh crap… Sorry Julie! Maybe Dave won’t read this… See what I mean. My wife is going to be maaaad…

Anyway, obviously my wife had a good point about my inability to keep secrets, but what struck me so funny about the idea of me having an affair was time, or more specifically, lack of time. Between being a husband, a father, a coach, a full-time writer and having a full-time job on the side, I have a total of seven minutes of free time each week. I usually use it to cry. If I had enough free time to sleep with another woman, that is exactly what I would do: Sleep.

Putting aside all the obvious moral reasons why I would never have an affair, and thinking about the pure logistics of it, the idea boggles my mind. Seeing another woman would obviously involve a significant amount of time. What activity do the affair-having scoundrels of the world take that time from? It has to come from somewhere. In my experience, most guys who have an excessive amount of free time in their lives arrive at that point not by being hyper-productive go-getters. And they usually use that free time to wear an imprint of their butts permanently into the couch that faces the TV. Those guys don’t seem like the types to go out and make their lives more complicated with covert trysts and lots of deception, and besides that, their wives would probably notice if they suddenly weren’t in their ass-igned spot watching football, bass fishing, or those Mexican game shows on Univision with the really hot women.

So the affair-having class must be the guys with jobs. Again, having an affair has got to take up at least a few hours a week, at a minimum, right? But that is only after the affair is in progress. You’d have to meet her first, right? Wouldn’t that be a lot like dating again? How on earth does a guy with a wife and a job find time to date!?! More importantly, why would you want to? I got married so I could stop dating. Why would I want to start again? And, what kind of job do you have that allows that kind of free time? I can’t even imagine it.

(Seriously though, if you do have a job with that kind of free time, please get ahold of me and let me know what I need to do to get into your industry, because it sounds like a sweet gig.)

Truth be told, I really don’t even understand the concept of an affair. Even if I had the time, the money, and the lack of scruples, it just really seems like it would be a hassle. I can barely keep my to-do list straight as it is.

For me, the idea of having an affair always brings to mind polygamy, which is a concept I never understood. A polygamist is a guy who said to himself, “Affair? No way man! I want to get married to her, too!” Having a regular affair would be a lot like having another wife, but the polygamists take it all the way and actually get married to more than one woman. I can’t for the life of me figure out why any guy would want more than one wife.

Now, please don’t misunderstand, getting married was the best thing that ever happened to me. I now eat consistently good food, I have a wonderful partner to share my life with, and I can always find my socks. But marriage presents a few challenges that the single guy does not face.

For instance, having a wife seems to lead to fairly regular and excessively long discussions about the past, the present, and the future. Those can be not only time-consuming, but mentally taxing, and downright painful.

Also, getting yourself a wife historically leads to having kids. Having kids historically leads to a lot of shopping. It starts with baby food and diapers, but rapidly escalates to furniture, cars, and houses. It’s really expensive.

To sum up, marriage is good, but it is time-consuming and very expensive. I need a full-time job just to cover the expenses with my one set of wife and kids, and I'm not getting nearly enough sleep as it is. There is no way I could afford to have more than one family on the payroll.

What do these polygamist guys do for a living that they can afford more than one family? And why don't they just keep it simple, go with the one set of wife and kids, and put the extra money in the bank. They would undoubtedly have plenty of extra time to nap, as well. Why don't they want that? I don't get it!?!

(Seriously though, if you’re a polygamist, please get ahold of me and let me know what you do for a living, and what I need to do to get into your industry, because it sounds like a sweet gig.)

Anyway, I am happy to report that to my wife and me, the idea of an extra-marital affair is downright laughable. Suffice it to say, we threw the postcard in the trash. Our marriage isn't affair-proof, it's affair-bulletproof. I need a nap.

See you soon,


Copyright © 2012 Marc Schmatjen

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