It's Father's Day, and my children's father is far, far away.
I'm here, at my mother's house, with old friends and lots of family, going from barbecue to pool party to beach to Dairy Queen, with two kids in tow (along with an SUV packed with all of the summertime essentials of beach toys and towels and hats and sunblock and a bottle of Southern Comfort - don't judge me). We are usually rolling with another carload of kids (breeders tend to travel in packs) so that at the very least everyone has a playmate and I have another adult to talk to when we get wherever the hell we are going. I am busy and distracted and exhausted and worried about money and vaguely hung-over. He is alone, in paradise, with a lot of free time and no mother to keep track of his comings and goings. A fact that has not been lost on me, but which has not caused me a moment of concern. You see, my husband and I have an understanding.
We're hot for each other.
I think he's hot. But more than that, I think he's wonderful. I think - no, I KNOW - that he is the best thing that ever happened to me. Without him, I would be a shadow of the person that I am now. When we met, I was miserable and insecure. His love - an undying devotion, really - enabled me to trust in love for the very first time. And our relationship has withstood the tests of time and distance over the years, without faltering.
During the course of our marriage, we have tested the bond. He's been in a band playing out in bars until all hours, while I was home with the kids. He works places where he cannot have a cellphone, and so each day we are seperated with very minimal communication for 12-13 hours at a stretch. And he's you know, hot. Every so often, I have a pang of concern - usually when I notice that some OTHER WOMAN has noticed my darling husband, and has perhaps showed a bit of interest. But these days it's rare. I always get a very warm reception from my husband, and he makes a super-human effort to keep me sane and supported and encouraged in every endeavor. Thank god he finds unemployment and mediocre housekeeping skills so appealing.
I know that a lot of other people don't have this. I know that many people worry when their spouse is out with someone of the opposite sex, no matter how innocuous the circumstances. Sometimes it is unfounded insecurity and sometimes they are feeling guilt about their own choices and feelings, and then sometimes they have good reason to be worried. I fall firmly into the first category - a life-long belief that I am not good enough, despite my husband's attempts to prove me wrong.
This is not all written to prove that I am a Pollyanna. I am fully able to recognize and appreciate an attractive man. Even, dare I say it, feel an attraction towards him. I am human, after all. But I have never been tempted to take it further than simply acknowledging that other men and women exist, and that they can be appealing. Nice to look at, wonderful to talk to, but no touchy-touchy. And as far as I know, my husband feels the same way. And I think that because we have such a good relationship (in every way, thank you very much) we are able to relax and appreciate being around other men and women, knowing full well that the only one we really want is each other.
Have I mentioned that he's hot? I may have covered that. Even lesbians think he's hot.
Maybe someday I will regret being so blind and so faithful and so trusting. I have seen marriages implode with incredible force and very little warning. I am not stupid. I know that things happen in relationships that are beyond the control of common sense and decency. But I truly believe, in my heart, that his sense of honor - having given his word in front of our families and friends to remain faithful and true - will prevail over some fine young thing (or lovely middle-aged thing for that matter).
I'm not worried. And I'm not looking. When you know that you have that love and devotion in your life you don't need to shop around. A love that is that true deserves a lot of respect. I know I have the complete package. He's not here right now, but he'll be back. And I'll be waiting.
We have an understanding.