I saw this guy I know with a woman who isn’t his wife and it was clearly a test of my decency. I flunked.
Minding my own business at lunch, I see a car pull up outside the window and an old friend got out. I had to look twice, because he lives so far away and the restaurant wasn’t exactly the kind of place he raves about on social media. Hah, what are the odds of a chance encounter like this?
Then he goes to the passenger door and opens it and this younger woman gets out of the car. Not his wife, not his daughter, maybe a business associate or a potential customer or a cousin or an in-law or…something else.
Because, let’s face it, I’m human and I watch TV and movies and I know what’s what in this world of ours. I jumped immediately to hanky, or panky, or both, because it couldn’t be that he was in a far-off location with a younger woman and it was completely innocent. I kept checking them out, from a distance, as they shared a meal. No hand holding, but there were no tablets and notepads on the table, either. Could be innocent, could be guilty, and I concluded that it 127% had to be the latter.
Which says more about me than him, really, since I have lunch with women who are not my wife and there’s nothing going on when I’m doing it. Of course, I secretly want people to suspect something, because it might mean I’ve got game, but the truth is always much less interesting. Apparently, I’m not exciting enough to be a suspect of any sort.
Actually, that’s not 100% accurate. Last year, my wife took a spill and hit her head. No major damage, luckily, but she ended up with a black eye for a couple of weeks. And every time we went to a restaurant, I could spot people checking out our table and thinking exactly what I would have thought—frequently have thought—when I’ve seen a purple bruise on the woman at a table for two. I’d have taken offense at their presumptions about me, except for that whole pot-and-kettle thing.
So I watched the couple at their table for a while, if they were a couple at all, and decided not to stop by and say hello. Maybe I was being discreet and maybe I was being rude. I’ll probably never know, which is fine. It’s none of my business really and I’m fine with not knowing the things I don’t have reason to know, even if I’m pretty sure I really know all of it.
Still, by the time I left the restaurant, I was feeling just a little bit less comfortable with myself. When did I make the leap from trusting to cynical? When did I conclude that I’m the only guy who can be trusted in this world? Whenever I crossed that line, I’m not completely sure I like the new me.
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Who writes this stuff?
Dadwrites oozes from the warped mind of Michael Rosenbaum, an award-winning author who spends most of his time these days as a start-up business mentor, book coach, photographer and, mostly, a grandfather. All views are his alone, largely due to the fact that he can’t find anyone who agrees with him.