Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I realized after posting this I violated the cardinal rule of good writing…let a piece sit for a least a few minutes before setting it free. A few clarifications were called for. My apologies!

Not all who wander are lost

Tracy Clark-Flory’s April 11th piece on, “In Defense of Wandering Eyes,” has garnered a bit of attention in the blogosphere. I ignored the headline for a day or two before giving in and reading the original post and the author’s follow-up. It resonated in particular because of an occurrence last Saturday. While I was out of town for a day-long writers conference (kudos to Mad Anthony!), my husband had coffee with a strange woman.

Strange to me, that is. The friend of a mutual friend who subsequently friended my hubby on Facebook – not sure how or why, and the whole ‘friend’ as a verb still bothers me – she hasn’t extended the same invitation to me. I was taken aback, but only for a moment, when his text informed me of the impending meeting (no, I won’t call it a ‘date’). It was more at her temerity in extending the invitation than in that he accepted. On the other hand, our mutual friend was floored. I could see the wheels turning. What have I done? She hasn’t known us long enough to fully grasp hubby’s personality.

He’s what is generally referred to as a flirt. I prefer to think of it as friendly; ‘flirt’ carries the vague expectation of romantic involvement, and that’s not what he’s after. Hubby is simply the consummate people-person. He’s open, and attentive, and always willing to listen. Those commodities, no strings attached and accompanied by a ready smile, are all too rare these days. It makes him very popular, especially with the ladies. I tease him regularly about his ‘harem’ of admirers. Listen up, men!

In the interest of full disclosure, his openness is what brought us together in what I readily label a full-court flirt from our high school days. If he hadn’t winked at me on the bus one morning, started a conversation, saved me a seat when he boarded before I did, my life would have been very different. I relive those days in more detail in an essay included in the next Reflections from Women collection due out next month.

That was thirty-seven years ago, and while I admit I haven’t always been as secure in our relationship as I am now, I’m one of those women Clark-Flory refers to who point out interesting sights to him when we’re out together, whether it be an overly plunging neckline or delicately patterned hose on a finely-turned leg. His glances are appreciative, not lecherous ogling, and he’s considerate enough not to do a full head swivel when I’m with him. But I can tell. It’s like any other art, be it painting, movies, or a good book. I know what he likes; why not allow him to enjoy it? He’s married, not dead.

And I know where he sleeps at night.


  1. And I like where I sleep!

  2. And I tried so hard not to let it show on my face. More people should read this and understand that if you fall in love with someone that is 'Friendly', you can't expect them to change. It is often difficult for spouses to really accept their mates for who they are.

  3. I don't remember you ever specifically telling me that this is how you two handle the whole "wandering eye" (or whatever else people want to call it) but I still ended up feeling the same way about it. What's he supposed to do? Poke his eyes out? :)

  4. And the title of this goes with my bumper sticker! :D


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