It's a freezing day in December, almost Christmas. My breath puffs out like clouds of cigarette smoke in the clear night air of the motel parking lot. At the moment, I wish it was cigarette smoke because I can't remember being this nervous in a very long time. Maybe the Christmas Eve service twenty years ago, when a pushy grandmother shoved her mini-skirted teen granddaughter up to the piano in our little Baptist Church and plopped an unfamiliar piece of music before me, stating, "Missy is going to sing. Play this."
This wasn't our Baptist Church, and I wasn't about to play a difficult piece in front of two hundred people. It was a sleazy motel parking lot, and I was here to meet someone I'd fantasized about every day for the past year. Someone who was not my husband and someone twenty years my junior. I hugged myself to keep from shivering as I glanced around, almost hoping he wouldn't show.
How did the 70-year-old church pianist and Sunday school teacher end up in this motel parking lot, waiting to keep all the promises she had unwisely made to this young man? What if my knee popped out in the middle of giving him, you know what? What if I broke a hip as he crashed into me during, the well, the thing? What if I had a freaking heart attack from the excitement even before we got into the room?
My wiser angels never weighed in on these tricky moments, so I stayed, shaking and chastising myself, "Fine Christmas gift for the hubs, girl. Meeting a lover for the first time ever. Forty years of faithfulness, and now this?"
This circumstance wasn't entirely my fault. When my husband retired last January, he suggested getting into swinging. I was shocked when he stated that was how he wanted to spend his retirement. His idea of swinging was to invite another woman to our bed. In trying to battle his penchant for watching me with another woman, I suggested we look for a man first. He reluctantly agreed and signed me up for a dating site, orchestrating everything from what picture to post, what desires I had, and exactly what I was looking for, leaving out the cuckold aspect.
Being married for almost forty years had rendered me invisible. I was the kids' mom, and now I was a grandmother. I was my husband's wife, the retired piano player, and Sunday school teacher. Not exactly a sparkling Play Boy bunny resume. Plus, I was almost seventy. If a man had ever noticed me during those years, I would have suggested he try to locate his seeing-eye dog. Men's attention was something I simply did not worry about. There was none.
Within half an hour of my dating profile going live, I had over sixty requests for more information, messages, hearts, flowers, you name it. 'Hmm. Weren't there any women on this site,' I thought. It was a bit overwhelming as I tried replying politely to everyone while my husband tried to explain that I picked who I wanted and moved on. Ouch, that was a bit harsh.
We had settled on a sixty-plus age group, as he didn't want some young punk with his wife. You know how those fifty-year-old punks can be. One young man kept popping up in my feed, asking me why I didn't consider him. I explained that someone in their forties was much too young. I was sure he was joking when he told me he liked older women. Try as I might, he would not give up. I finally told the hubs he was the man I was interested in.
After an hour or so of explaining why that was a bad idea, hubby finally wrote the man a very explicit message explaining what he would encounter when we were together. He told him we would be having a three-some and that it would be a night the man would never forget, as I was one talented and sensual woman.
The man eagerly accepted the challenge, and then my husband withdrew the offer, pulling the rug out from under the young guy. I was mortified. This led to months of texts between him and me, with me almost deciding to leave my marriage behind at one point. Then, in the Summer, my husband had a near-fatal heart attack, and I had to get my priorities in order, leaving my infatuation in the dust.
Or, so I thought. Try as I might, weeks could go by without checking on my 'almost lover'. I would declare victory to my therapist, who never really understood my strange infatuation with this man anyway. Then, as soon as I heard a song that reminded me of him, I would begin pining for him again. My poor therapist was so distraught at my obsession that I was worried she might have a nervous breakdown over it. I finally stopped telling her about him. What she didn't know wouldn't hurt her.
Not that Jake was sweet to me. He was an angry, sullen individual who rarely said anything kind to me. He insulted me, called me a slut wife, and told me that I liked holding my marriage over his head. He constantly told me I did not try hard enough to meet him when he always backed away. It was like a game of cat and mouse, and I didn't know if I was the cat or the mouse. Yet, still, I persisted.
I can't recall a man I argued with more viciously than Jake, my texting lover. I never called my husband names or tore him up one side and down the other. The safety of hiding behind my phone screen or knowing I would never meet Jake in person made me bold. Once, I commented that if we ever met in person, a fistfight would break out after the first five minutes. He replied that, more likely, full-on animalistic screwing would break out.
Here I was, feet frozen to the frosty blacktop of this old motel parking lot, wondering if we were going to have a fistfight or a night of sexual pleasure so intense that I would never want to go back home. It was too late to rescind my Christmas gift offer of an evening of lovemaking to Jake. How many hours had I thought about him? How many times had I woken up, ashamed, from dreams of making love to him? How many imaginary conversations had I contrived, telling him how much I needed and loved him from our first real conversation?
A lone set of headlights turned into the parking lot, zeroing in on me as they slowly approached. A deer in the headlights. A guilty woman in heels, stockings, and a short skirt with seductive, lacy underthings hiding beneath. I feared my age would now matter because we would be close together for the night. Afraid I wouldn't be good enough for him. Scared of being a disappointment, I slipped back into the driver's seat of my car, pushed the button, and slowly backed out of the lot just as he exited from his car, shrugging his shoulders at me, just like his favorite emoji when I spoke of my feelings for him. Good. I hope you feel confused, just like you made me feel for the last year.
On the way home, I stopped at an open store and picked up my husband's favorite fruitcake, with chocolate milk for him, and a big bottle of wine for myself. Then I drove home, sighing in relief, after blocking Jake's number.
Not tonight, Satan. Not tonight.
Tomorrow? Maybe. Shh. Don't tell my therapist.
About the Creator
G-Is for String is now available in Ebook, paperback and audiobook by Audible!
G-Is for String: Oh, Canada! and Save One Bullet are also available on Amazon in Ebook and Paperback.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions