About two months before I got married, I trotted my 20-year old self down to my dad's office in Center City, Philadelphia. He was taking me to lunch. While there Dad introduced me to a very handsome (we're talking hunk quality) young associate/lawyer/accountant who had just joined the firm. We chatted while my dad finished up some things and then Dad and I headed out. Over crab salad and soup, I asked him if it was wrong to be attracted to other people. He looked up at me and said, "First of all, you don't want to be involved with him; he's a player (Dad was a perceptive dude). Secondly, you're getting married, not dying. You will always see men you find attractive. If you don't want to marry, don't, but if you do, realize that what you're doing is choosing to commit to one person." I remember that conversation we had 40 years ago verbatim; his advice has served me well.
When we choose to marry, we 'forsake all others' unless, of course, the relationship becomes emotionally or physically abusive and then we cut our losses and do the best we can to remove ourselves from harm's way. And had I been in that position, I'm certain my parents would have done everything in their power to get me out of danger, and any perpetrator would have been running for his proverbial life.
Now, being a 'serial reader', I love a good story. I swoon over eloquently written prose, beautifully executed foreshadowing, amazing analogies, and superbly crafted endings. And even though The Bridges of Madison County is relatively well written, a real tear-jerker, and a compelling story, I hate it.
I hate it because it makes infidelity appear acceptable when a handsome, mysterious stranger comes into a life that's become a bit mundane. I hate it because she has a husband who is working hard to provide her with what he can. I hate it because she admits she loves her husband and realizes he loves her too, but strays anyway because she's feeling unfulfilled. And finally, I loathe it because I think she's done irreparable harm to her family, to herself, and her husband.
Yes, I'm an idealist. I also know, though, that relationships take work and what was once spontaneous combustion sometimes requires a little lighter fluid, a little creativity. You don't set fire to the house because you want to spruce it up.
- I am a retired English teacher and department head, the mother of three, grand mother of three, and have been married to the same man for 42 years. I subscribe to Dr. PM Forni's concept of Civility. I was born in South Philadelphia and grew up in the 'burbs. I love soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, the Phillies, the Eagles, and San Diego. I love being Mom, Aunt Kathy, Nona Kathy, and Teacher. I spend a lot of time in my gardens in the spring and summer, and in the winter I plan what I'm going to plant. I also am an avid reader and photographer.