I have a confession to make.
I’ve had an affair.
If I’m totally honest, I’ve had affairs.
I know, I know. I have it great. Great husband (nearly perfect!), awesome kids.
And yet… it’s happened. And it will probably happen again.
At first, I’ll feel a little tingle of interest deep down inside.
Then the infatuation slowly builds.
Too soon, I’m obsessed.
And, as with all obsessions, I’m preoccupied.
No one gets all my attention because it’s fractured.
Not my kids.
Not my nearly perfect husband.
Not my friends.
I need to find a way to release the energy.
And looking at, or being with, the object of my desire isn’t enough.
I have to make things permanent.
I have to possess my obsession.
I become – not to put too fine a point on it – a lunatic.
My first affair was pre-marriage, but post-proposal.
My mother wasn’t a big fan of attending weddings (or funerals either, so it was a balanced type of avoidance), so I didn’t know of or understand the idea of bridal showers and – more importantly – registering for gifts until my own wedding.
I remember when it was explained to me and I was gobsmacked.
You go to a store, and pick out a bunch of stuff you want, and put it on a list, and then people go to the store, and look at the list you’ve made, and they choose from the stuff – that you chose – and buy it for you?
Turns out that it totally is!
So when I was getting married, even though we were having a really small wedding, friends and family (even those not invited to the wedding!) wanted me to ‘register’ so that it – get this – made it easier for them to choose a gift for us!
I was totally up for that.
So I registered at “Kitchens, etc.”, which was all the rage back in the day. And I chose free (to me) dishes!
International China’s Capri pattern.
And, by the time my wedding rolled around, I had eight International China Capri dinner plates, eight International China Capri Salad Plates, eight International China Capri bowls, eight International China Capri mugs, an International China large pasta bowl, a set of three International China canisters, and an International China salt and pepper dispenser set.
See anything missing?
The butter dish.
I didn’t receive the International China butter dish.
So that was the bad news.
The good news was that a local discount store, Marshall’s, had started carrying pieces of International China’s Capri pattern periodically.
And, since I could not afford the full priced version of the Capri butter dish, I began to go to Marshall’s.
Like, every few days.
If International China’s Capri butter dish was going to end up at Marshall’s, no one…and I mean no one… was going to get to it before me if I could help it.
So I became a stalker.
I knew where my paramour might show up, and I was going to be there.
It was a little like making sure you were close to the locker of your junior high crush when the bell rang.
You didn’t do that?
Oh. I guess I was practicing for my future as an obsessed stalker way back when I was thirteen.
After weeks and weeks of stalking (which, by the way, is exhausting. I have a lot of empathy for stalkers after my experience), I was dejectedly walking past the sweater and knitwear racks in Marshall’s, on my way to the Homeware section in the back.
As I got closer, I raised my eyes tentatively toward the dish aisle.
And I saw it.
Later, I would describe the moment to my newly-minted nearly perfect husband as the clouds parting and God light singing down from the heavens to highlight the International China Capri-patterned butter dish on the shelf there at Marshall’s.
And, as I held it in my hand, I was filled with calm and certainty.
All that time.
All that commitment.
It had paid off.
As Woody Allen once said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” Side note: Then he went and married his step daughter, thus lessening his credibility with me, but the quote fit so I went with it.
And I had shown up.
And won the day.
So that was my first affair.
I’ve had others over the years.
I finally consummated another one just the other day.
The desire for this one first swept over me twenty years ago.
When I went crazy over a toaster.
I have loved my Dualit toaster all of the twenty years it sat on my counter top.
It was ridiculously expensive, and I didn’t care.
I’d asked for it.
I’d needed it.
I’d yearned for its exotic British, James Bond-ness (Sean Connery, not Timothy Dalton).
And my unselfish, unjealous, nearly perfect husband had invited it into my home in the form of a gift, two decades ago.
And after being a little fritzy over the past month, last week it finally died.
Not even a flicker from the beautiful red light set into its shiny chrome body, lightly dented when last we moved.
And, as I gazed at its lifeless body, and finally looked up at my adoring, and nearly perfect husband, I heard him softly speak the words, “When you’re ready… we’ll get you a new one.”
It took me some time, I had to grieve. Probably for a while.
Four days later, I brought home a new beloved.
It’s not exactly the same, as twenty years have brought some improvements.
And I didn’t want to replace what I’d had.
I could never do that.
So this toaster looks a little different.
For an hour or so I just looked at it.
Introduced it to the coffee machine.
And then, I took the plunge.
When the object of your desire suddenly shows up right in front of you, and things can actually happen, you get nervous.
I was nervous.
My mouth went dry.
I stepped forward.
I put my fingers gently on the dial.
And man oh man it met all of my fantasy-based expectations.
Ladies and gentlemen, the toast is great.
Thanks for readin’.
Bond. James Bond. (Okay. The new James Bond.)
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