OTHER PEOPLE'S PROBLEMS: Night Moves 

OTHER PEOPLE'S PROBLEMS

NIGHT MOVES Listen: Ever since high school, my “back-up” has been this guy named David. You know, we pledged that if we weren’t linked eternally with someone by the time we were 40, we’d go ahead and tie the knot. I can’t remember who came up with the plan or if it was something that sprung from a night of hard drinking or what, but I’ve always thought it fairly certain that my first marriage would be at 40 with David. I truly can’t see myself ending up with anyone else. David’s nice; he’s funny; we get along great. I’ve been in love with him from the first moment I met him, so even though I’ve dated lots of guys, I’ve always taken the attitude that this is just temporary .... until David realizes he loves me, too, or we turn 40, whichever comes first. Two weeks ago, David and I were out for drinks when he ordered a bottle of champagne. Over the flutes, he looked soulfully into my eyes and told me he was in love. I was about to tell him I’d make all his dreams come true when he turned and introduced me to Dan, his new boyfriend. I never knew he was gay! I always just thought he was shy with girls. I was so embarrassed I ran out of the bar. How can I ever speak to him again? Signed, Could I be Grace? Okay: Please excuse the indelicacy, but this situation is exactly why the expression “Shit or get off the pot” was invented. If you had just gone to him however many umpteen years ago you met each other and told him you were hot for him, he probably would have said something about his sexual proclivities. And that would have been that. No imagining yourself at 40, pregnant with his babies; no saving yourself for him; none of that. But what’s done is done and I’m sure this situation wasn’t entirely of your making. You might not have wanted to realize what was in front of your face, but he didn’t seem to be in any hurry to tell you, either (you haven’t met any of his boyfriends before, have you? Maybe under the mantle of “friend” or “this guy I’m seeing”?) Well, no matter. This is easily solved. You can just call him up and admit to him you didn’t know he was gay. And then laugh at yourself for being so silly. You don’t have to tell him that you were madly in love with him or anything ego-bruising like that. You could just say it surprised you so much you needed some air and then you went home. Or you can just never call him again. But I would advise against this one. In terms of ego, this option makes you look much, much worse; like a lovesick student mooning over her studly English teacher. What I’m saying is, it can never be, so you might as well just face the facts and try to save some face by being strong about it. Oh, and look into finding a new “back-up,” if not a new “real” boyfriend -- it’s no thing to settle, but you don’t want to be a beard. Listen: Please tell me if I’m in over my head. My wife is a lovely, wonderful woman, but we’ve been married for two years and the magic is slowly waning. We have this friend -- Janey -- from our church who we both get along with really well. The three of us have dinner every Thursday night and then watch E.R. Sometimes Janey will bring someone, most often she won’t. After E.R. my wife always goes to bed and leaves Janey and me up talking. Usually, Janey will tell me all about the men in her life. It’s always someone new and they’re always married. The last few times we’ve talked, Janey has made certain overtures; like the other night, she described her latest crush and I’m pretty sure she was talking about me. It’s no secret she’s fine with being the other woman. I only wonder if she’s fine with being the other woman for me. This sounds awful, and I’m not a bad guy, but I hope so. Should I go for it? Signed, Happily Married? Okay, Is monogamy coded into our DNA? No (well, that’s something people say; I’m not sure if it’s true or not). But does that mean you should give up on it altogether? Hell, no. Especially since you made that pesky little promise to stay with one woman until “death do you part.” That is the way the vows still go, isn’t it? (It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a wedding.) At any rate, I have a strong suspicion that if you were going to cheat on your wife, you wouldn't have to ask me. You’d just do it and hope there wasn’t any evidence (certainly not a letter asking for adultery advice) to bust you. So maybe you’re looking for me to talk you out of it. I’m not sure I can do that, but I’ll try my best. Here’s one thing I will say. It’s true, Janey might have a thing for you. And she might be sending you signals to that effect. At the same time, that doesn’t mean you should jump the first train to Janeytown. It sounds like the three of you are fairly close; what Janey might be attracted to is your bond with your wife (sound wacky, but it could be true). I hate to get into gender-typing, but most women want to be married. It’s what I call the wedding ring phenomena: single women see a wedding band and get all lusty. Because what’s a bigger turn-on than a man who can commit? Plus, I haven’t witnessed Janey’s moves, so I can’t say you’re reading her signals right. She might not be describing you when she talks about her latest crush; and again, ya’ll are close. She might have seen these great qualities in you, decided she liked them, and then set out to find someone else with the same great qualities. It sounds like you might be confusing friendship with animal attraction. Having said all that, you’ve only been married for two years. Til death do you part -- God willing -- is probably a long way away. You might want to figure out what will make both of you happy. Because if you don’t, it might not be Janey, but it’ll probably be somebody. (Gotta problem? Wanna make it my business? Write cashiola@memphisflyer.com.)

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