In the back of my mind, I don’t want him anymore. I don’t. In the back of my mind he is damaged goods, someone passed around and discarded by hundreds of women. In the back of my mind he’s aged. In the back of my mind, he is used by women and tricked out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by a bunch of twenty-year-olds. In the back of my mind, he was the joke of strippers, the guy they all wanted to dance for because he was such an easy target.
In the back of my mind I see him asking these girls to meet him for drinks and time after time being rejected. In the back of my mind, strippers and prostitutes did not want to spend any time with him unless it was in a dark place and a whole lot of money was involved. In the back of my mind, they didn’t want to be out with him, even if he were buying dinner or drinks. In the back of my mind, he drove an hour away from home to meet the stripper who did agree to have lunch with him. She kept him waiting for an hour. In the back of my mind, he sat there waiting. Middle aged, bald, wearing a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses he believes makes him cool and holding onto the gift box with the Ross-Simons bracelet he bought her. He sits and waits. Like a good boy. A puppy. After lunch, he drives the hour back.
In the back of my mind, he now sees what a joke he was to them. He now sees that not one of those twenty-something strippers was interested in a man older than their father. In the back of my mind, I see him regretting that his own twenty something daughters have little to say to him. Not because they are aware of his addiction, but because it was impossible to spend quality time with teen girls when his mind was on sexual fantasies with girls their age or just a wee bit older.
I see him worried that his own daughters’ college tuition fund is gone. I see him realizing that at any time his wife can walk away and if she goes, his children go also. I see him realizing that the only money he has left is his retirement and his wife can claim the majority of that. I see him recognizing that if he has to pay college tuition, alimony and child support, he will have to live like a twenty year old even though he has worked thirty years. I see him desperate on the inside and trying mightily to avoid what can happen if his wife chooses to walk away. I see him as a man with choices, but the only real choice is to try to stay married.
I see a fool. I see a fool, who now sees that he has indeed been played for a fool. I see a rejected, laughed at fool. A fool rejected by strippers and prostitutes. A fool who desperately wants to come home. A fool who now understands that without me, he is alone. A fool who would have to explain how Dudley Do-Right’s marriage came to a shattering end.
I am on my way to my marriage counseling session. It’s very helpful to me. It allows me to entertain the idea that I might be able to regain some respect for this fool. But I know that in the back of my mind, the idea that keeps playing around the edges is three hundred strippers can’t be wrong.
If not one of them wanted you, I shouldn’t either.