Sort of surprised by what I've realized, to wit, I prefer that my wife isn't present when I'm writing, and I prefer even more that she doesn't know that I'm writing.
It seems like an odd thing to hide. It's not even hiding it, per se. It's just a matter of energy. I can 'feel' her presence. Sounds sort of new age, doesn't it?
My wife knows me well. We've known each other like six hundred and two years. I don't have dark secrets from her, just petty ones, like stupid mistakes I've made. My database of our personal interactions projects that she stores these matters in her database of my stupidity and will drag them out to bite me in the ass sometime in the future, perhaps when I'm on my death bed. Twenty years ago, when we'd only been married a little over a decade, she asked me to tell me when I was looking at other women.
I thought it a strange request. She explained that she never saw me checking out other women so she wanted me to do so more overtly.
Like a fool, I agreed. I should have said, "Well, honey, I never check out other women." She would know that as bullshit, of course. She's a helluva lot smarter than me. Instead, I tried to tell her that's a bad idea, but she insisted. I finally said, "Okay."
The experiment lasted about a day. I've reverted to discreet oogling, per her request. Actually, I try not to oogle, a battle between intellect and my base instincts. I don't want to debase women but I like their shapes, their eyes, their smiles, their hair.
My wife knows that. As I said, she's smarter, et cetera. She shocked me the other day, though.
The actress slash model Andie McDowell was on a television commercial. My wife once asked me, "What actress do you find attractive," and I answered, "Andie McDowell." I think she's beautful.
The answer disturbed my wife because Andie is either as old or older than my wife, and I apparently insulted her by not being more attracted to some younger woman. So sorry.
So the shock the other night was when my wife suggested I needed to consider changing from Andie to someone younger. Really? I was honestly perplexed. No one came to mind.
She suggested Kim Kardashian.
I was staggered. I know the name but not the woman. Couldn't pick her out of a line up to save the world. I'm more familiar with her father, the lawyer. "Why?" I asked.
"You like voluptuous women."
That piqued my curiosity. Kim K is voluptuous?
I don't know. I haven't looked her up. It annoys me that my wife has reduced me to 'liking voluptuous women'. I ask you, is Andie McDowell voluptuous?
I do have secret thoughts from my wife about how she looks, how she cooks, what she says and her odd behavior. I'm sure she has the same about me. I notice things she does wrong but weigh them: will telling her do either of us any good? She doesn't like cooking, feels she's not good at it. I disagree but she's deaf to my protests. She's a beautiful woman and I tell her that, and she likes hearing it. She's hugely intelligent and well read. Our minds think differently so they work well together. She's much more socially aware than I am, as I'm quite willing to tell you to kiss my ass or walk away if you bore me. I don't have many social graces. They make me impatient.
There are military secrets. Sometimes they're uncovered by accident. She didn't know or understand what I did for most of my career. I didn't talk about it and she didn't ask. Other husbands in my units apparently weren't as discreet, as she would sometimes mention hearing something from them. There were also weird moments when my wife met another military wife and her husband, and he, upon hearing where I worked, said, "Oh, he's one of them." She was never sure what 'them' were.
Anyway, I try to be discreet about my oogling, although she has no problem with my flirting, and I keep my writing private. I know why I do the first but can only make assumptions about the latter. Writing is extremely private and personal, until it's done. And I'm sorry, call me selfish or whatever, but I don't share it until I'm ready.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com