New readers: Until September 10th, Chris is going to be writing about himself in third person. Why? An essay at Aeon Magazine suggests writing/talking about oneself in third person can increase wisdom and empathy.
Life, as Chris thought to himself, was going well. Earlier this afternoon he told Steph about how he’s leaving the job and his last day will be on August 21st. She laughed and remarked, “Yeah, this job is definitely not worth it” followed by comments about being overworked and underpaid. Then she let slip how she’s not long for her, and plans on moving to upstate New York once she’s able to find work there. Apparently she is with someone and turns out that Chris is okay with that despite his situation.
Chris’s situation is really not knowing if his wife, Leah, still has any designs on sharing her life with him. Last year she talked about how she’s (Chris’s words) sleeping around. Leah hates that phrase but to Chris it feels apt. It pisses Leah off because she thinks there’s something deeper going on by sleeping with whomever and whatever she pleases. Chris thinks Leah’s just sorting out her sexual midlife crisis. During all this time, Chris has felt sexual urges and has taken them out (consensually and welcomed, for the sake of those sensitive types who dare endure this site’s content) on her. He feels a bonding, or growing closer, and believes the same is being engendered on her side but he can’t be certain. Moreso, he’s not sure if staying with Leah is the right thing.
Chris’s self-diagnosis is he’s a people pleaser, very insecure, and he’s trying to literally and figuratively please Leah. That lack of self-confidence doesn’t help Chris market himself to the ladies, and the very fact he still has that ring on his left ring finger isn’t helping matters. Since men are dogs, he knows this since he is a man, they can overlook rings and vows with little to no conscience. Women, on his other hand, aren’t so inclined and those who are inclined may not be trustworthy nor value anything long-term unless the man completely submits to her and her whims. Considering Chris’s upbringing, he’s not going to allow himself to live at the mercy of a woman with power.
Then again, is he choosing to do this now? Is Leah a habit or does he have true feelings? When I asked him, he said it feels 60% true and 40% habit with the truth feeling stronger each day, punctuated by a few mental kicks to the nuts where he second-guesses himself.
So for now, Chris has decided to continue ruminating upon his situation and consider any opportunities which may come his way. Even if Steph never gives him the time of day again, or if Megan never deigns to ring him up or text him.
On the bright side, he’s grateful he’s starting to engender friendship with a former co-worker named Sarah He’ll be meeting up with her and her husband in Cape May on Saturday the 30th of August. Plus Sarah said she’d show up in Smithville in September to cheer him on at his second beard contest.