Thursday, November 11, 2004

to have and to hold.. not so tightly?

A friend of mine has met a man. A stunning example of one, actually. He's intelligent, witty, charming and handsome. A rare find for one of us.

But, alas, there is a small problem. One that encircles the third finger of his left hand.

But it is an open marriage, he says. One with certain... arrangements. A match for me in the home... but lacking... in other areas.

What other areas, I ask? Surely one could never marry another without a true meshing of all "areas"? Compatible emotionally, intellectually, spiritually and sexually? Not to mention all those "areas" that fall between the black and white of words ending in -lly. But here this man is, standing next to my friend; a seeminly innocuous individual. A wife at home and a potential mistress on his arm. He tells her he had a mistress for four of the six years he's been married. That relationship ended only because the woman moved to be with a boyfriend. And now, he says, he's found a woman that seems capable of matching him... on every level. A woman that he claims could be the one to pull him away from his beloved wife.

His wife isn't adventurous, he says. She isn't witty or flirtacious. She lacks the intellectual capability to spar with him. And my friend? Well, she is, quite naturally, all of these things and more. More than even this man knew he needed in a woman. And know, she is faced with a dilemna.

A man she is attracted to has openly invited her into his life. One where he will be both her friend and bed partner. But a relationship that he claims he has never before let reach a level of intimacy that he shares with his wife. But again, she might be the one to bring him down. She could be the one, he says.

How do we of viscious intelligence get snared into this inevitable shitstorm? Are we so terrified of moving forward, finding our "match" or even -- gasp -- making our own way- that these forays into questionable folds could hold our attention? Is it an attempt to flush out what we may or may not need in another human being? Is it laziness? An easy lay with no strings attached could be quite tempting... Except there are strings. And those strings are attached to the tapestry being made at home between two people bound by marriage. And we can't overlook that it's entirely possible that that tapestry may completely unravel should an errant string stray too far.

But what responsibility do we have to that tapestry? We had no hand in making it.... in fact, we may start another one even more stunning than the last with the scraps and clippings left over with some sparkling new thread thrown in for good measure. At what point could we sacrifice the possibility of our own happiness for that of another? Do we adhere to societies' morals and customs merely for the sake of propriety? Or do we disregard them when necessary, when life and limb are not at stake, when we deem them a hindrance?

Obviously, there is no answer. It's a gamble, in this situation, to take a chance on this man. He possesses so many qualities that one may long for but do his virtues outweigh his vices? More specifically, does this one specific vice - a huge one at that - impede the progress we could be making?

No comments: