Monday, May 21, 2012

On Stage Without a Script - Act III

I'm pulling an Imonk, more than one posting in a day:>)



I felt a little sick for the rest of the day . . . knowing that I had put my foot in my mouth. When I was in bed that night watching the news and Susan reading her romance novel I spoke to her.

ME: “I think I made Ralph mad today.”

SUSAN: “Ralph? Where did you see him?”

ME: “At the coffee shop.  I saw him and Linda Cooper sitting at a table.”

SUSAN: “Aren’t they co-teaching the youth class?”

ME: “Yeah. That’s what they were doing, preparing for it.”

SUSAN: “So . . . what did you do to make him mad.”

ME: “Well, I was just curious if he felt comfortable, or more than that, if Kathryn felt comfortable with him working with such an attractive woman. I know that it would seem strange for me and maybe for you.”

SUSAN: “You said that right in front of both of them?”

ME: “No! Linda had left. But I was just curious. I didn’t mean anything by it.”

SUSAN: “Dan! Of course he’s mad at you. Why would you do such a thing of accusing him of having alterative motives? What’s wrong with you!?”

ME: “I wasn’t accusing him of anything. I, like a scientist, was just curious. I didn’t mean any harm by it. It is just a thought that crossed my mind when I saw the two sitting there, laughing with their heads together.”

SUSAN: “This is bad!  I think you owe him an apology.  Ralph is a godly man for whom I have a deep respect. I’m sure his motives are pure. And Linda . . . I’ve never met a sweeter lady.”

ME: “But just imagine that I was spending a lot of time with Linda and we were laughing with our heads together . . . would you not be a little jealous?”

SUSAN: “I’ve always trusted you but maybe I shouldn’t. Do you think Linda is pretty?”

ME: I thought long and hard before I answered. “Of course she is pretty. That’s a no-brainer. Ninety nine out of a hundred men would think so.”

SUSAN: “Do you think she is prettier than me?”

ME: My feelings have gone from bad to terrible and I feel cornered.  I have a deep desire to speak truth yet I don’t want to hurt anyone. “Susan. I love you, I’m attracted to you, I’m devoted to you that’s what counts . . . isn’t it?”

SUSAN: She seems to be angry. “You are stonewalling aren’t you?”

ME: “Okay, let’s be objective. Is Linda more attractive than you?  Well, first of all, she is what . . . fifteen years younger than you. So that is not fair to compare the two of you. She was a model wasn’t she? So society must agree that she is attractive.  So, in objective terms . . . yes she is probably more attractive, in general, than you. But please understand that It is you I love and am devoted to. I find you very attractive.”

Susan sits in silence and goes back to reading her book. You can tell she is angry.

ME: “Okay, don’t be upset about this. Of course Ralph is far more attractive in general than I am. That’s a given fact. I would say many men are more handsome that me. That is just a fact. I’m sure you find them more attractive than me and it doesn’t matter as long as you love me . . . right?”

SUSAN: “I’ve never noticed if Ralph is handsome or not. Looks don’t matter to me the way they do you. I just know that I love you and the thought of being attracted to another man has never crossed my mind since we said our vows twenty five years ago.”

I went back to watching TV wishing that I could do this entire day over. I have both feet in my mouth now.  I got up to turn off the TV and Susan was still reading with her bedside lamp on.  I closed my eyes and said “good night.”

SUSAN: “I’m feeling upset Dan.  I honestly think you are the one who is attracted to Linda and I would have never guessed it. I think I need to keep my eye on you.”

ME: “Of course you need to keep an eye on me. I should keep an eye on you too.”

SUSAN: “You can if you want . . . but you are wasting your time. I took our vows seriously.”

I lay in bed feeling so confused. The previous two weeks have been a mess. I sense the anger of the pastor towards me, then Ralph and now my wife. I don't know what I did wrong. I don't understand the script. I didn't mean anything that I appear to mean to them. I don't understand social cues about what to say and what not to say. I'm a freakin mess!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ralph and Linda will be banging like bunnies within 2 weeks if the story is true to real life.

Philip Long said...

Ha! I think Anonymous is right.

Also, two posts from you in a day is a really good thing!

Hope T. said...

Ralph and Linda may become more emotionally dependent but I don't see a full blown affair in their future. I can't believe no one in the church will complain about having an unrelated opposite sex couple teaching together. In most cases, Ralph's wife would have to also be a co-leader to quell rumors and complaints.

I think it would be wonderful to be able to be honest about what we are thinking, as Dan is doing. This is how young children act before they aquire the self-consciousness that comes from adults shaming them for their feelings and questions. Almost all of them comply by age 8 or 10 and their true selves go into hiding. Because Dan seems less aware of the social limitations required by others, I wonder if he has Aspberger's.

jmj said...

Since this is fiction . . . but based on real life experiences (loosely) I would have to ask do I have Aspbergers. Nope, I'm not that extreme. Although I do have a son who was tentatively given that Dx when he was in Highschool