It was a small cafe with a view of the water. Like the few other dining patrons there, my husband and I were dressed in casual shirts and blue jeans. So, when she sauntered in wearing a tight dress and green heels, it was hard not to notice her. We stood in line to make our order at the rustic wood counter. She eased up behind us. She made a friendly wave to her friends who were already seated at a table. She turned toward the counter again, let out a high-pitched laugh and yelled, “If I were a bottle of beer, how much would I cost?” She tossed her hair and laughed again.
By this time, the lady in green heels had caught the attention of everyone in the dining area. I tried not to stare, but I have to admit, I was mesmerized by her presence. She was at least 30 pounds overweight and wore too much make-up. Her long blonde hair was in stylish but messy curls. She wasn’t very pretty, and yet, there was something about her that captured my attention. What was it?
Suddenly, I was on high alert. I quickly realized the captivation I had with this woman was that she reeked of sexuality. It was subtle, but undeniable. This woman was a seductress on the prowl.
My heart beat fast as I remembered encountering women like this before. My husband would interact with them and join in their loud conversations. He would never allow anyone to upstage him, especially a lady wearing cute green heels. I shuddered at those foul memories and searched my husband’s face for his reaction.
He was quiet. He was obviously uncomfortable.
I watched the male servers behind the counter. She was still addressing them in a loud voice, but they didn’t smile or oblige her in any way. She was nothing to them. A thought came to me, “Those guys behind the counter . . . not sex addicts.” That thought was followed by “Your husband . . . SEX ADDICT!”
In a panic, I studied my husband’s face again. By now, he was at the counter trying to stutter through our order. He was upset by something and I knew it was that lady. That lady in the green heels.
He drew me close to him and whispered, “Can you please find us a table where we are facing the water? There’s one over there where our backs would be turned to everyone else. I like that table.”
I nodded that I understood. And I did. I understood more than my husband realized. I placed our soda cups on the table to mark it as ours. Then I hovered near my husband at the counter to be sure he was safe from the green temptress. The lady in green heels smiled and raised her eyebrows as my husband nervously walked past her while balancing our lunch in his hands. He didn’t acknowledge her. In the past, my husband would have responded with a clever quip to keep her attention. At the very least he would have given her a long glance and a knowing smile.
Recovery has changed him.
I felt a sense of relief.
Then an impression came to me that felt as heavy as a ton of bricks. It crashed on me with a thud. I waited for the right moment, then asked, “The ‘other woman’ . . . was she like that? Was she really forward and obvious with her . . . her . . . sexual intentions?”
“Yes,” he answered. “And I don’t like how I’m feeling right now. Thank you for getting a table facing away from the other people in here.” When he said “other people” I knew he meant her, the woman in green heels.
I felt sick inside that my husband actually used to fall for such obvious and ridiculous sexual advances. I could imagine the lady in green heels as the “other woman” who teased and tempted my husband. I don’t blame the other woman for my husband’s choices, but I feel like I have unraveled some of the mystery about her allure. My husband said the other woman wasn’t that pretty. I get it now. She wasn’t pretty, smart, or amazing in any way. She was simply . . . available.