The Female Mid-Life Crisis
What happens when a suburban mom falls into a lusty affair
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A story like this could start almost anywhere. It could start with the bad, beautiful boyfriend in high school whose betrayal stings decades later. It could start with simmering annoyance at the husband. It could start with the incipient jowl, the first hot flash.
I choose, though, to start my story in Shakespearean style, around the cauldron with the witches brewin' up some trouble. I was a married woman in the second half of her forties, coming off a decade of spartan attention to job, children, husband, hearth. The witches were about my age but all footloose and single. Our cauldron took the shape of three martini glasses; our brew, Absolut. The incantation: their complicated affairs with multiple married men, recited down to obscene bedroom mishaps and delights. In the darkness of the bar, they wove their spell. I sat listening, struck mute, a dullard with nothing to add but the dry toad of my long marriage, which, judging by my friends' tales from the forbidden frontiers of the extramarital tryst, was only a front for male infidelity anyway.
My husband and I were lovers for years before our marriage, and we still had great sex and a laugh a day. But the long, dark baby years, during which somehow I'd become the earner and he the miserable stay-at-home mom, had crushed the fun out of our lives. Inside the house together with the kids, I felt starved for oxygen, but no amount of jogging could fill my lungs enough to release the sensation of being trapped. I couldn't stay, and yet I couldn't go.
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