The Female Mid-Life Crisis
What happens when a suburban mom falls into a lusty affair
I hadn't been on a date for nigh on two decades and had forgotten how it's done. When it got dark, I finally did it: I invited him up to my hotel room. There, I ran out of words and looked helplessly at him, then mashed up against him with a kiss that lasted for an hour. He kept his clothes on but proved a master of blue talk. His fingers wandered south, once. “I want to make you come,” he said, “but that seems like crossing a line.” We decided it might be best if he left. On his way out, he kissed me standing up and whispered, “We could f-ck against the wall.” Then he was gone.
I went home to suburbia and a long summer with husband and children, cookouts, fireflies, good clean family fun. Toasting marshmallows, washing dishes, folding laundry, I replayed his last line in my head: “We could f-ck against the wall.”
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All that season my skin was alive, vibrating between the effects of lust and hot flashes. I lounged alongside pools in my bathing suit like an odalisque, oozing unrequited lust from every pore. My friends' husbands glanced at me out of the corners of their eyes, darting gleams of interest.
For months he sent lubricious e-mails with infuriating irregularity, often several times a day, sometimes going silent for a week or two. I'd be picking up a kid from the playground, and the phone would ping, the inbox light up with the subject line “Baby, you're so hot.” Soon, the pinging phone was like a drug. I'd see his name, and my heart would literally flutter, my adrenaline surge, my face flood with heat, and then I'd read and reread the usually half-line message until it had gone stale and the time would come to erase it. Which I didn't do frequently enough. I was utterly careless. I started to Skype him on the kids' computer, leaving records of 2 A.M. video conversations with a man in another state.
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