Truth be told, I don’t think any of us tell the truth. How could we? The very people we’d need to tell the truth too or about are FAMILY. And hey, I’m sorry, but are you going to go home and tell your husband that you are daydreaming about having an affair with the new guy in the office who is from Connecticut? CONNECTICUT. He’s a Yankee. Which isn’t entirely the point, but if you’re from the South, it sorta is.
I know, there are some of you with marriages that you tell each other everything, even that sort of thing. Well, I don’t live in a marriage like that. John, the hubs, the surgeon, golf-playing, doesn’t-know-how-to-pick-up-his-shoes-or-scrubs husband, just would not be cool with that. He thinks he created a perfect world in which he lives a perfect life. Or at the very least, that is the image he works darn hard to portray and of course, he expects me to keep up. Mostly, I ignore all that perfect world mess of his and just roll my eyes when he starts talking like he was born in a country club.
So do my sisters. When we see him glad-handing and back-slapping and acting like he may start passing out cigars, we know it’s time to get him home. It bugs Paula the most. She says, “He does remember that he was born in an actual barn?” (He was actually born in a barn. His dad is a dairy farmer. John likes to use the phrase a “sustainable farmer.” Whatever. ) It takes Paula, the oldest, like 10 minutes to say barn, and she’s wagging her finger like she is scolding one of her seven children (yes, I said seven). She does not like folks who get “above their breeding.” Well, I don’t either, actually. Jenny from the Block and all that.
I am dreaming about the Yankee. He’s cute. He’s smart. He’s nice. He opens the door for me. He cooks. A man who can do something with food other than grill it. Lord, who wouldn’t sleep with him?
Carl Ann, third in the sister line, said, “Savannah, he’s a Yankee,” which in the South means, stop being ridiculous. I said, “Oh come on. Yankees can’t be that bad. I mean they DO mate with each other for heaven’s sake.” To which Abby, the baby, so yes, I’m number two, promptly replied, “So do scorpions, but you don’t want to sleep with one of those do you?”
Still, sitting in Dr. Owens’ (our marriage counselor) office once a week listening to John go on and on about his sex life, and how if Dr. Owens would fix my little alliance with my sisters then he’d be on to the best sex ever, well, it does make one dream about the guy from Connecticut who cooks. He said he’d give me his scallop and shitake recipe. (I’ve never cooked a scallop in my life.) My sisters and I are considering it for Lucy’s birthday party. She likes fancy. She’s Carl Ann’s oldest, ten going on 20 easily. Slow your roll, little girl. Fortunately (she says not), she has three aunts watching and her helicopter mom.
I am so busy daydreaming while John is rattling on to Dr. Owens about my sisters (How are they going to get him a better sex life?) that Dr. Owens, is practically screaming at me. He’s asking me a question. He wants to know about The Vote. I look at John with a look that needs no translating, in short, it says, you’re dead. Why is he bringing my sisters into our sex life? What is wrong with this man? (My sisters and I vote on everything, which is a story for another day, but just in case this question popped into your mind, yes, they’ll have to vote on Steve, that’s the Connecticut man’s name, Steve. Dreamy, huh?)
Dr. Owens has this pen and pad in hand. He’s ready to write down my every word. So, tell me about your sisters, he says, pen poised.
Tell him about my sisters? Tell him about husbands and children and mamma and daddy and how they only loved being married, they didn’t love us, but it was fine because we had each other, and Lamaze and anxiety and divorce and careers and secrets. Tell him that the space between us is a shard, a ray of light, a quick breath of air. We say breath and we breath together. I look Dr. Owens straight in the eye and say, “They’re my sisters.”
Stupid counseling session over. On to Steve. We’re meeting for the vote at Paula’s house in 30. Steve’s on the docket. Wish me luck. The vote has to be unanimous. It’s 4 votes yea or Steve is back to Connecticut, and I’m stuck with John and Dr. Owens for entertainment. Abby summed it up pretty well. “Savannah,” she said. “You are in marriage counseling to discuss with one man how to get the other man more sex. The cards, dear girl, are stacked against you.” Touche.