How did an attractive suburban Pittsburgh woman in her 30s -- one who is right out of central casting for Desperate Housewives -- find out her husband was cheating on her? Simple. "Guys are dumb," she explained, a few minutes after starting an impromptu conversation with me at a local Starbucks.
I was a bit startled when this woman started rattling off the details of her philandering husband's screw-ups five minutes after meeting me. But when you're in that pissed-off "I'll get that cheating bastard" mode, you tend to get a little angry and a little chatty. In fact, the Starbucks woman told me I could use her real name, but I don't think so: Her husband, according to her, is a control freak with a temper. So we'll call her Wilma.
Wilma knew her husband's cell-phone password. That allowed her to listen to a message from the other woman. The message said, among other things, "I miss you." The husband, of course, denied it meant anything. But the cell-phone password also allowed Wilma to look up her hubby's cell-phone bill online. A quick check revealed that he'd made 158 minutes' worth of calls to the other woman. D'oh!
Wilma says her husband still denied everything, and swore on the lives of their young children that he wouldn't call the other woman any more. Then she opened his company credit-card bill and found about a dozen calls on his phone card to her. So much for the lives of their children, observed Wilma.
Ironically, when hubby is around, he never wants to let Wilma out of his sight. He'll call her if she spends too much time grocery shopping and demand to know where she is. If she sneaks a smoke at a football game, hubby publicly rebukes her for taking too much time to return.
OK, I've got some advice for Wilma and her hubby -- let's call him Fred, because apparently he is quite the Neanderthal. First for Wilma. Fred's an asshole, but you're an idiot. Why did you hook up with a control freak in the first place? And you had kids with this nutball? Sheesh.
Now you've ordered him out of the house but he says he can't leave yet because he has to pay some bills first? He's just buying time. The control freak in him believes he can ride this thing out. He already thinks you're dumb as dirt -- that's why he didn't try hard to cover his tracks. Insist that he leave right now, go through with your plans for divorce, and hit the dating scene while you're still marketable.
Now as for you Fred, stop denying it, realize your wife is leaving you, and get the fuck out. And here's some good advice from Wilma for you. "Stay a dog," she says. In other words, if you want to be the world's biggest poontang hound, knock yourself out, but don't drag some unsuspecting naive wench who's going to get burned because you're too sloppy to cover up an affair.
And if you must cheat, be careful for chrissakes! Women have incredible radar! When she busted you guys looking lovingly into one another's eyes at the ball game, that was a classic dead giveaway. And you can't bring the other woman into your social circle, you blithering baboon. And don't hunt poontang on the job.
My old TV co-anchor Jackie had a husband, a former Green Bay Packer, who cheated on her regularly -- but never in Cheeseheadville, only on the road. "You don't cheat where you eat," Jackie quoted her husband as saying. Duh!
Unless you have some weird death wish about getting caught, you've got to be ridiculously discreet. And somehow you have to find a compatible cheater. That is, someone who's just dabbling like you, who doesn't want to keep you, and who isn't an insane goofball who's bound to make the whole thing blow up. And that ain't easy. "Lookin' for a lover who won't blow my cover, she's so hard to find," proclaimed The Eagles in the Jackson Brown tune, "Take It Easy."
So take it easy, or take it any way you can get it, but take my advice or prepare for disaster. As my ex-wife used to say, "You were right: It's a good thing we didn't buy a gun."