Unequivocally Ambiguous

Humorous Stories on Parenting, Culture and Life

This is More Than Pomodoro Techniques

by | Mar 21, 2024 | Relationships | 0 comments

The Savant-Like Productivity of Cheaters

Photo by Malvestida on Unsplash

Whenever I’m told someone I know was having an affair, I respond with a canned, ‘By god, how do they do it? I barely have time for one wife!” 

My wife, who is typically present for this response, contorts her face into a myriad of micro-expressions that communicate in Morse code that I have, in fact, said something morally reprehensible.

She later tells me, “It leaves people thinking that given the time” (or the savant-like time management skills), “I would have one of my own.”

Set aside the fact that I absolutely adore her, yaddi yaddi yadda… I can’t help but feel a tinge of jealousy for these individuals. Imagine going to bed every night with a different body. The body of knowledge that enables you to have so much free time as to have an affair.

Think of all the time spent planning, scheming, selecting the suitable consenting adult, lying, reserving restaurants and hotels, and making up social and work events to facilitate these secret rendezvous (or sex-dezvous).

That’s a lot of time.

If I could manage to successfully do my job, care for my family, and have all that extra time, I could finally learn how to play the piano, maybe have a garden with something other than my neglected and very dead green bean, or learn more Irish to take it beyond the basics like “Feck the English!” to the more poignant and existential questions like “Is there more to life than soda bread and Guiness?”

On the other hand, if I need time (which I always need), I typically borrow it from my sleep bank. I’m always sleep-deprived and have no problem falling asleep as soon as I hit the pillow.

I don’t work out. I don’t have hobbies anymore. If I want to make soup for when my family inevitably catches a virus (which on the last count was twice a month), I no longer do the bone broth from scratch as I used to do when we didn’t have kids.

No, no, no.

Now, if I want to make soup, I get the store-bought broth, as if my mother didn’t raise me right.

I am almost out of the ‘baby’ days. But I still remember those very clearly.

On most days, I did not have enough time to shower, and on very special days (when an appointment with the dentist is not scheduled for a few months), I did not brush my teeth. I did not have enough working memory to remember the difference between flossing or water-picking, and it could have been due to baby brain or just a simple case of “if you don’t use it, you lose it.” 

Any parent who has gone through the baby years knows I am not lying.

One day at nap time, my youngest daughter woke up screaming for us, afraid that she was going to wake up her older sister (who had been fighting a virus and had not slept for two days); I quickly took her out of her crib and put her in the car seat to go ride around the neighborhood.

For a second, I considered leaving her in the car long enough for my wife and me to nap. But I eventually went the humane route, jumped in the car with her, and took her for a drive.

I did not, however, have enough time to get my shoes or my daughter’s shoes or look at myself in the mirror. Not that I would have had time to do anything about my appearance, but at least I would not have wondered why people at Jamba Juice looked at me as if I had dragged a ten-gallon hefty bag full of month-old compost.

I was at Jamba Juice because I figured I might as well get a wheatgrass shot since I was already out of the house. I bought these wellness shots because I believed that this itty bitty squirt of juice would fend off the evil spirits that visited us every two weeks the first winter after my daughter started TK.

Customers at this location looked horrified, and I wanted to assure them that my daughter and I had shelter for the next upcoming storm.

If it wasn’t because all my utility bills and subscriptions are set up on automatic debit, I would have to add to the list of vicissitudes: lack of heating and electricity. I only have enough time to pay for one bill a month. In my case, I always take care of my one credit card, bearing the load of everything I owe in life for one month of existence.

If I didn’t have that setup, I would have to choose at the end of each month which of my hundred bills I would pay for that month. I have a sneaky suspicion it would always be a streaming service, depending on what’s hot at the moment. A sad predicament as I wouldn’t be able to watch anything since I wouldn’t have electricity to charge any of my devices.

What about mustering the energy to have two sexual lives? Unless these people are resorting to Viagra, poached rhino horn powder, ground shark fins, or Tony Robbins coaching seminars, I can’t imagine where all that energy comes from. I typically just have enough energy to religiously and once a week tell my wife on Saturday night, “Tonight I’m going to love you right.” Then I turn off the lights, and we both go to sleep.

I don’t get the desire from cheaters to have one more romantic relationship or, in the case of some hyperproductive individuals, two or three, or even entire side families. But I do envy all their extra time because I, too, wish I had more time to do things I want to do (which would never involve doing another human being who is not my wife).

Wouldn’t you?

Wouldn’t you like to have more time like cheaters do?


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