The woman sitting next to me was restless. She kept shifting in her seat and making more noise than seemed acceptable. It was really screwing up my napping while getting my toes done routine.
I watched as she scribbled on a piece of paper—the date and time. Then she asked the nail tech who was working on her to take a picture of her holding the paper.
To say it was odd is an understatement. I tried letting it go and just enjoy the little piece of me-time that comes so rarely these days. But I couldn’t stand it. I had to butt in her business.
“Excuse me.” I said to her. “I’m sorry to be so nosy but why did you take a picture with you holding up a piece of paper with the date and time?”
She smiled at me—she was strikingly pretty—I hadn’t noticed before, and said, “It’s OK. I don’t mind telling you.” And then she let out a sigh. Which caused me to let out a sigh.
“I had an affair. It only lasted a few months, but then I felt so guilty and horrible about it I told my husband. He was devastated. It was the worst time in our lives. I didn’t want a divorce. I love my husband. I just felt stuck, you know? So I went out and did this terrible thing and then felt bad about it. My husband decided to forgive me, but it came with a price. Since he obviously can’t trust me—and I don’t blame him—I have to check in with him. When I go somewhere I document that I’m really AT THAT PLACE by sending him pictures with the date and time. I’m hoping to build up the trust again over time.” And then she stopped talking for a second and seemed to be waiting for my response.
At this point, my mouth was agape.
Two things were going on in my mind.
A. Why did I open my big mouth?
B. Oh my god, did she really just tell me all that?
“So you carry around a legal pad and pen with you everywhere?” (Seriously, that’s all I could muster.)
“Yes. And I will do it for as long as it takes to save my marriage and get my husband back.”
And then she turned away, lay her head back, and closed her eyes. Our conversation was over. Apparently.
My head felt like it was going to explode. I wanted to know more, but I had already involved myself in this stranger’s life enough. I had no idea that was what she was going to tell me or I never would have asked. OK, so I totally would have, but still.
And now she was relaxing and enjoying her pedicure and all I could think about was how difficult her life must be. I couldn’t imagine the pain she and her husband had endured. I wondered if they would even make it.
I hoped so.
What would you do to save your marriage if you had an affair?