Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Voices Carry (Til Tuesday)

Hello my name is April. Yes I am a great many things, some good, some bad. I have been featured on the Soup twice. Joel McHale still won’t do lunch with me. I also was lambasted back in 2008 on’s blog by Michelle Collins who did accept my friend request on myspace back in the day despite what some of my more vocal fans said by calling her fat. Then in 2009 I had plenty of gnarly misadventures, one where a venue and I got in a flame war online. Let’s not forget my debut in Gawker. While Adrian Chen furthered my agenda as did anyone who blasted me then it made me notorious.

But most of all, yes, I have been the other woman.

Married men have always liked me. Despite not being able to get a date for most of high school that all changed when I was about seventeen. The youthful weight melted off of me due in part to hormonal changes as well as a diet and exercise regimen that made me sweat. That’s when it all started on a Friday night as I was bagging groceries, my normal job at the supermarket. During the week I went to school, weekend nights I worked, and Saturdays I went downtown to take my acting classes with either Jill Wadsworth or Mary Schaeffer. In between all that it was ventriloquism or taping at the access station. Oh then lets throw in the voice lessons for musical time as well as those rehearsals. That’s when everything changed.

I was minding my own business doing my job when I was approached by an older good looking fella named Rich. He asked if I was hungry and gave me a banana, insert dirty joke. He would bring me candy and other little things. We would talk, he would tell me how he hated his job and was frustrated with his life. Then Rich would tell me how pretty I was. No guy aside from my dad or a male relative ever did that. After a few weeks of this one of my fellow girls at the front end said, “You know he’s married.” My jaw dropped. We had schedule a coffee date in the hot foods section during one of my breaks! My co-worker had to be lying. But she wasn’t. A week later Rich came trotting in with his wife plus young child and didn’t even look at me. After that, knowing he had been busted he went elsewhere to get his groceries bagged.

The following summer before heading to college I worked as a lifeguard. In the pool swimming laps and social as ever was a guidance counselor from a neighboring district named Bob. We hit it off because his daughter too had been into theatre even though she was now opting for the domestic bliss. That’s when the jokes started to get more dirty on Bob’s end. He began to fake heart attacks to get me to come into the steam room to service him. For as tempting as it was Bob wasn’t paying, plus my mother was my boss. Once Bob said to me, “Maybe you need an old pro so that someday when you get someone you care about you know what you are doing.” Needless to say soon after that classic line I met his wife. She was demure and sweet, unsuspecting that her husband was such a stellar creep. When I went off to college Bob would ask my mother how I was, and say that I “had a spark.” What that means in dirty old married fool I will never know.

While I was hit on by a lot of married men I never dated one until I was about twenty two. I was coming out of a really bad engagement that ended up being a really bad breakup. The relationship had been a nightmare and the break was even worse. That’s when I met Wes. He was good looking, had his hair slicked back, and was married. Wes told me this right out of the gate as we started hanging out. He asked me if that was a turn off. In the back of my mind it was but I was liking the fact he was taking me to dinner and I didn’t have to pay! Then Wes explained that he and his wife had what was known as an open marriage. They could see other people as long as they didn’t fall in love and respected the primary partner. A friend of mine at the time had been polyamorous and quite happy so I figured why not? Oh no. I got an angry phone call from Wes’s wife who happened to have access to his cellphone. Needless to say she didn’t get the memo and for the record it was much more open on his end. After that I decided to end it with Wes. Not that I wasn’t attracted to him, I just didn’t feel like getting shot.

I would like to say this phase of my life ended but it didn’t. A short while later I was performing one night when after the show I met Stu. Still obtaining my number in his cellphone Stu called me and we talked into the night. Stu kept calling me at weird hours and we started hanging out. During our first dinner date Stu told me he was married but he and his wife were on the rocks. I believed him. Stu said they were more like friends than lovers. We chilled casually for a month, after all I didn’t want anything serious plus he still technically lived with the missus. Stu said he couldn’t divorce her because she was suicidal and had been in and out of mental hospitals for years and that sex had been nonexistent for some time. I felt bad for him, he seemed so giving, such a good listener. While I was out and about I saw Stu and his very pregnant wife holding hands. I came to find out she and Stu had been together since their time at Dartmouth. I sent Stu an angry text message telling him that from the looks of his wife his sex life seemed to be working out and to “leave me the fuck alone.”

After that was Bobby, a friend from the neighborhood I had grown close to. Bobby would take me out to dinner, help me when my door was jammed and was the straight listening ear for my guy problems. He worked as a repairman one building over from me so we got to know each other quite well. One night he walked me home and he kissed me. I wanted a boyfriend at the time very badly. Despite what I had been through with guys I still believed in true love and was quite lonely. If I could have a boyfriend I wanted it to be Bobby. I told a girlfriend in the neighborhood and she broke the sad news, Bobby lived in Queens with his wife and son. I told her she must have the wrong guy, but I asked around and she didn’t. And apparently Bobby had a girl in every neighborhood where he did work. Needless to say my opinion of this gent changed and the only relationship I wanted to give him was my foot to the place he really does all of his thinking and feeling.

After that, aside from dating unattached guys here and there, I really was single for the most part. Then I got into a relationship with someone who was available. Although it was a disaster and he still hates me he was available so at least he had that. So what he didn’t have his hair? He also didn’t have a wife and sometimes you have to settle in this world. Then that relationship ended.

Back into the dating world again I found myself floundering. That’s when I began to see Jack. Jack had been recently separated from his wife although they were still living in the same house when she wasn’t residing at the residence of her new paramour. Broken up over the chain of events, Jack had discovered the affair while writing something on the wall of his wife’s facebook. Jack and I started hanging out, and while neither one of us was in the market for something serious we did hit it off pretty good. Over time perhaps we could be. However, Jack’s wife re-emerged and wanted to work it out. That’s when Jack would call me with the updates from their marriage counseling sessions. I couldn’t take it so I stopped taking his calls all together, just too much drama.
Shortly after that I was headlining a comedy festival in my home state of PA when I told one of the bookers of my troubles with my then technically married suitor. Since we got to be close that weekend he sort of gave me some crap. I told him this wasnt the first time I had dated married guys and sort of laughed about my woes in the department of love. He stopped me and asked, "What the fuck are you thinking by dating these married guys? Nothing good can come of it. It has never ended will and never will." If that wasn't a come to Jesus moment I don't know what is.
The following week Jack tried to make a comeback and I went to my gay friends for advice. Putting up a muscular wall around me they said they had all been the other woman and in the end it caused them nothing but pain. They told me they would teach me how to say no to those guys and they did. Now when I find out someone is married the first words out of my mouth are exactly that, "No!"

The thing that prompted me to write this was that a friend name Lola disclosed to me that her husband, who by the way I have always thought was a vile prick, was caught having an affair. Lola called the other girl slutty which she probably was. However, she won’t leave him. Lola thinks she can work it out for the kids. The crazy thing is, Lola and I originally became friends when I told her about a married guy I had dated, Wes to be exact. She said, “Women like you scare the hell out of me because you can steal my husband without a thought.”

While Lola and I are chums in a way I am not the friend she wants to talk to at this moment. But the thing I want to tell her is that while it feels therapeutic to call the other girl a slut it’s not all her fault. Usually it is the guy who snakes around, finds a gullible woman with low self-worth, and moves in with a story about how you are a battleaxe joy kill who hasn’t slept with him in years. I want to tell Lola this is probably not the first time he has cheated, God just wanted her to find out so she could finally get the courage to put him out. Unfortunately Lola won’t. Her husband will have to make up more lies and more devious tales.

Seeing Lola also got me to think about how, despite being young and stupid, my behavior hurt other women, something I have never been about. But being party to the petty bullshit of someone with good lines always makes me the one at fault even though he started it all. Worse yet I get the label as the homewrecker, the other woman always does. Meanwhile it’s the man who had the ball in his hand and knocked down those pins. Still, taking the bait means in the end I hurt someone. Plus I had a fiancĂ© cheat on me and that was miserable. I don’t want anyone to feel that way anymore.

But being the other woman I have gotten to know the phylum of cheating man well. Unfortunately a cheater is a person who is afraid to be alone. That’s why they don’t leave the wife and have the lady on the side, keeping their options open. If one falls through there is another exit waiting in the wings as an escape. It’s quite sad actually, because in their lost desperation to stay above water they drag everyone down causing nothing but pain and sadness with their lies and deceit.

Sure I am still approached by married men up to no good, promising me presents and fancy dinners. While they are tempting I know despite what they say no good can come of it. As a matter of fact I just blocked an insistent married suitor on facebook. But now it’s more than being bad in the end for me with the lies and how they leave scars on my already damaged heart making it even more impossible to trust men. Now I see my friend Lola, her pain, her grief, her anguish as a good woman to hold her family together. To me that is a stab that pains my conscience more than you can ever imagine.

Sure, I have been the other woman. However, that hurts other women. Nothing justifies that. Love April

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