Last Thursday, I was working from home, when I realized that I had lunch plans with La Yummy Mummy. With about 20 minutes left till our rendezvous, I ran a brush through my dirty hair, threw on the same black men’s cashmere sweater that I had been wearing since mid-March, and jetted out the door. Since I had ignored physical activity for about as long as showers, I grabbed a Vélib and pedaled all the way to the 1st Arrondissement. Not only was gross and sweaty and late for lunch, but I also had no idea where to park the metal monster. Spotting two guys sitting on the Bread & Roses terrace, I politely asked them if they would mind keeping their eye on the bike for a few minutes. Five minutes later, I came back out to park the bike, and one of the guys, to my surprise, started chatting me up. He was a cute, preppy-looking French boy, cleaner than the type I am normally attracted to, and even sufficiently successful in his semi-creative endeavor. (Yep, definitely not my type.) He asked me what I did, and I randomly told him all about my blog, which he looked up immediately and seemed quite entertained by. He then asked for my number, which I promptly handed over, quipping something about him wanting to be on the site.
He texted me to invite me to Paris Art Fair that evening (I was busy transcribing love stories), and then again the next day to invite me to watch the France vs. Brazil game at a bar. I agreed to stop by, and was greeted by a large group of what seemed like twenty of his friends, as well as a number of very hot Brazilian girls. I was having a lovely time chatting with them, when the conversation turned to our living arrangements. “Do you live alone?” he asked me. “Of course”, I responded, surprised “Do you?” “No, I live with my girlfriend and our dog”, was his response. My reaction was downright comical – imagine eyes bulging out of sockets, darting all over the place, a huge smile plastered on my face. Was I crazy? Had I imagined that he was interested in me? I accompanied him outside for a cigarette (this warranted one) and asked him the obvious question: If he had a live-in girlfriend of nine years, why in God’s name had he asked for my number? “I keep on asking myself that”, was his answer, followed with a lazy, half-ass attempt to blame it on relationship problems, a quarter-life crisis, or something else in that bullshit realm. It was almost insulting how unapologetic he was about the obvious fact that he cheated on his girlfriend for no real reason besides his own personal boredom. I headed to a birthday party, receiving a text message an hour later inviting me to come over to his apartment, the same one where he resided in with his girlfriend, who happened to be out of town. Recounting the episode in a group chat on my way home, I learned that his girlfriend is actually a friend of one of my best friends, putting exactly one degree of separation between us.
There is nothing new about this story, nothing original, just another example reaffirming the popular theory that men have a tendency to think with their d*cks. What was offensive about this particular episode was the fact that the guy was laying out the groundwork openly, in front of his friends, in a way that automatically put the girlfriend in a far more humiliating position, should something were to happen. In fact, it appeared that he didn’t really care if she found out, a clear indicator that I was one of a long succession of similar encounters.
Over the past few months, my friends and I have been talking quite a lot about cheating. Perhaps, it is the fact that it is everywhere, springing at us on every corner, a seemingly unavoidable obstacle that every couple is forced to confront at one point or other, now that we have little self-inflicted tracking devices, otherwise known as iPhones, ready to blow up our spot at any moment.
The truth is, most men cheat at one point or other. Women cheat too, but men are more prone to it, for physiological reason such as higher sex driver or weaker self-control. What distinguishes them, however, is how they cheat, or rather how they burry the evidence, if they happen to burry it at all.
First, there are the men who cheat and regret it, recognizing it as a mistake, and making a self-pledged oath to never, ever let their partner find out. Why? Because they love the shit out of them and know that this would devastate them. They burry every trace, every sign, every receipt, mow the lawn, buy flowers, and do whatever else it takes to be the doting human being their partner deserves. Yes, I know that there is a number of you who are going to say that you would rather he be honest you and admit to his mistake, that you would prefer to “know the truth”. Trust me, honey, maybe right now you want to know the truth, but twenty years into a marriage, the “truth” about a business trip one-night-stand will do nothing for you but empty your bank account via therapy bills.
However, there is also the second, far more dangerous kind of male. Not only does he cheat, but he cheats where he eats, where he sleeps, where he walks. He cheats to show off, like a chimpanzee in a zoo cage, rallying up the notches on his tacky Hermes belt and never caring to clean up his mess to spare the feelings of the woman he claims to love. He is beautifully exemplified by Mr. Dbag who picked me up last week. This the man you should steer clear from, should you want a happy life. Unless you think that you can handle it, or even play a matching game on your end as well, in which case it’s probably written in the stars. (Personally, my homicidal tendencies are far to prudent to risk it.)