One of my favorite restaurants is the Spaghetti Warehouse. We’ve gone to the one here in Syracuse for years. When we visited Pittsburgh a few months ago, we tried to visit the one there, but the wait for a seat was too long – there were people lined up outside.
Aside from the fact that the food is really great, we love the décor. I guess I’d call it “retro eclectic.” Our favorite place to sit when we go there is the trolley car. Yes, there’s a trolley car inside the restaurant – or at least a replica of one. And there are old tin signs for all kinds of products that you’ve never heard of, but that your grandparents might have.
But this isn’t about the trolley. Or the signs. Or even the two working typewriters sitting in the lobby, that I had to explain how to use to my daughters (“How does it work if there’s no screen?”).
It’s about the confessional.
Yes, the confessional.
There’s an old confessional in the lobby – that probably came from when some Catholic church was being decommissioned. They were being used as phone booths until cell phones rendered them pretty much obsolete for that purpose. So now they just sit there as curiosities, and a place for my younger daughter to play while we wait to be seated.
On this particular occasion, she convinced her mother to sit in the middle booth, as the priest, while she sat on the left and I sat on the right. As I took my seat, Cheryl looked through the sliding door and said with a smile on her face, “I already know what you’re confessing. You’ve lusted after everyone in the world.”
“Wrong,” I replied, “I don’t do guys, so it’s 50% max.”
Whoa! Did she actually say that to me, smiling? And did I actually admit to possibly lusting after half the people on the planet? And she didn’t blow a gasket?
Well, yeah. Because it’s realistic. Well, OK, maybe the figures are unrealistic, but the idea that I think that other women are attractive is very realistic.
But let’s talk about those figures first.
To begin with, it’s not the “usual suspects” or for the “usual reasons.” There are “drop dead gorgeous” women or “perfect 10s” who just do absolutely nothing for me. And I just feel sorry for the women who need counterweights in order to stand up straight. By the same token, there are plenty of “Plane Janes” who I would follow around like a lost puppy.
But if you know anything at all about me, you know that I’m a bit of a geek. And we geeks like to try to be able to quantify what we say with hard numbers. I figured the best way to figure out how many women I really lusted over was to do an unscientific survey of all of my female Facebook friends. I have 237 of them, out of which I’ve “lusted in my heart" over 28 of them. That’s a mere 12% of females, and 8% of friends in general. That’s a long way from everyone and still a long way from all women.
But how can Cheryl and I have a conversation like this without either one of us going ballistic? It’s simple – the saying around our house is that “we’re married, not dead.” This means that as long as either one of us is breathing, we’re going to find other people attractive…too.
Did you get that last word? Too. It means in addition to, and not instead of. More people in more relationships, be they marriages, domestic partnerships, or simple boyfriend/girlfriend (boyfriend/boyfriend, girlfriend/girlfriend) relationships, would be a whole lot happier if they’d ditch the idea that if the person they’re involved with “really loves them,” they’ll never find another person attractive.
Because that is so much male bovine excrement.
Cheryl knows every person I have a crush on, and agrees that they’d be good matches for me. Similarly, I know every person that Cheryl has a crush on, and I agree that they’d be good matches for her. Heck…sometimes a woman will walk across the street while we’re waiting at a traffic light, and we’ll both watch as she goes by.
Nice to know that we have the same taste in women.
But seriously, the important thing is that because we talk about this, we have nothing to worry about.
We’re married, not dead.
Hmm…our anniversary’s coming up. Maybe I’ll take her to the Spaghetti Warehouse.
I bet you can fit two people into one of those confessional booths...