What an asshole. There’s no other way of putting it. The invitations went out. RSVPs to the wedding are starting to come in. His bachelor party has been planned. He’s just made dinner plans with a woman he’s slept with, repeatedly in his past, and would like to sleep with again. Now. After dessert.
No, it’s not my man. One of my closest friends has just revealed to me that she’s come from dinner with "The Wheeler," one of those nicknames we’re unsure of the origin, but it still works and is used in referring to her ex. Though he’s not really her ex. He’s just a guy she knows, went on some dates with, had sex with, but really, the exes are usually the ones that involve some kind of heartbreak. "The Talk" is had. This wasn’t the case with them. They were set up once upon a time ago, and then, suddenly, he was engaged to someone else, but he never stopped calling, emailing, or texting my friend. "Just friends," but she always knew, at any moment, if she said the word, he’d get her naked and have his way with her.
On their latest non-date, he expressed that he’s looking forward to his bachelor party and fully plans to have sex with one of the many women involved in his night of debauchery. "What an asshole!" I say to my friend, aware that I might be extra sensitive to the topic. No, I mean, it’s not the hormones here. That’s just fucked up. He’s going into the night believing he’s well within his right to have sex with anyone he chooses. "Because he’s not married yet. That’s what he says. Still checks off the single box when filling out government forms. As long as there’s no ring on his finger, he thinks anything is fair game, including me," my friend relays.
"Do you think she knows, his fiancee?"
"There’s no way she knows."
"Not even a little?"
We can’t answer this. "He should not be getting married," I say, shaking my head. "And I wish his fiancee did find out. Not so she’s hurt but so she’d know who she was really marrying." We assume the woman must see signs, ignore signs, but being a woman who lived through it, that’s not entirely true. You know your man is a flirt, but he makes you promises and acts appalled when he hears stories of other guys cheating. You don’t want to be the paranoid lover, so you just trust. Not all women ignore signs. Sometimes the guy does one hell of a snow job to make sure everyone sees him in the best light, candlelight instead of the red-light district kind. What an asshole.
I secretly wish someone would send his fiancee a note, letting her know exactly who this man is. When his meal ended with my friend, the following day, he texted her, "Thank you for one of the most memorable nights I’ve had in the past few years. Thank you for bringing back that first date feeling." I wonder how my friend, and her boyfriend, rsvp’d to The Wheeler’s Wedding invitation. I’d check off REGRET, and beside it add, "you will have many."
The worst of all this is, my father tells me a lot of men he knows cheat on their wives, and they see nothing wrong with it. They don’t associate it with love. "They really do love their wives, and they make sure they don’t get caught." But they fucking live with themselves. They somehow make allowances for unforgivable to enter their homes and lives, weaving between the grooves of their white picket fences. I don’t know how we allow ourselves to slip and allow so much. Both of us, the cheaters and the cheated on who ignore it.