The Scavenger: The Making Of The 'Other' Woman
Most often, it starts innocently.
It started when he gave that lady a ride; that neighbour, that colleague, that woman he met at the party. She was any lady; could be any lady. But it was an innocent offer to her. However, within that short period of their innocent acquaintance, the man had realized he hadn't had that kind of conversation for over six months with his wife.
He thought about it. No one has been there to listen to him with rapt attention as he raves and rants about politics, soccer, cars, business ideas and many other trivia of life. No one has engaged him in any intellectually stimulating conversation in a long time. Suddenly he realized he has become an 'ungreased' rusting piece of intellectual metal.
His wife is a corporate woman; always busy either on her laptop working on some report, or blackberry responding to a never-ending avalanche of emails. She was a busy woman with a fledging career with only the sky to contend with. Therefore, when he comes home and they are having a conversation, and emails or the scream of a child distracts her, he understands; he does not hold it against her. When he is in the mood and he touches her and she recoils, or she makes no attempt to show interest, he turns away quietly without a fuss and sleeps; she is tired and he understands. He understands that from time to time, he has to get home to know there will be no dinner, so he has to drive out or make do with whatever is in the fridge.
Except, he has been understanding this and many other things quietly and silently for four months, maybe six months going three years. He has lost track of time with the sparse and dry let's-get-this-done-and-over-with kindda sexual encounter. He has been ‘understanding’ this forever he cannot confirm if his wife knows about all that has happened in his life during that period. He is not sure if his wife can recall the details of his promotion, or what led to it. He remembers how he had to start the story four times with her getting distracted each time by a mail or a phone call or some other random thought she could not suppress. So, in the end, he had to tell the abridged version of the story in two minutes so she could return to her busy schedule while he resorted to doing one thing in the house or the other; watching movies, maybe going to visit a friend. Some other man would have been angry and thrown a tantrum or decided not to tell her anything. For him, it is a no; he tries his best to compress the story and make it snappy, eliminating all the juicy non-essentials. But he understands; it is a routine as a gentleman, he has come to accept.
He loves his wife dearly and he is very proud of her corporate achievements. He speaks highly of her to his friends and he makes sure they envy him. He has been there for her through thick and thin; for the kids and for the family. He always understands. The kids have an angel of a father, and to the woman, an Archangel of a husband; a man who understands.
So this other lady, tells him his beard is scruffy, he is putting on weight, his shoes look stunning and she even innocently asks, 'I am sure Regina told you that this morning?' He laughs it off. Regina did not, as has been the routine for a while now. If you are married to someone like Regina, you must be ready to do without some of these compliments; she is busy, he convinces himself. He even knows she is Choleric, and that is their nature so he is ok with it. He understands.
But this other lady is also a busy woman; a manager at her workplace, though not the same schedule at Regina, she also works for someone, has similar demands, yet makes time every morning to check up on him. She does not forget to ask about the kids; indeed, she seems not to forget anything he tells her. This woman makes time to call him every lunch, for the past few months they have been seeing each other. She always tries to find out what he will eat so she can organize it for him; either for lunch or dinner. When he closes from work, she always calls to find out if he is home yet, and if the children are doing well. She even speaks with Regina every time she calls and Regina is around.
She does not intend to intrude, she convinced her self initially, but she couldn't help being herself; being nice. She is a mother too; two children with a man who did not know the difference between a gem and worthless piece of stone. After years of failing to resuscitate an effectively dead marriage riddled with bullets of infidelity, mistrust, seething hatred, muted communication, entrenched perspectives and uncompromising positions, they decided to go their ways. She knows and accepts she had her own part to play in the divorce, and she had vowed to be a better woman to whomever she marries again regardless of her own definition of what a better woman may mean.
While she was busily insisting on her right to be and be a woman in the prime of her life, enjoying all the bliss that came with it, as Nat Cole Beautifully captures in his hit track, ‘Ballerina’, some woman was making her husband feel at home, feel like a man worthy of his title – Married man. That was easy to let him slip out of her hands. She knows she was a good wife, but she understands she could have done better, so she has resolved to do better.
Better, she is doing, or so she thinks; giving Regina’s husband all the care and attention she did not give her ex-husband and thinking ‘oh blimey, it was not that difficult after all!’ It was just a matter of planning and tact, and a man is yours to keep. They never grow, men. She often thought to her self. She now knows a man is but a big hairy baby; breastfeed his ego and put him to sleep, then you can have the rest of the world to yourself. You can keep your pride and refuse to pop out your breast in public, and you can be sure to create a scene for yourself with his screams. It takes a few minutes of sacrificial public display of the gorgeous boobs if you cannot find somewhere discreet to do it, for you to have hours of a sleeping baby and a world of freedom to yourself. She has learned to emulate the latter, and she now realizes it works. Breastfeeding and rocking a man to sleep is part of the married-baby management skills one needs to acquire to enjoy a measure of tranquillity at home.
Many will not understand. But then, understanding is a matter of perspective. You can convince yourself there are monsters in the dark or convince yourself there is none. You will have a reaction based on what you convince yourself with. It may be inconsequential, whether there is indeed a monster there or not; what you do thereafter will be the output of what you have fed your mind with. She has chosen the path of Ego massaging as opposed to being highly opinionated, just so she can ride the man like a horse, with her hands firmly on the leash. So far she is perfectly succeeding. They have very little arguments, the man beautifully propped up as the boss, while she actually is the puppet master.
This was something Regina could have easily done to keep him. She has visited them a couple of times in their home and she knows the differences in his voice tone, facial expressions, and responses when he is at home, and when he is at work or…with her. Even when he is alone with the children, you sense peace and true happiness around him. She sees how great he is as a father and a husband; she sees it in the way he plays with his children and her children. It shows in how he has something to say about everything…everyone. But it is never the same when it comes to Regina…Busy little Bee Regina…Always with the Honey making business…Honey that only drips in sepulchral throat… Too Busy Reggie, too too Busy.
All he ever wanted was for someone to notice him and break a shard of attention for him; is that too much for a husband to ask of a his wife, Regina? Is it? Regina has taken advantage of his being a lamb and has indirectly preyed on him. Regina has taken a part of the story of the virtuous woman in the book of proverbs to a whole knew level that will shock the Author of that book; the bit about ‘bringing in her ships and merchandise from afar’ part, forgetting that the complete story includes, ‘providing for her home and making her husband comfortable and secured’.
She recalls the many evenings she had called him pretending to discuss a corporate biased issue with him, just so she could speak with him, only to hear his sleepy voice, and Regina on the phone in the background chatting happily with her sisters and friends. This is usually before 8:30pm and he is already half asleep; sleeping away his boredom, his loneliness, But well, he understands; many men won't even come home to such a heavy atmosphere, but he does. There are the children to prep for bed and school the next day, so he comes to help. Understanding man.
Maybe if she could do what the other woman who took her man away did, she can also take that which belongs to Regina; as despicable as it sounds, the world, as she has come to know it, is not fair to those who do not guard what they have. If you leave your door ajar a thief will sneak in, if you display your precious items close to the glass windows thieves will break in for them, if you treat that which is precious as if it is of no worth, someone will claim it. She has been a victim. Even though she does not intend to victimise anyone, she is also playing her part in this vicious cycle of taking-the-man-the-other-woman-is-toying-with. It is unfair, but a sister has learnt her lesson and she is ready to correct her mistakes, even if with the husband of another woman. Night after night, she wishes it would not be another woman’s husband. But in reality, which single man wants a woman with two kids except for another man with kids of his own?
Maybe, one day Regina will wake up and know that her kind-hearted, loving and understanding husband is gone; she will curse her, be angry, and let the world understandably join in the vilification process. She [Regina] may write a blog and tell people how cruel men are; with all her energy, she might even create a Facebook page named; ‘Ladies Against Unfaithful Pigs’ and have a million LIKES….
On the other hand, she may just break down one day and cry bitterly, carry out an audit trail introspection to find out where she went wrong. In the process, she may discover that maybe; just maybe, she should have lifted her head every now and then to keep her eyes on the road. She may realize she should not have been too busy and naïve to realize this other woman in her husband’s life needed a close watch. Maybe she should have learned to draw a line between work and family and know that you cannot be married and live as if you are single and working, the same way you cannot conduct your corporate business as if the office is an extension of your marital home. She would know that if the latter could get you fired, then the former was no different. She may ask her self why she never bothered to learn the fine art of fair balance and multi-tasking when it came to work and family; maybe face the fact that she took a sacred task inconsequentially.
Sacred tasks are accomplished through the help of prayer, not spending your free time at church, and making your marriage second to it. God created Marriage and fellowship with him, not a church. He created a family we need to fellowship with, not a house we sleep in and wake up to go about the toils of life, not tilling first the lives in that house. Maybe Regina would learn that God gave her everything to keep her man and it was not just prayer and working hard for some employer....Prayer is the icing on the cake. In any case, before Abraham met God and started praying to him, he had a faithful wife who did her bit as was expected of a wife. It was not prayers that kept them. Even through the land of barrenness, it was the commitment to that institution that kept them.
She prays Regina learns the bitter lesson that an ‘understanding man’ is not the same as a walkover; he may understand and learn to keep himself from erecting…or manage his erection. He may understand to keep his thoughts and conversations to himself. he may understand and learn to eat from restaurants in most part. He may understand to take it when a woman pretends to be listening while seriously doing some calculations in her head. he may understand it all until someone comes around who will not let his life always end in understanding why he cannot have anything he desires to have. He will understand till Jasmine cames along to end his understanding and make him actually have what he wants, even if it is an illusion.
And Rightly so, Jasmine, proved to him that someone’s leftover or a rotten piece of meat has a need and use. She will not dispute that her actions are nothing but those of a scavenger; but then, scavengers go for the things we allow to rot and throw into the trash can…or? She is not aware of a scavenger that entered someone’s deep freezer and took a well-kept and preserved piece of meat.
She is not in his life to make him 'understand' as Regina has been doing. There is nothing to understand when you deal with a man; you only need to find a way of keeping his bone in his mouth so you can keep the leash in your hand. In this case who becomes the boss? The one with the bone or the one with the leash controlling both the bone and the bone eater? She is simply going the extra mile to meet both targets; the corporate target, and the target of getting Regina’s husband, and excelling in them. That effort is paying off. She hopes Regina will be a better person in her next marriage. This one is clearly over; she has taken over. Regina can choose to be bitter and paint men black; she can pray all the tongues in the world and bind all she can. She, however, should not forget, it was not a dog that took her man away [much as she would not fight you if you called her a bitch]. It was another woman; a woman with two kids like Regina herself. She is a woman who works in the corporate world, like herself; a woman who has bitterly learned the valuable lesson of getting married, taking it seriously, and staying married...like Regina is about to do.
She is a woman; another of the same kind. She does not mind if the world judges her and call her names. She has seen enough pain and tears and she has decided not to cry again. Maybe Regina and all those like her can see clearer if their eyes were washed with a few tears of loss.
It is not a fair world, but it can be fair and warm to those who learn to dance to the rhythms of its exigencies. Regina and the likes of her can argue, form social media groups, shout on top of their voices and throw a Shade Rave. That, as you can see, is very much behind her fence, but tonight, she is going to spend some quality time with Andy. She is extremely tired from preparing the documents for the upcoming board meeting, and she could use some rest, however, as a soldier ready to take over and keep Regina's husband for life, she is willing to do anything to make him happy rather than fall into the folly of Regina, and hope he understands. It is not about those who are fighting over the true ownership of the crown, it is more of, on whose head the crown sits...and tonight, like she has in the last four months, she is wearing her crown, let the contenders contend.
The end really is not to please him and his ego as a man [callous as it is], which is how Regina and her kind see such sacrifices; no. The end is to please her. The start is to suffer, the end is to gain; no pain no gain. And for the bigger gain of having and keeping such a gem of a man, she will overlook his transient needs for satisfaction, and endure…that is the spectrum of light invisible to Regina’s vision.
This post does not in any way seek to promote or justifies infidelity and adultery; it only seeks to give hindsight into the seemingly scattered dots that connect to build that reality.