Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Scarlet Letter

This morning I ran into my friend T. who is in a similar relationship situation: married, married man, separated, cohabiting. They are like us in everything but the cancer. She does have two small children and was once in The Perfect Marriage so she gets extra points for stigma and logistics.

We talk fast and in a kind of shorthand. We talk about the days that we don’t give a dam what people think. We talk about the days when we care too much and the shame is overwhelming. We talk about the husbands and the wives and being The Other Woman.

We talk about the day to day, the legal and the financial, the social and the psycho-social. Collectively –because of our relationships--we have lost spouses, children, in-laws, parents, friends, colleagues. So many people have judgments and opinions. On a good day I know I am a mirror, on a bad day I think I am dammed.

T. and I agree we need our Scarlet Letters. We need to buy and wear beautiful, embroidered, sequined, gleaming, seductive Big Red A’s.

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