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Swingers: When Do People In Open Marriages Find The Time To Do It?

Posted: 01/03/2012 2:11 pm

Due to a minor computer snafu on my part, my name will be forever linked to an anonymous column we ran on Huff/Post50 on open marriage.

When I discovered this, I wondered what my husband of nearly 20 years would think. Not to mention my daily-Mass-attending Irish Catholic mother and mother-in-law, my ten siblings, four siblings-in-law, and the principals at my kids' Catholic schools. My father, nine years in heaven, was no doubt laughing his head off.

I could deny it, of course -- three times in honor of Saint Peter -- or get one of those reputation firms to expunge it from the Internet. Or I could simply explain why the whole idea would be preposterous. The truth is, even if I wasn't fully stewed in a lifetime of Catholic ideology (the post-Vatican II, Jesus-loves-you, touchy-feely kind), or inclined to want to sleep with someone else, which I'm not, there's a much larger logistical issue.

I can't figure out where swingers find the time to do it.

I work full-time and have three kids. I'm the mom who got a call the first week of school because I missed the medical form deadline (possibly related to not sending the $10 "form fee" to the pediatrician). I was the mom in the mall on Christmas Eve, whose holiday card arrived December 26. I'm the one who left the chocolate-filled Advent calendars on the coffee table, which were ingested whole by the dog, prompting a time-sucking trip to the veterinarian. I'm the one in the grocery store at 8pm on Sunday night, trying to figure out what to buy for dinner, because two of my daughters suddenly declared themselves vegetarians.

When not working, I coordinate the flight patterns of three young ladies to soccer-basketball-choir-play practice-Chinese-science fair group meetings, an experience that clearly qualifies me for a second career managing space shuttle launches (if they were actually still in business).

Even during my truly free time, say, running five miles on a Saturday morning, I'm mentally reciting a mantra of all the endless, relentless list of Things That Must Be Done: Iron on the Girl Scouts badges...call the guy to clear the leaves before the gutters fall off...buy sticky traps to catch the crickets wintering in the basement....buy the gate to keep the dog from trying to eat the crickets caught in the sticky traps...

"Sleep with other guys" never pops up on the list. This is mostly because I married a spectacular guy, a guy who loves me in fuzzy slippers and sweats, mumbling to-do lists in my sleep. (He's also well-versed in the Catholic-monogamy thing, having attending a dozen years of Catholic school to my mere four years of high school.)

Moreover, Irish Catholics (the Kennedys and a few others excepted) don't even think about sleeping around when we're fighting with our spouses. At least not immediately: First we pray to Saint Anthony, patron saint of things lost and found, that the guy gets lost. Permanently. At sea. So he could eventually be declared dead, allowing us to exploit the til-death-do-us-part loophole and get back in the dating game. Which could take years.

By that time we've kissed and made up.

Truth is, I've always admired women with a guilt-free, adventurous attitude toward sex. Imagine what would life be like without the conventions and baggage of a lifetime of dogma? I'd like to meditate on that...but first I have to find a scissors and remove the cricket trap stuck to my dog's ear.

 
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