Holding my tongue and smiling into the phone, I have my doubts. Shannon’s excitement grows as she shares yet another dripping wet detail about a friend whose marriage is breaking apart piece by piece.
“He’s been hiring call girls when he travels. This has been going on for four years! And to think how indignant he acted when she admitted to her extramarital affairs.”
“What a little shit,” I agree. “It figures, though.” A towering 5’ 4” and pudgy, Grant doesn’t really strike me as the kind of guy who can get random pussy without paying for it. This is dramatically contrasted with his soon-to-be-ex-wife who has transformed herself into a stunner. I’m not really sure which came first—fucking the stay at home dad or her newfound beauty—but this all happened over the last year as Averill’s gorgeousness and her husband’s putziness have become more and more mismatched.
So, while I’m not terribly surprised to hear Grant has filed for a divorce, I am disappointed. It wasn’t all that long ago that Grant and Averill used to be a fun loving, super happy couple. Or, at least they appeared that way.
I have many fond memories of all of us toasting the New Year, crashing swinger parties, and eating dinner at their home. It wasn’t as if the chinks in the armor weren’t creating divots in their marriage throughout the last few years (their fights definitely lean toward the vicious), but my romantic sensibilities always wish for the best.
And maybe that’s what’s going on.
Averill appears blissfully happy with her new lover, a former high school friend who’s also currently married. Grant is taking charge of his appearance by dressing better, going to the gym, and going out more.
“Why couldn’t he have been this way over the last few years, when we were married?” Averill whines to Shannon. Of course, they are still married, but Averill has moved on so completely that she forgets minor details like that.
I ask Shannon if she believes that Averill would have worked harder at saving her marriage if she thought Grant was going to clean up his act. Shannon doesn’t think so, “She’s so wacked out right now that she claims she never loved Grant—that she only married him for his money.” Shannon laughs when she adds, “Averill asks me all the time, ‘Don’t I deserve love? Aren’t you happy for me that I’m in love?’ Whatever. If she’s is going to be so foolhardy as to marry for money, then she’s going to have a pretty hefty wake-up call.”
I know exactly what Shannon means. Averill hasn’t worked a day in her life. That, and the most recent man she has fallen for has never lived anywhere except the small town where they grew up, never went to college, and probably earns over the course of a year a fraction of what Grant takes home in a week. In their own way, Averill and her new man are completely mismatched.
But, if you hear Averill tell it—they are also unbreakable. They are moving to Steamboat together. He’s getting a vasectomy. She’s going for another degree. He’s giving up his church. They are giving up their children. Nothing can stop them. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.
I want to learn more about this Golden Pussy. Where the fuck does it come from and how is she so confident that it’s going to work even though only 3% of cheating husbands actually eventually marry their cheating lover? What’s going to make them defy the odds?
Averill and Grant used to be one of my favorite couples. I loved how they embraced life together, tried new urban adventures together, and seemed to be a united front through their ups and downs. I’ve had other favorite couples who have broken up—one famously because he wanted to have sex with other women—but that doesn’t make this most recent divorce sting any less. After all, I’m an outsider to marriage who (sometimes) thinks I can learn from others how to get what I really want from a relationship.
I pay attention to advice (“We have sex at least once a week—no matter what”) listen, question, watch, wonder, and learn. If I’m going to experience the Big Love phenomenon that I wish to my core I will, I need to pay attention to the folks who seem to embody that love.
And, I’m sorry, Averill, but this new phase you’re in doesn't make the cut. I know you believe to the depths of your soul that you and your new man will defy the odds and find yourselves in this blissful existence until the end of time. I know you believe this new, exciting feeling you’re experiencing is unbreakable. I get it. I just don’t believe in it.
Please prove me wrong.