Single In The Suburbs, Installment 127

After an unexpected run-in with Craig and her son over a stalled car, Sara and Ethan are back at her place and wondering whether to take things to the next level.

By Sara Susannah Katz

To read the entire series of articles from the beginning, click here.

n our last installment, our writer had managed a successful first meeting amongst her son, her ex-husband Craig, and Ethan. Despite their checkered love-life pasts, Ethan and Sara appear to be a good match. Will she take things slow this time?

Sunday, continued
Ethan’s suggested we take our make-out session inside and… well, why not? I nod my head and now we’re back in my house, then tumbling into my bed. The experience is exciting and playful. At one point Ethan says, “We’re two adults having an incredibly good time with the equipment God gave us.” Our bodies fit together as if they were made for each
I am trying my best not to fall in love.
other. He stays the night and makes me breakfast in the morning, pancakes and scrambled eggs. I am trying my best not to fall in love.

As I watch Ethan in the kitchen, I muse on how different he is from Craig. Craig is loud, dramatic, alpha-male dominant. Ethan is mellow and easygoing and, well, apparently fairly suggestible. Craig is focused on money and its outward accoutrements — expensive cars, country club memberships, Italian suits. Ethan drives a motorcycle, owns a beat-up truck and would rather barter than charge for his services. Craig went to private schools, Ethan lived in an ashram. To be honest, I’m probably more like Craig. But I’d rather be more like Ethan. He has the temperament and worldview I aspire to have for myself. He’s good for me. The question is, am I smart enough to allow him into my life? Am I finally ready to give up the “happily ever after” fantasy?

Monday, 6:30 p.m.
I’m at the co-op eating dinner by myself tonight. There’s a young family at the table across from mine. They’re both fashionably au courant (at least by our city’s standards). He’s got a full beard, horn-rimmed glasses and wears super-skinny jeans (I’m not sure how I feel about skinny jeans on guys). She’s wearing some kind of vintage dress over pants and a long, colorful patchwork scarf. They have two absolutely gorgeous toddlers who look like they might be fraternal twins. All their faces are rosy and happy. The woman is spooning food into one boy’s mouth while her husband lifts a fork to her lips and says, “You’re going to love this.”

The cynic in me wants to walk over there and tell the woman: You think you’re happy? Don’t get used to it. One day this guy who’s feeding you his rosemary tofu so lovingly is going to decide he’s tired of you and your marriage. You’re going to worry that he’s cheating on you and maybe you’ll start thinking about other men, if only as
It occurs to me that I should probably go back to my therapist.
a hedge against his betrayal. All his sweet quirks are going to drive you crazy. You’ll try marriage counseling but that won’t help and before long you’ll be calling lawyers to find one to represent you in the divorce. And after you break up you’ll be broke because we live in a no-fault state which means you don’t get any alimony. So yeah, enjoy that forkful of rosemary tofu and enjoy your husband with his skinny jeans and weird glasses because, my friend, it ain’t gonna last.

But what I’m also thinking is, I am so jealous of you. You’re just starting out. You have a bright and shining life ahead of you. You can do anything you want. Move to Portland or Hawaii or Puerto Rico. Cut your hair, let it grow, dye it blonde. Teach your kids to speak French. Get an RV and travel the country and homeschool your twins. Be good to each other. Have a lot of sex, not just because it feels good but also because it will bring you closer. And if things get really bad, don’t bother with marriage counseling because it will just make things worse. Have a wonderful life. Send me a postcard. Wish I was there.

After an hour of ruminating like this, it occurs to me that I should probably go back to my therapist. This isn’t the first time I’ve found myself bitterly ruminating on the past and I know it’s not doing me any good. I leave a message on her voicemail. “I think it’s time for a session,” I say. “I find myself fixating on the past.”

Sara Susannah Katz is a writer in the Midwest.

Read Single In The Suburbs, Part 128

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