I stopped on the way to work and ordered a Venti latte. The girl operating the register was a typical Starbucks worker, about 22, attractive without being gorgeous, and slightly challenged by the difficulties of making change. I shook my head but smiled as I turned away.
I walked over to the table with the sugar, napkins, etc, and turned to look at the barista making my drink. I stopped and stared. Behind the espresso machine was the most beautiful redhead I had ever seen. Okay, maybe she wasn't classically beautiful, but she was my ideal of a redhead. She was tall and lithe, with that classic red hair, pale ivory skin, and a round face.
I tried not to stare but couldn't help it. She was an eidolon, an ideal come to life. She was Galatea, a statue of a Goddess come to life. She was... Well, you get the idea: I was entranced. She put the latte up and I realized that I had to do something. I roused myself from my rapture and moved. I took the latte and said, "Thanks," with a smile for her.
She smiled back before picking up the next drink. I stood for a moment more before turning and left, still thinking of my red-haired Goddess.
That night as Megan, my wife, and I were fixing dinner I told her about the girl. Yeah, I know. 'You told your wife, you idiot.' Yeah, I told her. We decided long ago that it was better for me to tell her about my appreciation for beautiful women than to hide it. Hiding one thing turns into hiding many things. It is a rot in a relationship. She would rather have me admit to my wandering eye than turn our relationship sour.
All guys are going to look. Women who pretend that their husband would never look are not even fooling themselves. The woman who proclaims her husband wouldn't look at other women if he loved her are merely showing their own insecurity. Of course her husband is going to look at an attractive female. He's hard wired to look. Why do you think they call it attractive, as in attracts his gaze. He's supposed to look at beautiful women.
Anyway, my wife realized early on that it was healthier if I looked and fessed up. She sometimes would even point out a woman and ask if I thought she was pretty. She wanted to understand what it was that attracted me, to know me better, not to pretend I was something I wasn't.
I told Megan about this Goddess. She could tell that I had really appreciated this girl. "Do you know her name?" she asked.
"Nope, I don't think I'll ask. Tell you the truth; I'd be afraid to ask. Afraid that I might actually do something stupid."
Megan looked at me quite thoughtfully. "Oh," she said. She went to prepare dinner and I helped. That was the last of the conversation about the girl.
That night in bed, Megan was a little distracted. I knew that it was about the girl at Starbucks. So I brought up the topic. The first thing Megan asked me was, "Are you in love with her?"
"What? Of course not. Maybe lust but not love," I said laughing.
"That's supposed to make me feel better," she said.
I could tell this was one of those things that just can't be communicated across the gender gap. She would never understand why I can be 'in lust' with a little tart but it doesn't affect how I feel about her. Really, love has nothing to do with it. Women just don't feel that way. Their emotions get all mixed up with sex, where for men, sex is sex. What's love got to do with it?
That's not to say that women don't cheat. I never understand how people make the ridiculous statement that men cheat more than women, really? Women don't think they cheat because they don't want to 99% of the time, like a man does. Three things have to be true for a woman to cheat: she has to be physically separate from her husband (Studies have shown that the more a woman is physically separate from her husband, the more likely she is to have cheated); second, she has to be in a fertile part of her cycle; third, the potential mate has to be genetically superior, as perceived by the woman, to her regular mate. If all three conditions are true, a woman will hop into bed with a guy. The next day, she is back to her regular self, having no desire to cheat; it was just one of those things that happened. She didn't really want to cheat.
The big thing is that women don't admit to cheating. Studies have shown that women lie about sex, reducing partners, frequency, and cheating by about half of the real numbers. But the real numbers are close to men's. They have to be.
Unfortunately for men, they never know when a woman will be in one of those 1% moods so they have evolved to be ever ready just in case she wants to get in his jeans to share his genes. Evolution favored the men who were always ready for that fickle female to choose him. That makes men seems like they cheat more, just because they have to be always ready, but they cheat exactly as often as a woman, one for one.
But I tried to bridge the gap anyway. "Megan, I do not love this girl. I don't want to marry her, I don't even want to date her, or run around or anything. I love you."
"Would you have sex with her?" she asked.
"Under certain very limited circumstances, yes. Say for instance, you and me weren't married. But that isn't going to happen. I am not going to cheat on you," I said.
"I know about your fantasies," she said accusingly.
"I assume you mean the two girl fantasies. Look, Megan, do you want me to start not telling you things?" I asked.
"No," she said.
"Okay. Then you know I'm telling you the truth when I say I'm not going to cheat with this girl. Hell, I'll probably never see her again. I don't even know who she is. She was just a pretty girl in a Starbucks," I said reasonably.
"You better keep your hands to yourself," she said.
I laughed. "Absolutely. They'll stay in my pocket."
"I'm just worried about what they'll do in your pocket," she said smiling.
I hugged her and said, "But that way it stays in my pants, even if it is messy," and got another smile.
But there was something about that girl. She really was my physical ideal. Not the ideal woman maybe. She was more like the ideal of a Grecian sculpture. I've been in museums and nearly run my hands over some classical sculpture. You just want to run your hands over it and appreciate the physicality, the existence of something so perfect.
That night, I dreamt about her. In the dream I talked to her and invited her to lunch. We met and hit it off. I called work and said I wasn't coming back. She invited me over to her place. Her roommates weren't to be back until night. Inside the door I took her in my arms. We kissed. She led me to her bedroom. Clothes were falling, like discarded dreams, all the way down the hall. We fell into bed. We kissed. She went down on me. It was glorious. I went down on her and drove her to a thundering climax. Then I crawled over her and we coupled like wild animals until we both had climaxes.
I woke in the morning with a throbbing hardon. On the verge of memory was the dream, the ravishing dream of her. I tried to hold onto it; the details were already blowing away like wisps of smoke in the wind, gone.
Unbeknownst to me, Megan went down to the Starbucks to check out this heartthrob. She was really upset for some reason by this girl. Over dinner that night she asked, "What is so special about this girl?"
I was blind-sided. "Huh? What girl?"
"Don't play that with me. The Starbucks girl."
I really hadn't been playing and I think she could tell from the look on my face. "Oh, that girl. Sorry, I really wasn't playing dumb. I am dumb," I said. "That girl. I can't explain it. It's just that she looks exactly like she ought to. I mean, physically. I just have this thing about redheads and she looks exactly like a redhead should. Does that make sense?"
"No," Megan said.
"I guess it's a guy thing. I can't explain it better than that." I could tell this was really bothering Megan. "Look, it isn't love or anything like that. It isn't going to affect how I feel about you. I'm not going to fall in love. It's more just a physical thing, like a statue that you appreciate for its physical beauty but you don't fall in love."
"You don't screw a statue," she hissed.
"But that's just it. I'm not going to screw her either," I said trying to sound reasonable.
"You say you'd like a threesome. Would you like a threesome with this girl?" Megan asked.
"Only if you would," I said. "And I don't think you would. I could, yes. But I think your insecurities would eat you up."
"Oh, so you're more mature than me. You are better able to handle it, huh?" Oops, I shouldn't have said that. Now I had to dig myself out.
"No. I think it's just different for a guy. A guy is just built differently. A guy could have sex and not have love be important. Women have love and sex intertwined. They can't separate them." I said.
"So, if I could separate the love and sex I'd understand?" She asked. I nodded. She continued, "So, if I did that it would be okay if I had sex with someone?"
"Yes, and I could do the same. As long as we both agreed. But if we don't both agree then it would be wrong," I said. "That's the important thing. I ain't going to do nothing as long as you don't want me to. I love you, and only you." Megan wasn't happy but at least I had mollified her.
I saw Miss Redhead every few days at the Starbucks. My reaction was the same every time. I couldn't say anything, she was so beautiful. I started to see a glint of recognition in her smile. I didn't say anything more than, "Thanks."