Walk the Dog, Dump the WIfebychilleywilley©
Totally a work of fiction. If you want reality, try another website. Thanks to Drbob80 for editing this story. This is my first fiction submission anywhere, so wish me luck as you start the read.
High Society Beckons Her with a Slick Finger
I read recently that when men and women are looking for a mate, they instinctively size each other up with regard to desirable features. Some important attributes include education, age, general appearance, social status, and wealth. No doubt lots of other criteria enter into it as well, for example, children from a previous marriage, generosity, humor, brains, vegetarian, likes to drink a lot, or not. It all depends on the individual.
One general assumption is that a guy making $40,000 a year might be OK as a fuck friend for a woman making $120,000, but is not husband material. Despite what you see in Hollywood movies, the wealthy don't marry the hired help, they marry their own.
We all know roughly our level of desirability. Taking all into consideration, a man probably won't expect a woman he sees as far above his level of desirability to do more than hook up with him, if that. Maybe we are all sub-consciously thinking that somewhere along the path of courtship and marriage, sooner of later they will decide it was a mistake, and that they can do better.
Whether this is true or not, it got me thinking that my wife and I are well matched. We married a bit later than our folks did (in our thirties) and now after three years, we are beginning to talk about starting a family, maybe this fall.
We're both decent looking, very clever people, from New England upper working/lower middle class families, if there is such a category. My family made more money than hers. My dad is a successful contactor from Springfield, but my wife's family had more status. She was an 'oops', born to a mother at the end of her child bearing years, married to an older man. Her dad was president of a small bank in town Southwick, Mass. Those were the days when bankers made a decent living, but didn't earn a lot of money. Her dad wore a suit every day and everybody in town knew that sooner or later, they might need to go to him for a loan. He controlled money and people's access to it and because of that, he had status.
In our adulthood, we each graduated from college, her from a prestigious private college with no scholarship aid; her mother worked for years to pay the tuition. I graduated from the local state college which I put myself through with a little help from my Dad. Karen majored in art history, with a minor in political science. An interesting field of expertise to be sure, but a tough one to earn enough money to raise a family on.
On the other hand, I had the brains to get into a private school and dad certainly had the money, and urged me to do so. From observing my family, I realized that your success in life at our level in the world was more a result of your own initiative and brains, than education. I learned the basics of running a business, and how to think, speak, and write in more or less that order. The local state college suited me fine, especially as I could attend courses at Amherst, Smith, and Mt. Holyoke Colleges more or less at will. I majored in history with a minor in business and took overloads every semester. After two years, I abandoned the liberal arts to get a degree in engineering. I loved learning. I reveled in poetry, literature, and history for my soul, while balancing them with economics and engineering courses to challenge the practical part of my mind. I ignored students whose focus was the party life, and among the serious students, I made several fast friends that I still have to this day.
During school, I worked for my dad during summers, and learned the hard work and sweat side of the contracting business. After graduation, I learned the business side. I discovered that while good at it, I didn't enjoy management and new work. (New work means new construction.) I liked old historic buildings, the craftsmen on site, the thrill of discovery as you remove layers of renovation. The sense of accomplishment you feel when you restore them to their former glory. You are honoring architects and craftsman dead 50 years or more by giving new life to their life's work. I also liked to have an active hand in the work. I met an old man who specialized in decorative plaster work, and was seduced by the craft, and his way of working. I spent three years as an apprentice to him, and went on to develop very nice business as a small firm specializing in restoration plaster This included everything from the structural support of the plaster work to decorative painting, gilding and other ornamental work. I knew I wouldn't get rich at what I was doing, but it would provide a very good living. At 32 years of age, I carry on my payroll, my former master, Anthony, his apprentice, a sectary/office manager and one laborer. I hire sub contractors and a host of the best restoration artists and professionals in the business as needed. As a side note, I am nearly through writing a book on restoring decorative plaster work, with Anthony as my co author.
Oddly enough, while Karen went to school seven miles away from my school, with three years of overlap, I never met her during those years. Five years after I graduated, I met her in a bar when we were both back visiting our respective folks. Her father had died, and her mom moved to Southampton. Karen had been married and divorced in the interim. She refused to say much about it, other than her husband became abusive which is all one has to say.
In getting to know her, we talked about our common experience in and around Northampton. As it happened, she was a bit of a party girl in college. No thought to earning a living, no over loads and no challenging classes. Having said this, you would make a mistake to assume she had a second class mind. She was a smart girl, but lazy. She never learned the pleasure of working on a difficult intellectual puzzle. I now realize this was the curriculum of choice for many of the persons who imagined themselves to be in the upper class. Not much work, lots of fun, and a prestige diploma. The real world comes as a surprise to people like that.
She was surprised and a bit jealous to find I had taken courses from some of the same professors she did, although she tended to have taken introductory courses, and I talked my way out of those for the more focused and rigorous upper level ones. It also irked her that I had spent some considerable time at some of these professor's homes, eating at their tables, meeting their wives (or husbands) and discussing art, science and life well into the night. Some of them regularly assist me now when I run into issues of conservation, and don't know exactly what is I am seeing emerge from under the paint I have to remove, or what I have in front of me.
The economic upbringing, educational, and regional connection created a bond, but I thought it was our intellect that deepened our relationship into love and finely marriage. The decision as to where we would live was easy. I mentioned at work that Karen was living in Philadelphia, and Anthony announced that as he had family in Philadelphia, we all might as well move there. It was closer to the bigger jobs, and property costs weren't as high, so we did.
When I bought our house, the neighborhood was somewhat undesirable. Ours is a lovely Victorian Romanesque style house, faced with cut serpentine stone, a soft stone found locally with a greenish cast. The inside was complete with all of the original stained glass windows and custom woodwork. I re-plastered half of the house, copying the original moldings and plasterwork decoration. You may have seen it as it's been written up in several magazines. Lately, the neighborhood's gentrification has been accelerating, which is good for our investment. The house is worth three or four times what we have in it. Now, however, we are surrounded by folks who earn, or at least make a lot more money than us.
Most of my work is for the wealthy, institutions, or the government, so my wife and I have to be socially active. She's got a part time job with the local Democratic Party, and our social life has changed from a dinner and movie, to a dinner and a play, or the symphony. I've had to buy a black suit, and a couple of $50 ties. Now, I cannot reliably pronounce the names of the French Impressionist painters with the proper accent, but one of the growing differences between us is that Wifey can, and looks down on those who cannot.
I am always clean and well dressed, but prefer an understated look. Actually I admire the way the relatively few wealthy ones who come from old money dress. Superb quality, but never wear the brand names added onto cheaply made clothing from China. No logos showing, my casual cloths are worn, but not worn out. Our neighbors are similar to most people who are doing well for them selves. In my opinion they are over groomed, diet to the point of becoming scrawny, and show their class insecurity by wearing outrageously expensive designer clothing, with the labels on the outside so they can impress their peers. Jan, our neighbor's wife is very proud of a hugely expensive watch that looks like a Chihuahua's collar. No taste.
Despite my enjoyment of physical work, my business has shifting from me doing it myself, to me undertaking the business end of restoration. I still work with my hands and body as much as possible. I figured out that if my back goes out I can't work, so I work out three times a week to ensure that I stay flexible and my muscle tone is good enough to keep me from getting hurt. However, I also like to eat, and while the weight lifting maintains muscle mass, it doesn't do so much about calories. My weight has been edging up a bit, and my business down a bit, thanks to the recession.
Last February, I noticed that shirts marked large didn't fit so well when I sat down. While not obese, I do have a belly that I have to admit is larger than is convenient. By contrast, Wifey has, as they use to say "kept her shape."
It also occurred to me that my very desirable wife is surrounded with high earning, good looking, trim males, and I don't look too good by comparison. Further, I rationalized that you do have to call a stop to waist line creep somewhere, or you risk becoming a circus attraction.
So when my daughter dumped her 125 pound, two year old mutt named Prince Caspian on us (Cas for short), I used him to make a change in my life. Since I work out of our home much of the time, I got the job of primary caregiver to the dog, taking him for walks, while my Karen does the brushing, and the occasional bath. After a bit, she decided to rename the dog, and Wifey settled on Hubris. I wondered if she might have been thinking of Cerberus, the big three headed dog guarding the gates of Hades. She sometimes uses one word when she means another, but the words were a bit too different for that. Or maybe she liked the nickname Hubie, and didn't realize it was short for Hubert. I didn't much care for the name, but what the hell, Hubris it was, except when I had to holler it on the street. Then, I shortened it to Bris. The dog doesn't seem to mind us calling him different names
One of the jobs of dog ownership is walking the dog, which should certainly be more than short defecatory rambles. Hubris is a remarkably good looking fellow. People stop us to admire him. Well formerly a 'he.' There are a few essential bits missing now. Hubris isn't satisfied with a quick stroll around the block, unless the weather is rotten. He likes to get a good, long walk. I started walking the dog several miles a day, and discovered I really liked to walk. In no time, I had lined up my days' phone calls, and we did a walk and call. We would spend an hour, walking three miles every morning while I got my calling in. From there it was a short hop to jogging half a mile, walking a half mile, jogging half, so we were covering four miles in an hour. I pushed it to five miles an hour, but the dog was struggling, so we settled on 4 miles an hour. At the same time, I shifted my diet as well, reducing the helpings of meat and eating more vegetables and a salad (No prepared salad dressing, home dressings made balsamic vinegar, a bit of olive oil, and cheese).
I use to joke that you couldn't neglect a belly like mine, you had to feed it three times a day, or it would shrivel up to nothing. Although it began to shrivel I really didn't feel I was culinarily deprived, just eating right. I had dropped from 225 to 200 pounds before Wifey remarked:
"Have you lost weight, or something? Those pants are a bit too big."
"Nah hon, I probably was never as fat as you remember me to be. Seriously, these pants were always a little big."
We support two of the local charity resale shops and since I wear kind of generic men's cloths, it was easy to donate my big chinos and jeans and buy smaller ones that fit. All of the cloths are slightly worn, and all look pretty much the same as the clothes I've always worn.
Wifey has a few quirks, one that she inherited from her mother, who was an out and out hippy flower child (who married a banker? Go figure!). Neither woman liked perfume, or scented deodorants, and didn't use anything but clear nail polish. Her natural smell is quite pleasant, but you have to have your nose close to notice it. It was remarkable, then, when she came home one Thursday with some perfume on. Thinking she was perhaps advertising her availability for loving, I gave her a hug, followed by a nuzzle and kiss in expectation, but no, apparently tonight was not the night. She went upstairs to shower before supper, which was another unusual event.
It may have been the rejection of amorous intent that got me to thinking it had been a while since we made love. Perhaps a couple of weeks ago? And god knows when the last time was that she initiated love making. I had brought this issue up before, about me always asking for loving, and never her. I had even suggested marriage counseling. She claimed that she loved me very much, but at this time in her life, she had a weak libido and that was that. So, did the perfume come from a sample at a department store? I looked in her purse, but nothing there. At supper, nothing was out of place, the conversation was normal and there was casual affection. I was suspicious, and yes, I felt stupid going though the hamper looking for cum stains on her underwear. I didn't really expect any, and saw none.
Over the next week, I checked our phone records, and computer, but saw nothing out of the ordinary.
On subsequent Tuesdays, I smelled the same perfume on her, but never found the bottle. I didn't ask Wifey as I figured I would get a bullshit answer, and yet I couldn't fine anything obviously amiss.
One evening she did mention a job at the Art Museum she was going to apply for. I mentioned;
"I know Tomas Hoving, the business manager over there quite well. What's the job? Do you want to meet him?"
The response was cold water.
"No Chris, I don't want your friends to try to get me a job. I want to do it on my own."
"Well be assured that they won't give you a job no matter who recommends you. I can get you the interview with the right person. It's up to you from there. But please yourself."
What the hell, I thought, go for it, girl. Still, I thought nothing untoward about her changing jobs.
So what can you do? Look for changes in behavior, and hope they mean nothing. My weight got down to 190 during all of this, and my leg muscles had bulked up a bit frankly I looked good and felt good. I slept well, my pecker stood at attention every morning when I woke up. Even Wifey noticed and complimented me on my appearance. Not that it resulted in anything like a surge in our lovemaking, but I began to notice other women now went a bit out of their way to chat with me. I must admit this latter bit generally occurred when I was walking the dog. Dogs do make people more accessible to chat. But the chats were increasingly broken off by me, or the dog, as he is not interested in long talks when he wants to be walking.
The dog walks soon got boring, starting as they did from the house every day, so first as a treat, and later as a habit, the dog and I began taking a taxi to other areas around about four miles from our house. We'd get dropped off out there, and then walk home. One Tuesday, as is my custom, I was up before Karen, made coffee for myself, and tea for her. I was reading the paper when she came down for breakfast.
"Fruit plate on the table, English Muffins by the toaster. My don't you look nice. What's with the shoes? You need to wipe the dust off of them. You've been wearing sandals for the last month or more."
"Well, I thought they would look nice with this dress."
"Isn't that a summer sun dress? I'd have thought sandals more in keeping with the season."
"Chris, no one asks you for fashion advice, do they? There's a reason for that. I have a full day in the office, but I'll be home at the usual time. What's on your schedule today?"
"I have to see Keasing Construction, they got the contract to restore the Royal Theater, and there's so much decorative work that if I get the job, I'm going to have to hire more help. Looking it over could take all day. Other than that, I'll be here when you get home."
The site is a bit of a walk from our place, so the dog and I took a cab. The theater is a huge auditorium built in 1925. It's suitable for movies or live acts, with 1,750 seats and saved by a local college last year from the wrecking ball. It was one of the driving forces in the rehabbing of what could be a lovely neighborhood. However, it was a pain in my ass. Sam Keasing didn't have a copy of the specification, and wasn't sure what I should include in my bid, other than the plaster work. I explained that of course, he could pay us to put up scaffolding, do the plaster work, and pay take it down. Then he could pay the painters and gilders to put scaffolding back up, and pay them to take it down again, but where was the savings in that? Plus, we would know what plaster needed weeks to dry, and what could be done right away. Letting me do it all would save at least a couple of months in completing the job. I think I sold him on expanding my scope. Kermit Keasing (love the alliteration) normally does new work, but as times are tough, he took this job, and was a bit out of his element.
I spent a lot of time taking pictures and crawling all over the place, getting some idea of the extent of the damage. The dog did easy time and snoozed peacefully for about three hours. I was about done by eleven thirty, and glad I was to be out in the air again.
Hubris and I set out in the general direction of home, but I was hungry and wanted to check out a block of restaurants I had read about in the Sunday paper. By 12:30, we had walked about two miles, and were traversing the restaurants, each with sidewalk seating out front. Both the dog and I were interested in the smells of food. I was surveying the lot to figure out what appealed to me. At the next to the last restaurant, I spotted my wife at an outside table, close to the building. She was clearly holding hands with a well dressed older man. She probably would have noticed me if she wasn't so focused with happy intensity on what her dinner companion was saying. Of course, she didn't expect me to be there, and the dog was hidden by the other tables and a row of little potted bushes and such, so he hadn't given us away. If there had been any doubt as to it being her, the dog picked his nose up and gave a gentle woof, recognizing her scent. I put him in the heel position, lest he lunge into the restaurant, and walked past them. My mind was racing, with thoughts ranging from denial, to homicidal rage. I continued around the block while my head cleared, until I came to the point where they were in view again. I was sure I didn't recognize the guy. He was clearly older than her, by twenty years, and had the look of money about him. By now, the table had been cleared and coffee served.