I’m not a naturally jealous person. Well, at least not in the sense of checking the hubster’s collar for lipstick stains, or foraging through his pockets for any stray hotel matchbooks. (I guess the mere fact that I used such clichéd examples of jealous wives shows that I’m not even green-eyed enough to figure out what it is wives are supposed to do these days when they suspect infidelity!)
However, even my unsuspecting personality has been on slightly higher alert the last couple weeks. I mean a woman just KNOWS these things, whether or not there is any substantial evidence.
And R-T has been feeling slightly depressed ever since his doc temporarily quarantined him from his favorite hiking haunts. So, I guess it’s not that surprising that he would seek out someone to make him feel alive again – – virile – – dangerous. When one name started to come up more than once or twice a day in conversation, I admit my ears perked up. Even worse, I actually caught him watching video covertly in the bedroom not once, but twice.
Finally, I just decided to confront my questions head on.
“Do you have a man-crush on Bear Grylls?”
Like any man, he avoided the question altogether at first. “Did you know that he has skydived onto every continent on earth?? And was one of the youngest Britons to ever climb Mt. Everest?? And that was AFTER he broke his back in three places and doctors weren’t even sure if he would ever walk again!! Is that not freakin’ amazing??!!”
While I stood there with my mouth open, not able to find the words to respond, R-T got up the nerve to confess everything.
“I’m thinking of sending in an application to join him on his show. He’s asking people to send in letters and videos and explain why they deserve to get to go on an adventure with him. I really, REALLY want to go with him. I think I would be the perfect candidate! Don’t you?”
Instead of breaking down or lashing out, though, I started trying to rationalize my husband’s disloyalty.
It had to be the pain medicine they gave him for the broken ribs – – that, and his recent restlessness and despair. He’s hallucinating, of course. Thinking that I would EVER let him go on an adventure with Bear Grylls – – he’s moved past depression and is now in full-blown psychosis!!
Rationalizing only gave me so much comfort, though. Especially after I discovered the letter he wrote to Bear. I’m including it, here, in case you had some lingering thoughts, dear readers, that perhaps I was paranoid and just imagining my husband’s man-crush.
I believe you should pick me to be your guest on one of your televised survival adventures. Americans have this whining thing down to an art form. I have no doubt you will be inundated with letters from this side of the Atlantic by very noble people who have selflessly overcome many challenges and probably deserve a chance to go adventuring with you. That stuff might work on Oprah, but not on someone like you who eats raw maggots from the rotting intestines of mountain goats. Let me be blunt. I don’t deserve it at all. Consider this: How would you feel if one of those noble, selfless candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize ended up croaking on one of your wild survival treks? Could you really live with that guilt? Why not take an ordinary guy like me and not risk years of emotional self-flagellation if I slip through one of those ice crevices? Instead of boring you with some really sad story about why I am the most deserving contestant I am going to cut right to the chase and appeal to your ego. Obviously, you have a massive ego. Anyone who breaks his back in two places and then goes on to become the youngest British person ever to climb Mt. Everest in order to write a book about it has to have an ego to match that lofty summit.
In trying to appeal to your ego, let me first just say what a cool name you have. It’s right up there with Crocodile Dundee. Americans rarely get named after ferocious animals and when they do it’s usually just a golfer named Tiger (although I recently heard he changed his named to Cheetah) or someone like that. Also, I must add that you have single-handedly restored my faith in British masculinity. Before Man vs. Wild, my opinion of your country had been largely formed by my wife’s obsession with Jane Austen’s Victorian England and those Notting-Hill-Love-Actually-Bridget-Jones movies that she is always watching. Based on those, I used to think that all British men ran around like Hugh Grant speaking in a posh accent while fretting over paper cuts or getting exercised about the bread crust on cucumber sandwiches. Then you came along, biting through the spinal cords of raw fish with your teeth, eating worms and drinking your own urine. Wow! You taught us what it means to be a real Brit of a man by showing us that when some of you say “bloody” it’s not just an expression, but an adjective that is going to describe supper on tonight’s episode of Man vs. Wild.
I also happened to notice that before you parachute out of planes or paraglide off the side of a helicopter you make the sign of the cross. So I suspect that if you are a religious man living in England that you must be an Anglican. What good fortune it is that I just happen to be an Episcopal clergy person. Having me on your show would help strengthen the Anglican Communion. There’s no question that it could use some of your survival skills. Now to be honest, those of us who are in the Anglican Communion really have no idea what that is other than to use one of our favorite phrases: “It’s a profound mystery.” However, like all good Anglicans, we believe that if it is really old then we must somehow work to preserve it. That is where you and I come in. Countless Archbishops and ecclesiastical hierarchs have held numerous conferences and drafted endless parliamentary resolutions seeking to ease the strain on the bonds of the Anglican Communion, but what it really needs to jump start the process is for an Episcopalian and a member of the C of E to go out and leap over a pit of rattlesnakes together or make our own zip line through a rain forest somewhere. I do not know the Archbishop of Canterbury personally, but I cannot help but think that you would earn some good will within Lambeth by doing your part to foster the Communion. You could even rename our joint episode and call it, “Man of the Cloth vs. Wild”.
Thank you for your consideration.
So, as you can see, I am completely justified in my jealousy. I am not sure what recourse to take, at this point. Do I give him an ultimatum?? Wild Man or Topsy?? or do I take the if-you-can’t-beat-em-join-em tactic and offer to go ahead and move with him to the mother country for the sake of the children??
Think of me, will you, as I ponder these things in my heart? Who knew that a few broken ribs could also lead to a wife’s broken heart??
Filed under: family life, humor, husbands, marriage, television | Tagged: Bear Grylls, infidelity, Man vs Wild, man-crush | 11 Comments »