Friday, September 13, 2013

Irrational Fears

I never did go to my reunion. I've always hated mingling, cocktail parties or any situation where I might have to spend hours standing around talking to people I barely know. I love talking one on one, but throw me into a group setting and I panic. Probably comes from my wallflower days at high school dances. Just one of my irrational fears.

However, my husband is much more social and loves talking so I signed him up on a web site for information about his high school reunion. Guess who responded? His old high school sweetheart, who is now divorced. She tells him she knows he has children and says she would like to meet his wife. I explain to my husband that this is her way of finding out if he's still married and ask him not to respond, hoping she'll get the message and go away. But no. She writes back again. So he responds telling her about his wife, children and grandchildren. I am hoping that she will then recognize the impropriety of a single woman trying to keep up an ongoing correspondence with a married man.

Wrong again. This time she reminds him about the time he took her to the prom. With my husband's permission, I write her telling her since I know their history together, I find it painful for her to try and walk him down memory lane. She then writes me a long epistle telling me that their relationship was many years ago (No shit Sherlock, even I can count) and I have children and grandchildren with him, while she loves children, she only has one. If she was going for the sympathy vote here, she seriously overestimated my empathy. All I could think of was, if she was only pregnant once, she probably didn't have a belly. Then she says that first love is just first love. I wanted to scream "exactly." Love you never forget and tend to idealize over time. Except if like mine, your first love was a jerk that you thank your lucky stars every day that you had the good sense not to marry. But I digress.

The point is, I am fully aware that the odds of my husband, who has been totally faithful and is painfully honest, of ever renewing a romance with old flame on the basis of a few emails are extremely slim. Therefore I have no reason to be jealous.  However, feelings are not like bubbles, they don't go away when you pop them.

Why is it that people think, if they tell you that your fears are ungrounded or irrational, that you won't be afraid anymore? Afraid of flying? Simply tell them that planes are safer than cars. Voila, they hop on the next plane. What mother who puts her child on the bus to school for the first time doesn't hold her breath until he walks back in the door. She will spend those hours in fear that the bus will be in an accident, get lost on the way to school, the child will get off on the wrong stop and be lost, or that the other children will hurt him in some way. While none of that is likely to happen, the fear remains.

I confess that I love my husband so much that the thought of him remembering and thinking about another woman makes my stomach hurt, however harmless. Irrational? Of course. Still, when she said she wouldn't write anymore, I simply wrote back thank you.