Monday, June 25, 2007

"the best Dads' Night ever"

A long time ago, when Iris was a baby, I was in a playgroup, and occasionally the parents had a Moms' Night Out or a Dads' Night Out (when I organized one Moms' Night Out, I told our one stay-at-home father of the group that it was up to him or his wife which one came, since we considered him an honorary mom. They flipped a coin, and he won and joined us on a night of debauchery. The dads, though, always followed strict gender lines).

On one of our rareish moms' nights out, one of the other mothers got tipsy and wanted to talk about whether her husband was having an affair. "Do you think he's having an affair? He's not having an affair. Could he be having an affair? What do you think?" I had never considered this issue, and indeed I normally spent whole weeks without any thoughts whatsoever about this man entering my mind. But once the thought had been planted in my mind, it popped back up from time to time. For example, the husband had a landmark birthday, and he took the day off from work, got dressed up, and supposedly went barhopping alone to celebrate the day. His wife was not invited (although she had a plethora of babysitting options), and she brought this up wondering why on earth her husband wanted to go to bars alone.

Then there came a Dads' Night Out. (On moms' nights out, we tended to go to niceish restaurants; the dads' nights out tended to revolve around bars). As the Sober Husband was getting ready to go, I joked around with him about getting to the bottom of this Is He Having An Affair question. "After you guys all get loaded, you should say something like, 'Say, have any of you ever thought of having an affair?' Then report back to me on what he says! Wait 'til he's drunk." Usually I have the impression that my words pass right through the husband's cortex without making much of an impact ("Blah blah blah blah dinner blah blah blah blowjob blah blah blah") so I wasn't expecting anything to come of this. But on this night, during a lull in the conversation, the Sober Husband turned to the man in question and with a winning smile, said, "So, I'm supposed to ask you if you're cheating on your wife." The other fellows practically spit out their beer.

"You weren't supposed to ask like that!" I shouted when I heard this. "You were supposed to be subtle! Now I'm going to take the fall for this! What did he say?"

"He said, 'I'm an actor, so why would I tell you the truth? I'm a professional liar.' Then he finished his beer and left."

"He's going to hate me!"

Later I heard another account of the evening from another father who'd been there. It turns out that his wife had also asked him to bring up the same subject and look for a reaction from the same guy, and happily for him, the Sober Husband did his dirty work, plus the spit take reaction to the Sober Husband's blunt query was the most entertaining thing that had ever occurred on such an outing. "Best. Dads. Night. Ever!" he said. This father, unlike the Sober Husband, paid attention to when the man in question left and when he reportedly got home, and those times were several hours off. "He's definitely having an affair," said the observant father. "And we had a vote: you're the least likely to get cheated on. There's no way Anton could pull it off."


Jack's Raging Mommy said...


I think only a man would define that as "Best Ever".
Then again, it is funny, if you forget the cheating bit...

hughman said...

poor anton. so transparent and living in a house full of wily women. there's no hope for him.

Anonymous said...

My husband said sadly upon hearing this--after laughing--, "Some people are just no good at lying."

I said, "Anton wasn't the cheater! He was just supposed to use subterfuge or whatever and ask subtly!"

"Same thing."

Gosh that was funny. Best Night Out story, ever.

Anonymous said...

That is SO something my husband would do- on purpose to thwart my meddling ways. Did your friend ever learn the truth?

2amsomewhere said...

"And we had a vote: you're the least likely one to get cheated on. There's no way Anton could pull it off."

That also probably explains why that guy's an actor and the ever faithful Anton is not.

You have read Ben Stein's "Confessions of a Nerd" essay (scroll down to the message dated 27 Feb 91 20:10:42 GMT), haven't you?


Anonymous said...

I hope for SH's sake that he is never in a situation where he has to finesse with his words. Literalism is nice, but sometimes you gotta candy-coat it.

I assume you will continue with your research into the cheating husband. Perhaps you can do some detective work!

Amy said...

OMG hysterical.

Anonymous said...

Your husband should get some sort of award for his way with words!