I’ve been in a relationship since the beginning of summer, and yet I still check out other women… My girlfriend is awesome, pretty, funny and enjoys watching anything from Chinatown to The Avengers. We have a LOT of fun together. But, occasionally, when I go on the train, or stroll the sidewalks of Manhattan, I’ll glance, sometimes even stare, at an attractive gal.
At first, I felt like I’d committed a thought crime. Is there something wrong with me? Or, am I just window-shopping? But, when I confided with my peers, I learned that staring isn’t unprecedented, but universally common, even amongst married men and probably married women, too.
“I see my inner wants like a fine wine. Being married and having a kid gives me license to stare creepily on the train, because I know nothing is ever going to happen. I’d die of guilt … and I love my family,” a friend privately confided to me over dinner. I found his insight to be mind-blowing – that even if you’re married, it doesn’t end. The visions instilled from family sit-coms, where couples only had eyes for each other, are all a clean-cut illusion. Then I wondered: do women go through this?
“We know that you look, just be honest about it. When you lie about it, that’s when the problem occurs. We look, but not when we’re with our man. We’re not stupid,’ stated Monique, one my co-workers in Branding. “We see the girl before you see the girl and then we look at you to see if you’re lookin’.”
“It’s natural, nothing wrong with it. It’s disrespectful if you get caught,” added, Fernando, a fellow colleague.
“There are ways to do it,” she retorted. “All you need is one look. Why do you need multiple looks?”
Even my girlfriend seems cool about it. Anytime I’d mention the staring to her, she’d just shrug it off and attribute it to human nature, and then give an off-hand comment on how Ben Affleck is the most handsome man who ever lived.
After reflecting on all of this, I came to the conclusion that if you are only looking, and just looking, then it’s okay. Just be tactful about it. You don’t have to feel guilty, but you should be mature, and being mature is learning how to have self-control, that whole being an adult thing.
I remember a parable a mentor had told me when I was a teenager that didn’t make any sense to me, until now. A group of monks had gone on an excursion outside their monastery and passed a woman washing her clothes near a river bend. After they returned from their jaunt, one of the younger monks turned to an elder and asked what he thought of the young woman. The elder placed his hand on the novices’ shoulder. “I left her by the river. Why haven’t you?”
thanks, Alaskan Dude, for the photo
Originally from Maui, Hawaii, Joshua is a writer and humorist. He has written articles for Heeb Magazine, co-wrote the produced game show pilot Geek Vs. Geek for OMFGeek.com and is a contributing joke writer for the Marvel comedy web-series, Marvel Heroes What The?! Joshua is the recipient of a Devery Freeman Prize in Screenwriting, a Brooklyn College Departmental Award for Distinguished Television Writing, and an Upright Citizen’s Brigade Diversity Scholarship.
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