Give me any woman and ten minutes...and it will lead to sex.
Well, not actual sex, mind you, but the conversation will eventually end up with us talking about some facet of sex. I'm almost convinced I've had more sex talks than Dr. Ruth and Dr. Laura Berman have...COMBINED.
There's something about complete anonymity which people seem comfortable enough about, to start spilling out their most private details right there at the card, produce or coffee section in the supermarket.
These are women of all ages - all ethnicities and all social statures. For some reason I must come across as a great sex therapist, as this has been going on with me for ages. Maybe it's my talkative nature, maybe it's my ease to listen and actually pay attention at the same time...maybe it's just that a whole lot of women like to talk about sex with complete strangers. Who knows?
All I know is that 98 percent of women out there (based on my "research in the field")...are not at all satisfied with their sex lives and/or their partners. Oh, they all go home and act like they are...or maybe they don't; but if it's any indication of the information I've been told, women clearly aren't in happy relationships...sexual or otherwise.
"Why do these anniversary cards have to say, 'You're the best thing that ever happened to me?' or 'You make my life complete.' or 'You're the best husband a wife could ever wish for!' ...why can't there just be generic 'Happy Anniversary' cards without any sentiment on them, whatsoever?"
Oh yes, I've been privy to that conversation a zillion times. Do you know how incredibly hard it is for these women to actually pick out a card? There's not many "un-sappy, un-gushing, un-laden with sexual innuendo" cards to choose from. And the ones that do fit that bill...look like "Here, Bob...you shoulda bought this yourself and saved me the trouble." Nothing in between. But I guess Hallmark wouldn't make too many sentimental brownie points if they had the "Andy Rooney Line of Anniversary Cards"...
"Whatever happened to our marriage? How come you don't do anything nice for me anymore? You don't think socks just pick themselves up DO you? Oh yes...all the waitresses in the best restaurants LOVE to be reminded that you could BUY the whole bottle for the price they charge for two glasses. Class like yours only comes with age...and we've been married HOW LONG, again??"
Those Hallmark gems aren't in the aisle you'll be looking thru. You'll be finding couples who look nothing like you holding hands, hiking; in a yacht, cuddling beneath a starlit sky, and for some reason - worshipping the game of golf.
Pay attention next time you go card shopping...on the surface it looks like it's only a sea of blank faces faced with the daunting task of choosing "just the right card". But...look closely...their apparent blank gazes twitch and grimace...and do that "eye roll" thing...and if you're very quiet, you can even hear a little whimper sounding like "yeah right" spoken under their breath. And these are the people I speak to because you can always spot them...they are there, and by the third or fourth card (like that third or fourth drink)...they're willing to open up to anyone who will listen.
It's really quite disconcerting when you come to think of it -- a whole slew of people so dissatisfied with their lives, secretly confiding in someone they know they'll never see again about a topic they probably rarely ever talk to anyone else about. It's sad that they're pouring their hearts out to someone who really doesn't matter to them...about something that...really does matter.
Apparently it also matters to over 50 percent of Americans...as they wind up divorced. Many get divorced, directly or indirectly, because of sex: the lack of it, the incompatibility over it, the infidelity because of it...the list is literally endless. And the stigma attached to talking to someone in a clinical setting about it...is most likely the key factor as to why so many women are tight-lipped about it.
Except, of course, when they run across a talkative perceptive stranger in some beauty salon, TJ Maxx, the doctor's office, Fresh Market, or any store with a card aisle.
(Originally written, but not published, about three years ago.)