The love of Rosemarie’s life is everything she always imagined he would be when she was growing up: intelligent, successful, funny, attentive and terrific in bed. It’s a shame that Barry, her husband of eighteen years, isn’t any of those things. He’s a nice man, Barry. He brings home a decent enough paycheque every two weeks, is good to the kids, and as far as Rosemarie can tell, he has never cheated on her. Maybe that makes him more than nice. Maybe that makes him perfect. But perfect gets boring after awhile. An illicit affair with one of your coworkers – well, that’s what keeps life interesting.
Rosemarie’s affair with Griffen began three years ago while they were in Los Angeles for a workplace convention. When you work side by side with someone, you get to know things about them after a certain amount of time. Rosemarie knew that Griffen’s wife drove him crazy with the amount of shopping she did and Griffen knew that Rosemarie hated how Barry was in bed each night by ten. All it took for them to end up in bed together that night were a few drinks, a bit of flirty banter, and a look in both of their eyes that said, “You might be a nice distraction.”
The thing that makes their affair different from so many others is that both Rosemarie and Griffin know that it can never be anything other than that – an affair. Running away together would ruin everything – their careers, their finances, and the lives of their respective spouses and children. That hasn’t stopped them from fantasizing about it, though.
“Here, I bought you something,” Griffin said to her one day a couple of years ago.
“A picture of the Eiffel Tower! It’s beautiful,” she said after she had unwrapped her present.
“I know how much you’ve always wanted to go there, and sometimes when I’m having a really bad day, I like to imagine the two of us running off to Paris together. We’d eat croissants everyday, stroll along the Seine, and make love day and night in our rooftop studio apartment.”
“That’s a good fantasy to have,” she said. “From now on, I’ll think about Paris as well when I’m having a bad day.”
Bit by bit, Griffen gave Rosemarie a small collection of Paris treasures. There now sits a pair of Eiffel Tower bookends in her home office, a welcome mat featuring a café theme outside of her front door, and a set of kitchen towels with French waiters on them hanging from her oven door.
“What’s with all the French stuff?” her husband asked one day.
“You know how I’ve always wanted to go there,” she answered.
“No, I did not know that.”
Oh right, it’s Griffen who knows that part of me.
“Well I do, and since I know that we can’t afford to go there, I thought I’d bring a bit of it here.”
One needs to be a good liar when they’re having an affair. Rosemarie was so convincing that day, Barry soon started buying her Paris themed treasures as well. When the kids took notice, they did the same; as did her siblings and friends.
“I know how much you love Paris,” they say every time they give her something.
“Thank you, I do!” she says in return because letting them know the whole truth can never be an option.