How about never?
Unless you’re The Genius. Then you do it at your first possibly opportunity. How very Mensa of you. And you do it because you know that a man (GASP! He must have a penis too!) is accompanying your God-I-Hope-Really-Freaking-Soon-Former-Wife and children to an airshow.
Yep. That was the catalyst. The horror. The horror of it all. An airshow. With a friend.
The Genius caught wind of the fact that Mr. Jackpot (Have I mentioned Mr. Jackpot is single and without children? He is. Just want to be in the clear.) and I were taking the boys to an airshow. Here’s how that came about: Mr. Jackpot invited us. He picked up the phone and called. Said there was a cool airshow going on just up north and he was thinking of checking it out. Thought we might want to tag along. No grand scheme. We haven’t been having an adulterous affair. Just two adults who are friends taking a couple boys to an airshow.
Somehow that became reason enough for The Genius to introduce to our children the Happy Dance Chick with whom he has been having a four year adulterous affair. That’s two people being so selfish that they would RISK negatively affecting the boys because of their own needs. The Genius wanted to show off the boys, and The Happy Dance Chick wanted to sniff some of that perfect, fuzzy, happy-go-lucky little family life she’s always been seeking. Well, she won’t find it with The Genius.
They spent the day together. I don’t know what they did, but they were together for hours. I was appalled. I let him know.
You didn’t discuss introducing your friend to them with me. Get off your high horse. She was introduced ONLY as my friend. Don’t make it anything more than it is, says he.
Don’t make it anything more than it is? Um, I’m not. I’m making it what it is. If you have to lie to your children, perhaps what you are doing isn’t right. Just a crazy, out-there thought. And there’s a BIG difference between introducing a friend to the children and introducing Daddy’s married mistress to the children, even if you’re lying to yourself and them by calling her a friend. You’d think a Genius could see that.
I was tweaked. I saw a whole new level of The Genius’ incompetence, if you can believe it. Honestly, I found this move to be more disturbing than initiating the affair. I’d rather be on my high horse, complete with a saddle of morals, than in the gutter where these two shack up.
Still numb from learning of the ‘meet and greet’ the day prior, I embraced heading out to an airport to ogle the flying machines, maybe climb in one or two and pretend I’m Amelia Earhart to take my mind off the cacophony of crap I was dealing with. We met up with Mr. Jackpot and headed north, into Sonoma County. But upon arrival at the airport it was immediately clear that the airshow was a no-show.
Mr. Jackpot knows his way around an airport from his days as a ramp rat and from tallying up about 100 hours of flight time. He chatted with a man who sent us a few hangers down to check out some private planes that were in for service. Off we went.
After drooling over a Piper Meridian that I know is destined to be mine, I went to the bathroom. There was some ‘yea, right’ talk about going up for a quick flight, but when I emerged that line had changed.
“You’re about to have your first flight lesson! Roger is going to take us up and you’re riding shotgun.”
“Roger?” I was waiting for Leslie Nielsen to come walking out from behind a moving propellor, nearly shearing off his head in full view of the boys, before tripping over a cable and taking me flat to the ground. I desperately wanted to pull out the “Roger, Roger. What’s your vector, Victor?” line but somehow managed self-restraint. Stunning. Until the flight was over. Can’t keep that stuff inside forever.
But there was no restraint happening as I pulled that headset on and looked back at Mr. Jackpot and the boys all buckled in their seats. I was really going to fly this bitty little plane. Yesterday I felt buried in the earth and today I was seconds away from flying above it. With my own hands. All because Mr. Jackpot knew I needed to soar.
We took off over west Marin towards the blue Pacific, with me mesmerized by the view – the hills sprouting with the fresh greens of the early rainy season, the forests as we approached the coast, and then…Limantour. From the air. I wanted to cry, but that’s when Roger handed my my wings. I thought crying might be a bad sign, and he’d roll his eyes and take back my power. I stuffed the tears back in and gently gripped the yoke, or steering wheel, having absolutely no idea where to look.
Do I look at the beach? The clouds? The Golden Gate Bridge coming into view? Or the instruments, which mean zilch to me at this point. Or do I look at Roger? No. He’d see the fear and turn off my headset.
I kid. I was jacked up. I could have done it for hours. I wanted to fly up and down the coast, land, take-off and get my pilot’s license in one day, followed by a celebratory flight in an F-18. As they say, I was bitten. I was 2000 feet up in the air piloting a plane towards San Francisco. I was grabbing life by the yoke. Delicately of course…those babies are very sensitive. I was shedding fears with every glance back to see the delighted look on the boys’ faces as they searched the bay for Alcatraz or looked for whales migrating north.
Then I met Mr. Jackpot’s eyes. He was thrilled to see me so thrilled. Been a long time since I’ve been on the receiving end of a look like that. He was genuinely happy for me. And probably pretty stoked that I was ballsy enough to do it.
My feet didn’t touch the ground for the rest of the day. And that’s not always a good thing.