Meeting Your Husband

Smug

Don’t tell me you never think about it — a cheat day sanctioned by your beloved husband himself. Doesn’t the thought turn you on, the slightest? He wouldn’t flag that behaviour, knowing his past antics, would he?

I remember meeting him for the first time in Toronto at a convention. We were attending a dinner organised by Elementary Teacher’s Federation, a union representing seventy-six thousand elementary school teachers.

Till date, I don’t know how the two of you got involved. You’re what I call a polar paradox — head meet heart. But, your husband is an eccentric character I have learned to admire and respect over time for his efforts pushing education reforms.

And, we both know, you’ve allowed him a free pass and put up with all his “secretaries” over the years. By the way, for a 32-year-old woman, you look astonishingly fit, despite your fetish for sugary treats. Are you still the CrossFit nerd I met a decade ago?

You haven’t said a word all morning. I’m little worried and beginning to think you’re only here because you want to find out what happened that night. Are you not convinced with your husband’s explanation of how the evening unfolded?

Okay, I will tell you my side, and you can decide for yourself.

That evening, Toronto’s teachers were, for the first time, actively lobbying to repeal the controversial Bill 115 and oust Stephen Harper in the coming federal elections on behalf of national labour groups.

Your husband was doing a story on Sam Hammond, President of ETF, who was being cheered and applauded for encouraging unionised workers and voters across the nation to cast ballots removing Harper from office.

I was there representing a lobbying agency looking to make inroads with top brass and senior political leaders — a networking opportunity to get in on an insider office connection for the companies the agency represented.

Bored and looking for a chance to make it past the general public and into the inner-circle where all the action was I eased my way towards security.

The company had arranged for an “all-access” pass, leaving me no room to post-rationalise with my introvert self — volunteering my Saturday evening, in an effort, to get out of the house.

If it weren’t for these affairs, I’d be home, at my desk, writing.

In the crowd, beyond the reporters and top clergy, I could see a man in his mid-thirties with an audience. I could tell he had natural charisma — someone who routinely speaks in front of thousands and gets his way.

To avoid looking like a creep, I walked over and eased my way into the back of the group. I slowly began to chime in on the conversation, noticing others, who were like me, had joined in expanding the circle.

It looked like a hockey team, huddled around their coach, listening to words of inspiration and motivation. Except, the man was, at the time, talking about an ostrich stuck between the hind legs of a hippopotamus.

He had us all glued in on his African adventure.

Well, do you love him? He’s always rambled and professed his love for you after having had a scotch. Six large ones, to be accurate. Oh, look, the coffee has gone cold. Here, let me get you a fresh cup — plus, I need to pee.

Don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.