NOVEMBER: EXCERPT OF THE MONTH (adults only)
THE CORSET & THE COWBOY
by Ruth D. Kerce
“That costume is smoking hot! I swear you’re gonna make more than one cock hard when the guests see you in that.”
“Julie!” Lily stared at her friend in disbelief.
“You say the most outrageous things.” Julie always had been outspoken. She preferred a more tactful and reserved approach to situations herself. Though there was nothing reserved about her outfit of the moment.
“It’s simply the truth. Nothing wrong with saying so. Your costume is absolutely perfect.”
Lily tugged at the top of the black, tight-fitting corset, as she examined herself in the full-length mirror. “Why do I have to wear this contraption?”
“Don’t you think it’s sexy?”
“Sexy is not my concern.” Thank goodness it was after hours, and they had the costume store to themselves. She wouldn’t have wanted to traipse about in front of customers in this thing.
The image reflected back to her made the phrase Hookers to Go pop into her head, along with some clanky porn music from a stag film she’d once been subjected to at a college keg party. She pulled her black hair forward, but the medium-length strands weren’t long enough to cover her exposed skin. “Nope. Forget it. I’m not wearing this.”
“You have to be authentic,” Julie stated in her no-nonsense, business voice. She studied the outfit like a history class assignment.
“Why? Is someone going to peek under my clothes? Besides, didn’t women in the Old West wear corsets over another undergarment, not against bare skin? Didn’t they wear drawers too, not this satin thong and garter thingy you’ve got me in? And I’m pretty certain they didn’t wear fishnet stockings.”
Julie waved off her concerns. “Don’t bother me with details. You’re a saloon girl. You’re supposed to be daring and break the rules.”
“First you say I have to be authentic, then you say don’t fret over the details. I have the uncomfortable feeling that you’re up to something.” The gleam in Julie’s eyes confirmed that things weren’t as they seemed, and a frisson of alarm raced down Lily’s spine.
“I’m not up to anything except trying to make the party a success.”
The day Julie didn’t have some secret plan in the works would be the day Lily started believing in fairy tales and flying monkeys. “Sometimes you make me more nervous than a pig at a barbeque. I never should have let you talk me into helping you and your family with this costume promotion.”
She had already seen the red and black dress her friend had picked out for her, and the bodice wasn’t much higher than the corset. She turned from side to side in the dressing room, trying to see how much of her backside was exposed by the thong Julie had given her to wear. Thankfully, the dress would completely cover that part of her anatomy.
“Quit complaining. You look great. Besides, you’re not kidding anyone, Lily. You would have felt totally left out if we hadn’t asked you to help. You’re practically part of the family, we’ve known each other so long. It wouldn’t feel right doing this without you.”
Lily yelped when one of the garters snapped open against her thigh. “I hate this thing! This ridiculous garter belt is not authentic. It’s -- it’s medieval. And this corset is way too small. I can hardly breathe. If I bend over, I’ll fall out of it.” She frowned at her cleavage, which had never seemed too large before, but now threatened to spill out of the corset every time she moved.
“It’ll all be worth it. It’s going to be a great party, and it’s the perfect way to advertise our costume store, especially so close to Halloween. If it’s successful, we’ll do a lot of these themed promotions. Everyone loves the Old West. It’s going to be such fun. And you’ll make a great saloon girl.”
She made eye contact with Julie in the mirror. “Is that a compliment or an insult?”
“Very funny. Say, you know what? You need a boa -- a bright, red one -- and feathers for your hair. Won’t that be fun!”
A boa? Feathers? Lily groaned. “Why do I have to be the saloon girl, while you get to be the prim and proper schoolmarm?”
“Because you have the body for it. I don’t. You are going to let Jason escort you, right? He’ll die when he sees you in this.”
At the mention of Jason’s name, Lily tensed. She’d been in love with Julie’s older brother for years, but had kept her feelings hidden. He’d never be attracted to someone like her. He liked the fast movers. Party girls. No commitments. Not a woman interested in a home, 2.5 kids, a shaggy dog, two gerbils, and a shiny black mini-van to tote everyone around in.
“No, I’m not going with him. And he’s definitely not seeing this corset -- not while I’m wearing it. What are you thinking anyhow? Every woman at the party is going to be draped all over him, just like they always are. I have no intention of pretending to be his date.” Jason had always attracted women like honey did bears. And she wasn’t any more immune to his charms than other females.
As she thought about the new woman she’d spotted on his arm last week, a wave of jealousy hit her. She tried to fight back the emotion, but only half succeeded. She knew that she had no claim to Jason and no right to feel so possessive of him. However, knowing that and feeling it were two different things.
“It doesn’t have to be a pretend date. He wouldn’t let you get pushed aside. Jason cares about you. He always has.”
Lily ignored her friend’s comment. Jason was fun to be around, and he’d always looked after her, but he only cared for her as his sister’s best friend. He’d never given her any indication of feeling otherwise. And she certainly wasn’t going to embarrass herself by confessing her feelings to him. “Get me the next size. I’m choking in this thing.”
“All right. But we’re not done with this conversation. I know you and Jason are perfect for each other, and I’m not going to just let the subject drop.”
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-- November Direct Answers
from Wayne and Tamara
Direct Answers appears in newspapers on six continents.
-- Direct Answers by Wayne and Tamara
"I cheated on my husband of less than a year by texting this guy constantly, going out of my way to see him, even saying I love you. About two weeks ago, we kissed. This all happened within the span of two months: so seemingly innocent at the very beginning, until it wasn't.
My husband, who I have been with a total of four years, is devastated. I told him four days ago because I was consumed by guilt. He told me this, to him, is like the impossible happening. Four months ago, I would have said the same.
I'm trying to see what I missed when we got married. My husband is a solid, truly good person. He's 10 years older, but I've been the breadwinner since the very beginning of us dating and living together. I told him I didn't want that long-term.
He agreed, but it hasn't worked out that way. He's not lazy, but his chosen profession is competitive. He got a part-time job which helps, but the financial burden has been draining. He is optimistic about getting full-time employment, but he always is about these things.
Since we've gotten married, I think we've had sex about five times. We also don't sleep in the same bed because of different issues, and maybe that’s a problem.
While I can't make excuses for cheating, I'm trying to make sense of what let me be okay with having an affair. I'm also angry at my husband that he can't afford to get his car fixed. It's been sitting idle more than three weeks, and he's been spending extra money to get to work.
I hurt and embarrassed my husband to his core. He wants to forgive me and for us to go to counseling. I agreed. But in my heart of hearts, I'm still unsure.
I don't want to hurt him more than I already have. I don't want him to face the embarrassment of a short marriage. I also don't want people to know I cheated.
The guy I started this affair with was okay pursuing me because he felt I was unhappy. I do feel "in love" with him, but do I feel that way because I'm emotionally out of control right now? As ironic and hypocritical as this sounds, does the fact he's willing to get involved with a married woman mean it's not going to work out with us?
Bottom line, I don't know if I want to work on my marriage or not. My husband said he would eventually be able to forgive me, but that didn't make me feel relieved. I have a solo counseling session next week so I can figure out what I should do. Do you have any advice in the meantime?"
Wayne & Tamara's Answer:
"Lesa, often when people can’t find the words to express a problem, they act out what they cannot say. Of course it didn’t make you feel better that your husband might forgive you. That would defeat the whole point of attempting to end your marriage with this dalliance.
You married a man you cared about but can’t respect and are not in love with. You’re still the breadwinner, even though you didn’t want that long-term. That’s the problem. You are just roommates arguing over the bills.
Sometimes when a woman is with the wrong man, she can’t break it off until the relationship goes to marriage. “I’ve been dating this guy three years. Maybe that will fix things.” Only it didn’t. Marriage doesn’t solve relationship problems.
You know the new guy is a no-go. You said it yourself: I don’t want to date a man who would cheat with a married woman.
Choosing solo counseling is smart. The object is first to quiet your emotions. Then, from a calmer place, you can face the words that you could only act out."
Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached
Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801
or email: DirectAnswers@WayneAndTamara.com
Read an interview with Wayne and Tamara at: http://datingthread.com/wayne-and-tamara