A few weeks ago I was out of town on business when I called home one evening to check in with the guys. But someone else picked up the phone in my kitchen. It was my friend, Mo. Her voice was cheery and I could tell she was smiling on the other end, having confused me into thinking I had dialed the wrong number.“Hello!” she said. “Mo?” “Yeah! How’s it going?” “It’s going good. What’s going on there?” “Doug is working so Dave and I are making dinner with the kids.”
(Cue dramatic music.)
It is the shit that Lifetime movies are made of. Two couples… close friends… horrible betrayals… perhaps a shower scene… and a loaded gun….
But it gets better because there have been an equal number of times when Doug and I have hung out without Dave and Mo. In fact, in our circle of friends here in town, you will often see a mixing and matching of husbands and wives out and about – working out, at kids sporting events, out to dinner or ice cream, or even at the local brew pub grabbing a drink. (You know who you are.) But unfortunately for Lifetime – and any reality show in the making – we really are “just normal friends.”
But lately I have been wondering how normal it really is.
Conventional wisdom suggests we may be a little odd. Societal norms discourage wives and husbands to build meaningful friendships with someone else’s spouse. On more than one occasion, Dave or I have felt the local scrutiny when showing up in public with a spouse that is not our own. And while tremendous fun can be had perpetuating the morbid fantasy of the neighborhood gossip, I often feel compelled to explain myself and tell folks not to worry. We are not swinging or swapping. Those terms suggest the exchange of other things beside conversation and a few laughs. I’d like to say we are just switching – and temporarily at that.
Spouse switching has is benefits. I, for one, feel better when I am out of town that Dave doesn’t have to handle the burden of the brothers by himself. As for exercise, if I can find anyone to run 10 miles with Dave at 5:00 a.m., I don’t care what color their sneakers are. And I’m actually kind of proud that I have a husband who wives want to hang out with. Gives him a little street cred after 17 years of marrigage. As for me, I genuninely like spend time with these men. They are kind and funny and real. My friends picked winners.
Still I don’t see many other spouse switchers out there which suggests one of the following realities:People generally do not LIKE the spouses of their friends or … People like the spouses of their friends but at not comfortable spending one-on-one time with them for a variety of reasons.
If the former, then so be it. But if the latter, I might suggest that you are missing out on half of the close friendships you could be enjoying.
So tell me MoB readers, do you hang with your friend’s spouses one-on-one?
Or do you think there is something fishy about it?
Life enhancing or Lifetime movie? Weigh in here today.