Wednesday, January 16, 2008

(stereo)typically french

I had lunch with a friend and she told me about a couple she knows, let’s call them Mr. and Mrs. X. Mr. and Mrs. X have been married for about 20 years and during part of this time (if not the entire marriage) Mr. X has had lovers. Mrs. X is aware of this and does not object as long as Mr. X remains discreet and his affairs do not interfere with Mrs. X or the children. A short time before Christmas, Mrs. X called Mr. X’s office and an unfamiliar female voice answered. Mrs. X asked to speak to Mr. X and the woman on the other end asked who was speaking. Mrs. X had an odd feeling and told the mystery voice that she was Mr. X’s wife…she was immediately transferred. When she asked Mr. X about the woman who answered the phone and where his assistant was, he replied that the assistant no longer worked there and the woman who replaced her was someone Mrs. X knew. It turns out that Mr. X's mistress was now working as his assistant. Mrs. X hit the roof and asked Mr. X how his company (based in NY) would respond if she informed them that Mr. X was employing his mistress – who had no training or previous experience as an assistant.

A day or two later, Mrs. X told Mr. X that she had thought about what to get him for Xmas and had settled on the gift of divorce. Mr. X grumbled that he didn’t want a divorce (even though he’s mentioned it a few times in the past), but Mrs. X met with an attorney anyway. The attorney advised Mrs. X that filing for a divorce was not in her best interest financially because even though Mrs. X works part time in a family member’s business and earns a fraction of Mr. X’s salary, the apartment is in her name. This means that if Mrs. X files for divorce, she will have to pay alimony to Mr. X and she’ll be better off if Mr. X files. I suggested to my friend that Mrs. X should find herself a boyfriend and maybe that would push Mr. X to initiate a divorce. It so happens that she already has one and Mr. X knows about him. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried…

1 comment:

Le Tigre said...

How complex! What would the point in staying married be exactly? I would imagine they must live together as roomates for the purposes of their children and business and go and see their real partners in their free time. Not how I'd want to live but, interesting compromise!