I first came to realize this on a flight to Florida a few years ago. I was traveling alone, as is the norm for a divorced single woman, to visit my cousin in Fort Lauderdale. I had reserved a bulkhead window seat for the extra leg room. As the plane was filling up, I noticed a family of four pausing in my aisle to stow overhead baggage etc. A nice looking family, handsome father, beautiful mother, two adorable well-behaved children. The seating on this plane was three on one side, two on the other. My side.
The mother and two children sat in the 3 seats. The handsome father settled himself next to me, as I surreptitiously checked him out over the top of my book. I glanced up, and he immediately introduced himself to me and his family. Then the talking began. We talked non-stop until we reached the airport. Every so often I would glance over at the wife with my Catholic guilt radar beeping full blast, expecting the jealous, hostile glare. Never once did she look over. She was either busy with the children or had her nose buried in her own book.
As the hours flew by, I started to wonder why the wife wasn’t too concerned that her handsome husband was being a social butterfly with his seat mate. And then the “duh” moment hit me. It was because I wasn’t a threat. I wasn’t young, I wasn’t beautiful, I wasn’t going to seduce her husband with sly glances from underneath sweeping lashes while stretching my curvy, nubile body for his inspection. I was just…..a pleasant seat mate. Some one to pass the time with. A good conversationalist. The trustworthy woman who can hang with the men, cheering on their team, being a buddy, a BFF, but never a girlfriend/lover/mistress. The femme fatale mantle just does not fit me.
I felt like I could have been flirting/cheating right underneath her nose, and nobody was noticing it. Therefore, it would only exist in MY mind. However, that would never happen, because I have been on the receiving end of a lying cheating husband TWICE, and I swore I would NEVER do that to another woman. I don’t care if I found my soul mate or not, I would never put someone else through that pain. My ex-husband’s wife who plotted and planned to steal him away from me FLASHED her wedding rings at me when I accidently ran into them a few weeks back. Really? I can’t comprehend that.
Other women must get that vibe from me, and feel safe.
I’m not sure how I feel about that.