I Welcome That Debate
“I welcome that debate.” — President Barack Obama, reacting to the disclosure of a secret domestic surveillance program operating under his watch.
“I welcome that debate,” I said to my wife. She had just discovered that I’d been having — actually, that I am currently having and intend to continue having — an affair with one of the hot flexible chicks in my yoga class.
Some bitter friend of my wife’s knows the girl I’ve been cheating with, and she informed my wife by disclosing dozens of private emails, texts, and intimate photos that I thought were being held securely. It was quite embarrassing. I come off as a real jerk. It looks bad. Especially to my wife.
“You selfish, disgusting pig! This wasn’t a ‘mistake.’ This wasn’t a one-night stand with some stranger you met in Las Vegas. This was ongoing! You’ve been cheating on me for years, all Kama Sutra and tantra, and you’ve been hiding it from me all this time. Don’t you have any respect for me?”
“Of course, I do, darling,” I assured her. “But I also have tremendous respect for the institution of marriage,” I explained. “To keep that sacrament holy and sacred, sometimes we have to make sacrifices, give up certain privileges we once thought we were entitled to. That’s how I look at it.”
“What? You’ve been banging Miss Downward Dog for our benefit? That doesn’t seem like a good strategy to protect our marriage, Michael!”
“Well,” I said, drawing inspiration from my man Barack, “I welcome that debate.”
My wife got that look in her eyes that she gets right before she’s about to yell, scream, and commit random acts of physical violence. Then she hollered, “The time to discuss the validity and usefulness of extramarital affairs is BEFORE they occur.”
I shrugged. “I also welcome that debate.”
The last thing I remember seeing is my wife’s hand cocked beside her ear, holding a frying pan.
When I came to, everything was white and clean. And I had a strange and powerful impulse to forgive my wife, to look compassionately into her eyes and –well, not apologize exactly — I wanted to explain to her that I was awfully sorry she had to find out about me and the yogini babe, but that I hoped she understood why I’d been forced to keep my good works secret: It was all for her best interests, and, also, I hadn’t previously welcomed the debate.
Now I do.