Smile_2Several years ago, when I was still a dashing fellow, I decided to attend a national convention of young leaders. I was 40, the maximum age for this group, so I thought I’d better hurry.

While I was packing, I mentioned to Alisa what I had just heard about the convention: "I hear it’s a ‘meat market,’ whatever that means."

I said "whatever that means," because — even as a vegetarian — I knew full well what a meat market is. It’s a place where there are scads of lads and lassies who are appealing and available. And, over there, near the wall, an aging young leader in a bow tie.

"I just want you to know," I promised Alisa, "that I’m not going to cheat on you."

"I know that," she said.

"Do you know why I’m not going to cheat on you?" I asked. (There is no potentially romantic moment that I can’t ruin.)

Alisa: "No, why are you not going to cheat on me?"

Artie: "Because you told me that you would throw me out if I did."

Alisa: "That’s not right. I never said that."

Artie: "Oh, yes, you did. You said it around the time we were married." (We’d been married 10+ years by this time.)

Alisa: "No, I didn’t."

Artie: "Did so."

Alisa: "Did not. I would never say that. I would never trash an entire marriage because of a stupid mistake, a single moment of failing."

[Awkward silence, punctuated by the soft sounds of a man packing his suitcase.]

Artie: "Really? That’s interesting. I guess I have some thinking to do."

Alisa: "Wait a minute, Mr. Deep Thoughts. Let me tell you that there is only one reason I won’t accept for you having an affair."

Artie: "What’s that?"Main_food_2

Alisa: "It’s that you had an affair because you knew I would not throw you out for making a single stupid mistake during a moment of failing."

Artie: "Oh."

Moral of the story: When you marry someone smarter than you, plan to stay a vegetarian at the meat market.

For more on this awkward topic, please click here.