Flirting With Married Men Keeps Me From Dying Of Marriage Boredom

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Love, Family

My family doctor, my local butcher, or the Fed-ex guy. Whoever gets my heart beating.

It can be hard to feel sexy when you're a stay-at-home mom. You spend all your days in the company of a baby or toddler, and can often feel like you're losing the ability to hold an adult conversation.

You often have milky vomit stains on your shirt or a diaper bag slung over one shoulder. You always have to fight your way through narrow doorways and down steep steps with a stroller, so that even the simplest shopping trip leaves you red-faced and sweating.

There's only one thing that can make those long days a little better and brighter: a crush. A full on, giggle-inducing, hair-tossing crush.

Something worthy of fifteen-year-old me.

I've always been excellent at crushes. My first was back in high school, when the only thing that helped me through six miserable years was a lust-driven obsession with my English teacher.

I had his timetable memorized and everyday, I would engineer as many "accidental" sightings of him as possible. Nothing ever happened. He was experienced enough to avert his eyes when I sat in the front row of class and unbuttoned my blouse just slightly too far.

But he was also kind enough to throw the occasional smile and wink my way, which allowed me to keep the fantasy going.  

There have been other crushes over the years — others who've helped me perfect the art — but it wasn't until I became a mother that I realized how essential those flirtations are to my happiness and confidence.

What's a crush? It's someone who makes life a little bit more fun and interesting; it's something to look forward to during the day: the constant possibility of an interaction that might bring a bit of color to my cheeks, and remind me that I'm a woman as well as a mom.

It almost doesn't matter who your crush is. Anyone who's sexy but safe will do. What matters is that you both understand the rules.

There should be eye contact that lasts a little longer than it should. There should be hands that occasionally, unavoidably, brush against each other. There should be that tight excitement in your stomach and a smile on your face that lasts, even when you're loading laundry or doing dishes an hour later.

It might be the sweet, shy guy who does your dry cleaning, or the optician with one brown eye and one blue. It could be your family doctor, your local butcher, or the mailman who drops off your son's birthday presents.

Maybe it's the builder you smile at on the way to daycare. It could be that dad who you sometimes see at the playground or the cute, scruffy student who delivers your pizza. Perhaps it's your daughter's swimming instructor. Perhaps it's all of those, or none.

But those are the regular, everyday people that all the best fantasies are made of. These are the dangerous, thrilling, delicious thoughts of men who are almost within touching distance ... but not quite.

The important thing about a crush is that there's no chance — none — of it leading to anything else, and you both know that. But to provide any kind of fulfillment it has to be someone who you see regularly; someone who fits in with the structure and routine and security of your life.

A good crush is someone who makes you feel seen and valued as you go about your day. Someone who it's worth throwing on a bit of mascara and lipstick for. Someone who will comment on how good your dress looks, even if it has Bolognese stains on the front.

My crushes are the people who keep a little spark alive inside of me. Until I emerge from the messy, noisy days of early motherhood and start to rebuild my identity as a woman, wife, and lover, they're all I have.

And I couldn't get through the days without them. 



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