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Sunday, 30 January 2011

Infatuation Revisited: The Enticement Of an Affair

Written by  Sherri Mandell

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Marriage often becomes routine. As the couple raises children, they may feel exhausted, and be less willing to give to each other, support each other and listen to each other with deep caring.

(In a Restaurant)
Natalie: I feel funny meeting you. Seeing you, it's like being in high school.

Patrick: It's a good feeling though, isn't it?

Natalie: I can't believe that you moved here. And that I saw you on the train. It's so amazing for me. It's like putting pieces of myself back together again. Nobody here knows me for as long as you have.

Patrick:They didn't see you cheerlead.

Natalie: It didn't last long, if you remember. I decided I was too cool.

Patrick: You were. At least you thought you were.

Natalie: Now I can hardly touch my toes.

Patrick: You still look young. At least to me.

Natalie: Oh stop it. I've got wrinkles.

Patrick: You're a beautiful woman. You always were.

Natalie: I don't feel beautiful. I'm so stressed out with work and the kids I feel like I have no time for myself. I'm always worrying. Did I remember to turn off the kettle and did I remember to call the math tutor and did I forget Jesse's dentist appointment and did I bring in the dry cleaning? And when is my meeting at work? Oh God, I'm so boring.

Patrick: Don't worry so much.

Natalie: Don't you worry?

Patrick: A little. But I'm happy with Kim and I love my kids and my work -- well I wanted to be a famous photographer -- but that may have to wait until after the kids are grown. For now I don't mind doing weddings. One day I'd like to travel all over the world and photograph people. I have this idea about people in doorways. People entering and exiting. There's something about a doorway that fascinates me. I'd like to do a whole book of people and doorways all over the world.

Natalie: What a great idea. You know what you want to do. You have a vision. I feel stuck.

Patrick: Why?

Natalie: I'm on a treadmill. I can't get off. I'm always moving and doing. I don't even have time to read a book.

Patrick: Doesn't Mike help?

Natalie: (Pauses) He does what he can. He has to work a lot.

Patrick: You have to take time for yourself.

Natalie: I know.

Patrick: You know I would love to photograph you. Look at me. (He puts his hand to her face and tilts it slightly.) Look dreamy, like you're thinking about a secret. Good, very good. (He puts his hand down. Natalie smiles.) What were you thinking about?

Natalie: Patrick, I'm not going to tell you.

Patrick: Come on. Everybody has secrets.

Natalie: I can't tell you.

Patrick: Okay. I'll tell you a secret. In high school, I once called you in the middle of the night.

Natalie: Why?

Patrick: I wanted to hear your voice. But your father answered. So I hung up.

Natalie: It's lucky he didn't know who was calling. He would have killed you for waking him up.

Patrick:I still like your voice.

Natalie: I don't. It sounds squeaky when I hear it on the answering machine.

Patrick: You like to put yourself down, don't you?

Natalie: (She pauses) Maybe a little.

Patrick: Natalie, you need to believe in yourself. I wish I could show you what an incredible person you are.

Natalie: Patrick, I'm not who you think I am. I'm not who I was in high school. I'm a contract specialist. I spend my time on minutiae. I get up at 5 a.m. to make the kids' lunches so that I can get home by the time they're out of school. I'm asleep by the time my husband comes to bed. Patrick, my life is not exciting or interesting or happy -- or even worth talking about. I'm not...

Patrick: Stop. You can change things. You can be happier.

Natalie: No I can't.

Patrick: Natalie, it could be you're standing in a doorway. And you're getting ready to walk into another room.

Natalie: What room Patrick?

Patrick: That depends on you.

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Last modified on Thursday, 12 January 2012 13:49
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Sherri Mandell

Sherri Mandell

Sherri Mandell has a Master's degree in Creative Writing and has taught writing at the University of Maryland and Penn State University. She is the author of the book Writers of the Holocaust. She has written articles for the Washington Post. She is married with four children

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