There is another woman in my husband’s life. And, no. I am not referring to his mother, although for years I would have been. This is someone else, and I have known about their relationship for a while. Honestly, I have known this other woman for longer than he has. I must somewhat reluctantly admit that I actually introduced them. Their relationship has been going on for over a year now. I’ve quietly stood by, complicit in the arrangement, peacefully ignoring it. There’s been no need to worry about it at all...until now.
You see, the other day my husband sauntered into the kitchen and casually announced that she’s coming to town. (Okay. He actually bounded into the room and said, “She’s coming to Denver! She’s coming to Denver!”) Up until now, their relationship has been solely online. But, now she’s coming here, and he has an opportunity to see her in person. This is where things become complicated for me. I’m not entirely sure how to feel about this latest development, but because I introduced them this technically is my fault.
For most of the past year, the other woman has actually been something of a relief for me. At the end of a tedious day at work, hubby usually comes home and wants pleasurable companionship, which I am sure is what many men expect at the end of a day at the office. As it turns out, however, my office is incredibly noisy and at the end of a long day my introverted self craves nothing more than to be alone to wind down from all the chaos. For most of our marriage, this difference has spawned something of a struggle in the evenings. But, after 14 years, hubby and I have worked out an arrangement that has alleviated our mutual frustration with each other every weekday evening: hubby heads off to his office for companionship with the other woman while I retreat to do whatever I want peacefully (or as peacefully as I can in a house rife with the sounds of The Clone Wars and its Jedi masters).
I am passionate about a great many things, but I do not happen to be passionate about my husband’s two favorite things on earth: photography and food. This is where the other woman comes in. She IS passionate about these things. In fact, she has a web site devoted to them. Her name is Ree Drummond, and she is known online through her hugely successful web site, “The Pioneer Woman.” I found her site over a year ago through mutual friends who were raving about a few of her recipes. The minute I saw the site, I thought of my husband who lives and breathes food and photography. It was a no brainer. I selfishly hooked him up with her to help him pursue his hobbies without my having to feign interest in shutter speeds, the quality or quantity of adequate and appropriate light, or the many virtues of the cast iron skillet.
Recently, though, I am loathe to admit that there is a small portion of me that is jealous of The Pioneer Woman. For starters, she clearly possesses the patience of Mother Theresa because she home schools her four children; some days I imagine shoving my kids out of my still-rolling SUV in the driveway of their school so I can make it to Starbucks for my requisite latte more quickly. Then, there’s the fact that she is talented, clever, and savvy enough to have created her own online empire, complete with legions of devoted fans. She has a gorgeous family and her strongly forearmed, deeply blue-eyed husband is a genuine (you have to say that “gin-u-wine”) cowboy in the truly honorable sense of the word. Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the woman creates pure culinary joy in the kitchen and wields a camera the way Michelangelo wielded a paintbrush. I hesitate to even mention this next item because it’s so trifling, but it also annoyingly happens that The Pioneer Woman is an insightful, witty, and perfectly entertaining writer. And, now, she is a published author, something I have long fantasized about becoming. Okay. Okay. So, I’m a teensy bit more than a small portion jealous of her. But, why shouldn’t I be? She’s unbelievably accomplished and my husband admires and respects her, seeks her advice, and looks forward to checking in with her. It’s a smidgen disconcerting.
To make light of the situation and mask my insecurity about it, I continually tease him about his need to visit her because most of the people I know who visit her site daily are women. But, you know, he has learned a lot from her about Photoshop and photography. He’s made her Pasta alla Vodka, and I’ve willingly devoured its awesomeness. He may someday even win something from one of her giveaway drawings. I shudder to think, though, that he may have commented on her blog. I can tell you in all honesty that he’s not once commented on MY blog, and that level of commitment to her from him could really be a blow to our marriage.
I guess I can’t blame him if he considered leaving me for her...or at least wishing perhaps that I was more like her. After all, at this point, she’s his muse. She lives and breathes his passions. To me, photography is an art that I enjoy vicariously but will never want to understand in detail, and food is just a necessity to keep my blood sugar from getting so low that I become more obnoxious than I normally am when fed. I force myself to believe that The Pioneer Woman is so wholeheartedly in love with her handsome cowboy that she would never be tempted to abandon her Marlboro Man for my husband who, incidentally, some say resembles Richard Gere (although I don’t see it).
So, when The Pioneer Woman comes to town next month to sign copies of her newly published cookbook at The Tattered Cover Bookstore, I will probably go with him to get a copy. It never hurts to size up the competition. Besides, I would like to meet her in person too. She’s a whirlwind force to be reckoned with; I might learn something from her or, better yet, I might realize she and I share a lot more than just my husband.