The Story of My Internet Affair

A few years ago Mark and I were going through an odd patch in our marriage. I just thought: “It happens. All is not icing and rose petals.” and I went on with life. But things got weird. Then things got weirder. I mean, he was touchy(er) and testy(er) and withdrawn. I couldn’t figure it out. Maybe he was just stressed out from work. Not a first.

It was sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas and I had shopping to do. I was in Wal-Mart, in the toy section, trying to dodge Travis and Martina whilst purchasing secret and perfect molded plastic Christmas gifts when he called. He was bitchy and I could not, for the life of me, figure out what his problem was. I mean, I was the one at Wal Mart. I was unsympathetic and sick of his shit. So, I pushed. He dug in his heels. I wheedled. He began to break. I could feel it.

Finally he asked me who ‘Oilman7474’ was. My first thought, once I finished laughing, was What the Hell? So I was vague, “Why are you asking?”
He said, ‘Are you having an online affair?”
I fell down, right between the Playskool and the Barbies, rolling around on the floor of WalMart, laughing. Finally, after ascertaining that I had not, indeed, peed my pants, I asked, “Why do you want to know?”
Mark was obviously a bit stressed at this point and admitted that he had searched the history on my computer one day and that most of the history involved this particular ‘person.’ He told me that he wasn’t checking up on me, just trying to find something he had previously searched and that it was all an innocent discovery. Sure thing, honey.
Could my laughter have keyed him in that it might not be too serious? He was still adamant that I reveal the true name of this Oilman7474. His voice was getting louder, a bit panicky.
I said, ‘Do you think I’m emailing a Texas millionaire? Possibly getting ready to R-U-N-N O-F-T?’
He said, ‘WHOISOILMAN7474?’
I said, “It’s Travis.”


About Bettina Colonna Essert

Illuminated Magdalene High Priestess and facilitator of empowerment and healing circles for girls and women, including a monthly Red Tent Temple. BA in English, minor in anthropology. Waldorf homeschool mom. Reiki master, cranial sacral therapist, herbalist, menstruvist, feminist, epicurian.
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