This book is so stupid. I can't even tell you.
Remember when I started the review of this book and I was all, "I'm gonna need a few days to read through the whole thing and take notes and blah blah blah whatever?" Yeah, that didn't really happen. I tried; I skimmed through the first few letters and ultimately decided that it was necessary to momentarily take a break from everything Bad Cheryl in order to partially reclaim my sanity after the whole "Wild" escapade. Letter #4 was the last letter I read before I threw up my hands and said, "Fuck this noise." After this post, everything from here on out will be written as I'm reading it. Get ready for the last thing I bothered to read ahead of time.
This is the dumbest fucking letter. I don't even feel the need to paraphrase.
I'm crushing in middle age. That's pretty much it. I'm middle-aged, married, and crushing on a friend. And it's full-blown, just like in high school, sweaty palms, distracted, giddy, the whole shebang. So far it has gone no further than flirting and I really, really know better. My question isn't what should I do (I'm pretty clear I should behave), but what should I do with all this delightful but distressing energy?
Why did I decide to review this book.
What a stupid fucking question.
If you disregard all the preceding juvenile bullshit, the question itself is, "I have a giant boner; what should I do with it?"
Okay. Let's do this. Time for me to give my own inept advice. Get ready.
Instead of trying to figure out what you should do with your newfound sexual energy, maybe you should be more concerned about your marriage and its future. Maybe you should be asking yourself why you're getting all googly-eyed over your friend instead of the person you vowed to love forever. Maybe you need to reassess your marriage and your priorities and your life, because if you genuinely don't know what to do with your sexual energy, you're failing at marriage. You're cheating your spouse. You're not cheating on your spouse (yet), but you're cheating your spouse out of your affection. If you're supposedly so sure about how you should be behaving, you wouldn't be asking this question in the first place. Since, however, you feel the need to ask this question, I would strongly advise you to reevaluate your life choices. I would advise you to ask yourself if you really love your spouse and truly wish to spend the rest of your life with this person, and then force yourself to be painfully honest in your response.
Do not involve your spouse in this inner struggle. Do not play emotional games with your spouse just so you can get your rocks off, because if and when you come to the conclusion that you no longer want to be married, you will have only managed to hurt this poor, unsuspecting person more than necessary, and you will have done so for unacceptable, selfish reasons.
Get your shit together.
It seems as if Bad Cheryl and I have very opposing views on this matter. "Sugar" writes,
"Steer clear of the object of your crush and use that 'delightful but distressing energy' to reinvest in what matters most to you-- your marriage, it seems. Do something extra sweet for your spouse this week. Have sex tonight and make it hella hot and good. Go for a long walk or a lingering dinner together and lovingly discuss how you're going to keep your love as well as your romance strong."
Hella. That word happened.
OHMYGOD, OOOHHHHHH STROKE, STROKE, IT'S HAPPENING, I'M HAVING A STROKE.
So, essentially, Bad Cheryl's response to this is, "Bang your spouse! It'll be great!" I guess I shouldn't be surprised that a cheating whore like Bad Cheryl thinks that sex is the answer to everything. HOW MANY OTHER MEN DID YOU SLEEP WITH WHEN YOU WERE STILL MARRIED? Like, 18,000, something like that? YOU'RE PRETTY MUCH THE BEST PERSON TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION, except the opposite of that.
She ends it all with some kind of twisted math analogy:
"My inbox is jammed with emails from people who are... tortured by indecision and guilt and lust. They love X but want to fuck Z. It is the plight of almost every monogamous person at one time or another. We all love X but want to fuck Z.
"Z is so gleaming, so crystalline, so unlikely to bitch at you for neglecting to take out the recycling. Nobody has to haggle with Z. Z doesn't wear a watch. Z is like a motorcycle with no one on it. Beautiful. Going nowhere."
"It is the plight of almost every monogamous person at one time or another." NO, IT IS NOT, YOU STUPID WHORE.
So, there we have it. I want this person to take a life inventory and make some tough decisions. Strayed wants this person to have sex and call it a day.
I'm not saying that I'm right-- not at all. I'm just saying that I think matters of life and love and reality are far too complicated to be solved by a romp in the sheets.
Your turn. Go.