Posts Tagged ‘Colette’

The Wife with a Double Life

by Barbara Foster for Nerve magazine, 1997

Civilized Frenchwomen — George Sand, Colette and  Simone de Beauvoir are my role models.

   For years, by choice, I’ve sawed myself in half emotionally in order to live a double life: daytimes a married academic, night times a Greenwich Village free spirit. A coterie of friends were hip to the masquerade; the less familiar know me as a librarian scholar engaged in research on women’s studies. One self displays a bookish facade; its shadow craves adventurous travel with lots of fucking on the side. Since each face is fed a nutritional diet, neither feels deprived. The bourgeois and the anarchist have learned to live together.

Before marriage I suffered from mental and physical constipation. Once my soul mate appeared to whisk me away from a stark parental home, the flow started. Not that I was beaten or abused –just bored to death in Philadelphia. Marriage brought me an expensive love out of a Russian novel. For several years we had great sex that precluded outside involvements. Monogamy, the first stage in our romantic cycle, gave way to a “tolerant marriage” then an “open marriage.” Some years later this evolved into a successful working ménage à trois that incorporates our significant other, Letha Hadady.

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