Advice for the Lovelorn ... Teacher

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Chapter 10

Frank was becoming a pest.

This was his third phone call this week. I wasn’t sure if he just needed a shoulder to cry on or someone to vent to. What do men do? This is the closest I’ve ever come to having a relationship with a man so to say I was out of my league was a massive understatement. I have no clue about marriage and I certainly have no insight from the male point of view. On anything.

Are you jealous your wife is on a trip? I asked.

No, he wasn’t.

Are you jealous of the boss?

No, he claimed. The no-talent son-of-a-bitch couldn’t hold a candle to him, work wise.

Did he just say son-of-a-bitch? WTF. He’s never said a negative word about anyone, even when we were sharing the office with thrice-divorce John and his hare-brained theories about women! Even when we all were griping about what a jerk John was when he wasn’t in the room, Frank would keep out of the discussion.

So what’s the problem? Do you resent being left home with the kids?

He claimed no, but I kind of suspected he was. Other than the occasional comment that he would play a game of catch in the backyard, he never mentioned his kids.

He did, however, resent the cost of the trip.

Really? The company isn’t paying for it?

Yes, but there was the cost of the passport, transportation to the airport, money for extras …

Are you that cheap? Or poor? Or jealous?

That struck a nerve. I think I’m onto something.

“What do I do?” Frank kept asking me.

Damned if I know.

How deep do I pry? Even to make a half-assed guess I would need details. I really knew nothing about his wife. We had never met. I didn’t even know her first name. You’d never know he was married—no ring, no photos, no mention of his private life. Then again, with children, how much do you reveal?

Finally, I suggested he talk to his minister. Frank was very religious. He wasn’t a Bible thumper or “Praise the Lawd” type of guy; he was a good man. Never cursed, never gossiped, wouldn’t even hug another woman. I discovered this and went out of my way to hug him, more to just piss him off. That’s the way I am. I’m miserable and misery loves company.

The minister made sense to me. If he was so angry about his wife leaving her Bible at home, they obviously had to have a minister who knew the family. And if this was about possible infidelity, for the love of God keep me out of it! Er, I mean, a minister could provide proper marriage counseling, something a mere mortal could not.

Especially one who had never been married.

That advice he did take. His final call was the next week when he let me know that he did call his minister and would be speaking with him later that week.

Now I can go back to my 90-minute naps while reading the newspaper.

Boy, I sure cannot wait for school to start!

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