“My husband’s ‘other’ woman,” column for April 17, 2012

He calls her his “Big Woman.”
I wish you could see her.
She is big, yes, but curvy in all the right places, taller and wider than I am, which is pretty darn tall and wide. But I will give her this: She wears it well.
I wish you could see them together, him and his Big Woman, the way he looks at her, the way he smiles at her, the way he holds her in his arms.
Clearly, to him, big is beautiful. That might make some women jealous. Not me. I’m glad he likes his women big.
My husband is a newspaper editor, a good one (meaning one who doesn’t change my copy, except to make me look better.)
He was actually my editor for a few years before we were married. Occasionally he still tries to nag me about deadlines until I remind him that I don’t work for him any more.
More than anything, he’s a musician, a bass player. I knew what he was when I married him. Can’t say I wasn’t warned.
If you’ve ever had any dealings with musicians, I suspect you may know what I mean.
Not only does he love to play music. He loves to listen to it, talk about it, read about it, think about it _ even when I’m trying to talk about something really important like, well, me.
I see that faraway “thinking about music again” look on his face. He doesn’t fool me a bit.
The Big Woman is his standup bass. They’ve been making sweet music together for years.
She occupies an entire corner of our living room. When his old car died and he went looking for a new one, he took along a tape measure to make sure the Big Woman would fit in the back.
There was no mention of where I might fit.
She is not, however, his only “other” woman. He’s got a whole harem _ electric, acoustic, whatever you call it _ basses of nearly every description.
But she is his one and only standup _ or was, until lately.
For his birthday, he treated himself to a different kind of stand-up: One that’s skinny. And loud (“amplified.”) And looks like Uma Thurman.
I’m pretty sure the Big Woman hates her. She hasn’t uttered a sound since Uma showed up.
This morning, after my husband spent an hour in the back room with Uma, I heard him call, “I need help!”
Not for him. For Uma. She had taken a spill, bless her little wooden heart, fallen against a chair, gotten a few scratches in her once flawless complexion.
I almost made a crack about calling 911. But the look in my husband’s eyes gave me pause.
“I’ve got some scratch cover polish that might help,” I said. “I’ll be right back.”
On my way to find the polish, I passed the Big Woman.
“Uma’s hurt bad,” I said. If she cared, she didn’t let it show. It was probably my imagination, but I thought I heard her snort.
I grabbed the polish and some paper towels and hurried back.
“Hold her tight,” I told my husband, “this might sting.”
Very gently, I dabbed polish on the wounds, letting it soak in to cover the scratches.
“OK,” I said finally, “she’s not perfect any more. But I think it gives her character.”
My husband nodded and placed Uma back on her stand.
“I don’t care how she looks,” he said, grinning at me. “She still sounds good.”
I like to think he would say the same thing of me.
I’m glad I married a man who appreciates a “big” woman.
Who likes the feel of aging curves as much as the skinny, bony angles of youth.
Who doesn’t mind a few scratches because, really, it’s our scars that give us character.
I’m happy Uma has joined his harem.
But she might want to steer clear of the Big Woman.


  1. Annie Hudson says

    I have seen that faraway, “thinking about music again” look on the face of my classical guitar playing husband many times. I first noticed it when we worked together on a little play where we used to live.

  2. The best “other woman” is one who can occupy a man’s time and keep him out of trouble as well as provide some free time for his wife.

    My wife knows that my “other woman” will always let me come home when my wife beckons and normally she will not consume my time.

    My “other woman” is tolerant of me juggling time with my family.

    My “other woman” goes with me where ever I go. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Youtube and my blogs. One heck of a diverse “other woman” My wife loves her too.

    Thanks for a good story that I can relate to.

    • Richard Bersbach says

      Richard Bersbach
      I Think I Like Her Too! How does he Play with her? A few of your north state residents and other get to gather fairly regularly, in a “Circle” pick a tune, say what key, and play some Old country, New country, and Old Time Music. All are welcome.

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