Carmelo asked me if it was ever okay to not reject the advances of a married suitor.
He asked again.
I thought about it
“Nope,” I answered, “ it is never okay to help someone cheat. And anyway I'm married so it would be doubly bad.
“Because I go home to a house that is warm in the winter, cool in the summer, the refrigerator is full and the mortgage paid, and I'm not about to risk all that. And anyway,” I asked, “why do you want to know?”
It was for his English homework, a set of preview questions before the senior class began reading the Tales of King Arthur.
I went home to the paid up house.
In 1976 I was an assistant teacher at preschool, the head teacher taught me how to be a non-sexist educator, how to make a wrong answer sound right ( What's red and round and grows on an apple tree, orange you say, yes an orange is also a fruit), and if you survive the week, Friday night is a night for beverages that don't come in collapsible pouches.
So, last Friday night, she and I polished off a couple of bottles of good wine and I told her the story.
Maybe it was all the wine, but her summation- my response did not make monogamous marriage sound like the most romantic thing in the whole world.
Perhaps, I needed something stronger in my cup than the coffee from the teacher's room when Carmelo asked me the question at 9:30 in the morning.
So what does cheating have to do with King Arthur?
The love of my life returned to the room with more wine, he and my old mentor both recalled that Sir Lancelot has a thing for Guinevere, King Arthur's wife.
How does this medieval soap opera play out?
I might never find out. Carmelo's group was taken out of my program.
But, thankfully, good friends and faithful husbands remain.
(good wine, as well)