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FOR A GOOD TIME CALL ‌ My 25 Threesomes

Keeping score with a romantic inventory

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At this moment, I have: 1 ex-wife, 0 girlfriends, 0 "dates" upcoming on the calendar, 0 women "interested" in me, 1 "crush" on a woman. However, this woman has fewer thoughts about me than I have thoughts about nuclear fusion. So. for a tally: both the ex-wife and unattainable crush are negatives so ... total: -2

OK, things don't look so good at the moment for new romance. But I just went through my phone book and it turns out that I presently have 25 women that absolutely love me. And none of these women are "related" to me. They are actual flesh and blood women that walk the streets of our planet, I kid you not.

These are incredible women, beautiful, smart, accomplished, charming, funny, and thoughtful, and they all adore me. These are women that I could go by and see at a moment's notice and they would drop whatever they're doing to shower me with affection and even delicious treats. Naturally, all of these women are married.

Let me add this disclaimer, for all husbands that might read this or have this read to them, (some of these men are not very "active" readers), with each of these women, we certainly are not, were not, and never will be physically involved because it's just wrong and in each case, I am equally close to their husbands. Being a very sincere friend to both parties is how these relationships seem to work out for me as "Our Nation's Third Wheel."

No bullshit or facade with each half of these couples. We have real soulful discussions on every possible topic. The only kind of friendship I care to have these days. Shallow friendships are for those of extreme youth or extreme stupidity.

Of course, my "husband" friends know that I am jealous of them on some level, but they also know that their wives aren't going anywhere. And certainly not with me.

Sometimes I see my couple together but very often it is individually. A wife will call and say, "Take my husband surfing." A husband will call and say, "Cindy's lonely and I'm out of town, go by and see her."

My first third wheel/threesome experience was with Peter and Polly when I was 24. Polly was and is a very skilled comedy writer/producer in L.A., a genius on every level. Polly was taking university courses at 13, went to Harvard at 15, where she was the head of The Harvard Lampoon, and then went on to become the head writer at Saturday Night Live. After that, she went on to even bigger stuff in L.A.

Peter was a funny writer and stand-up comedian with whom I often performed on the road. In fact, I skipped my college graduation to perform on a bill with Peter and Jay Leno. Peter and I were the best of friends and were sharing a two-room apartment in L.A. at the time he met Polly through me and a friend.

From the day Peter and Polly met, they have been together every day for the past 19 years. Literally every day for 19 years. Amazing. Two weeks after my marriage, my ex told me that she had thrown our wedding ring in the ocean. I couldn't make it for 15 days. Peter and Polly have made it for 7,000 and counting.

Does this make them better people? Well, to me, yes.

Polly and Peter have two children and live in a huge house in the California hills overlooking the ocean not far from Oprah's place.

It was Polly who pointed out that everyone has their place, and the place for me is as a "third wheel." It affords a non-threatening confidante, right in front of your mate. A confidante that your mate knows you have no sexual interest in.

Somehow, I was able to take this as a compliment. It was like pointing out to a eunuch that he is a eunuch. And he has not simply "misplaced" his balls.

Well, since Polly and Peter, I have been the third wheel at various points to about 25 couples. Each and every one of them still together and very happy.

In a land of over a 50 percent rate of failure for marriage, none of my third wheel marriages have failed.

As I look at the list of 25 "great" marriages, I see one thing in common. About 80 percent of them earn over $100,000 per year and some earn over $1,000,000 a year. And they say you can't buy happiness?

I'm guessing that this financial inequality between me and the husbands makes them pretty damn secure in my being a confidante to their wife. They know it's unlikely their beautiful bride will run off into the night with the pauper/joker who works for charity. Smart women are not looking for a life of dumpster diving and sleeping under the bridge in an old Toyota.

What do I get out of the relationships, you ask?

I get to see relationships that work. Relationships that I can learn from. Relationships that can be a basis for the kind of marriage I imagine in my future.

Wow, I've never even realized until this moment that I really do hope to be married again. Seeing it in print makes me realize that it's true.

Just tonight, I was with a friend's beautiful wife, Amy, learning a recipe for vegetarian stew. Husband Kevin sat nearby learning about the latest in digital technology from a catalog. While dicing parsnips, Amy asked me if I "imagined myself getting married some day?"

"Not really," I said, because it seemed the easier and less painful answer.

Then Amy said, "Well, it won't happen if you don't imagine it."

Of course, Amy was right. And in truth, it turns out that I do imagine it, hope for it and even study for marriage daily by keeping up with my 25 couple friends.

For me, there always seem to be two ways for me to learn things. The hard way, by trial and error where I make a scad of painful, miserable mistakes. Or the easy way, by watching and interacting with people that are very good at what they do. Looking at my phone book and this list of my 25 "couple" friends makes me realize that I have over 50 very good marriage teachers.

I hope to use what they've taught me.

But if it doesn't happen, they sure make it nice being a third wheel.

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