It wouldn’t technically be called bigamy. I mean, yes, I am already married, but a little-known Jewish technicality would prevent me from being a “true” bigamist.
I am not the type of person who would ever cheat on my husband, Richard, of 24 years; nor am I a gold-digger. But, I met an older southern gentleman at a Bar Mitzvah, who was probably born when Savannah, Georgia was founded in 1733.
To the best of my recollection, Charlie used a pick-up line to get me to come over to his table, which was situated right next to ours. “Boy, that band is loud,” he said, while motioning for me to come and sit next to him at his table.
So what if he kept calling me “Delores,” even though I had told him my name repeatedly? When he finally realized my name was “Leslie,” his eyes lit up and a smile took over his entire weathered face. He declared, “You’re like another Leslie, you know?”
“Who?” I asked, as the sugar-daddy-bigamist plot began to actually plant itself in my otherwise law-abiding-so-goody-two-shoes-nice-to-a-fault-brain.
“Ah,” I said, “the dancer.”
Jackpot! Charlie was ecstatic that I knew who Leslie Caron was. Or, maybe he had gas.
But, either way, he was entranced by my 49-year-old youth and thrilled by my knowledge of MGM musicals. What woman my age knows who Leslie Caron is? Having been born tap dancing, because my mother was a tap teacher, I had seen all of the MGM musicals, not to mention That’s Entertainment, the blockbuster 50-year anniversary film tribute to MGM, a gazillion times.
But, he looked me in the eyes and I knew it could work. Not that I would ever do it, but if I did, it would be the perfect crime.
Charlie was a member of an Orthodox synagogue in Savannah. Richard and I had been brought up in the Reform movement of Judaism. When we got married we signed a Ketubah, or contract, that was technically null and void to the Orthodox movement of Judaism because I asked my brother to be my witness and sign the document.
Traditionally, in the Jewish faith, the bride and groom ask witnesses to sign the Ketubah who are not blood relatives. This is done to prove that the bride and groom have come to the marriage ceremony of their own free will, and have not been coerced by family members who may have ulterior motives, such as monetary gain. The Ketubah is signed mostly to protect the bride, according to Wikipedia, which is, of course, the be-all-and-end-all of Jewish law.
So, because I am Reform and my brother– a blood relative– signed my Ketubah, to those of the Orthodox persuasion, my marriage to Richard wouldn’t be legally binding. If you do the math, I am technically a free agent.
If I wooed Charlie and eventually married him, I wouldn’t be an adulterer, or a bigamist. Then, in a few years – or, most likely, months– I would be a rich widow who would then be able to come back to Richard with a lot of money. It would be a mixed marriage, of course. He’s a Confederate and I’m a Yankee.
After Charlie and I were married in an Orthodox ceremony, and comfortably living in his mansion in Savannah (I don’t know for a fact that he’s wealthy, but he oozed wealth, unless it was Ben-Gay I was smelling), I would take frequent “business trips” to Chicago to see my family, bearded dragons, and dogs.
This is so evil, I can ’t believe I even thought of it! Ewww! Ewww!
But, would it really be evil?
I would get to live in a beautiful, historically significant city amongst the few friends I have in Savannah. However, if I actually did go through with this stunt, they probably wouldn’t be my friends anymore. However, it’s so incredibly hot in Savannah, especially in the summer, that, most likely, their knowledge of my indiscretion would simply sweat out of their brains.
Plus, if you really think about it, poor Charlie lived alone. I could bring him so much happiness in his final year(s). He was very adorable, well-dressed, and hilarious. I could get used to that. It wouldn’t be hard to be his wife. It wouldn’t be like marrying some gross old guy who smelled like Ben-Gay-gone-bad.
My plot came to an end when we boarded the plane to come back to Chicago, after a weekend of celebrating with our friends. I, Delores, will always cherish the memory of being picked up by a good, old southern boy named Charlie—and the amazing pralines from River Street Sweets.