Ben Wilson 720-378-2327
The Cadillac Limo
Day of Sorrow and Thanksgiving

Taping Rebuilding After an Affair and our Walk Around the Washington Mall

Saturday rolled around.  The morning was as glorious as the ride was horrendous.  Ann and I received our wake up call at 5:45.  We headed out at 6 for the mall.  Our pace was brisk, the ground was wet and the air was fresh after the night time rain.  We passed the Holocaust museum (we were told that is a good days adventure in itself) and were at the Washington Monument in ten minutes.  Unfortunately, they are doing construction all around and we couldn't walk right next to it.

We continued north to the World War II memorial.    It was still a little dark in the dawn.  We really enjoyed the eagles carrying the wreaths on the ribbons.   The quotes around on the walls were excellent as well.  We headed down the mall under the canopy of trees. 

We came to the Korean War Memorial.  See the picture at the top of the previous post.  I think the statues are gorgeous.  In the not dark not light the pictures in the wet black marble didn't show up as well as normal but I still appreciated the beauty. 

We then went to see Abe and read the Gettysburg Address.  I think it'll preach.:)  We looked down the little hill to where we ran out of gas the previous evening.  Aurgh.  Aurgh. Aurgh. 

We had to get back to have breakfast with Brian and Anne and time was out so we couldn't see the Vietnam Memorial.  We have both been there but it would have been worshipful to go again.  It really is amazing how names on a black wall can tap deep into ones soul.  It does.  So many stories are on that wall.

We turned around and headed South.  We noticed squirrels on the mall aren't scared of people at all.  They'd stay within a couple of feet without moving.  We were most of the way back when Ann looked to the left across Constitution and said, "There's the White House!"  Sure enough.  What can I say we're tourists.  The flag football games they have most weekends in front were getting ready to start according to one woman who walked by.  We also saw the large tree they'll light this week and the stands all around for the dignitaries to watch. 

1600 Pennsylvania was eight blocks from 9th and F.  We returned and had breakfast with Brian and Anne.  We were still grunged out in our walking clothes and they were all dressed up and spiffy since they went on first.  I imagine they thought who in the world are these clowns. 

It was nice to be able to connect and talk freely and openly about affairs and the pain involved.  We both knew something of what the other experienced so we didn't have to explain a lot around what we said.  We all have 'clubs' we are in through choice or experience.  I wouldn't choose ours again but we are in it now like it or not.  It was nice to speak with another member of the club especially one who wants to share to help other couples too. 

We cleaned up.  I wore a black suit with a gold shirt and gold patterned tie.  Ann wore a red shirt and some striped bell bottom slacks.  She was looking good.  I think I'll keep her.

She had a good time with Rick in the makeup room.  I chatted with Denise Felde and her husband Bill.  They are the DC area coordinators for Retrouvaille Cheryl Wetzstein showed up in the green room too.  She writes about marriage and family for the Washington Times.  She shared that she was glad welfare reform would most likely pass soon giving more monetary support for marriages instead of perpetuating single households. 

It was my turn with Rick.  He was a likeable guy who joked around while he made me equally tan all over my face.  I must say it was an improvement.  I didn't have to put on any lipstick though.  Wheeew.

We went into the studio inside Atlantic Video.  For you ESPN sports buffs they also shoot Around the Horn and Pardon the Interruption there.  I took the opportunity to play a little pop-a-shot on the way by.   

Bettina Gregory was hosting.  She had some killer pointed purple shoes with those straps around her ankles.  She said Rick chooses her clothes for her. :)  They went great with her gray suit with purple pinstripes.  She was stylin'.

She briefed us on how it would go.  I wasn't really keeping up.  It was freezing in there to keep all of the electronics cooled off.  They were shifting our chairs an inch here an inch there, hooking up our mikes etc. 

One nice thing is that we could see the pieces they shot at our house a month earlier on monitors.  They did a good job editing.  I was so proud when Stephi's face came on the screen and she shared what is what like to be nine and find out about her parents affair.  She was hurt badly at that age.  She is a wonderful woman today.

At times they would have stills showing while our voices were heard.  Ann and I both noticed that all our important dogs made the show.  There was Cookie from Ozark.  Stephi and I went to the pound and picked her out as a puppy for Steph's sixth birthday.  Cookie was a tan lab/chow mix.  Sammi was a lab/pointer mix.  She was sleek and jet black like Elvis's hair.  She was with us in Smithville.  Today we have Chili.  He's a prairie weasel.  I mean he is a terrier mix.  He is tan too.  Jack Russell tan.  They all made the show. Sammi especially helped to get us through the worst of times by always being glad to see us when we were sure nobody really wanted to.  I'll never teach my pets not to jump up on me after her 'hugs' touched my heart. 

We did the interview.  Bettina asked good questions.  She is a trained psychologist.  She earned her doctorate after years of being with ABC News.  Hopefully, when pieced together it will tell a good story of the pain and redemption.  I trust it will since what they have done already is very good.  As with all speaking or interviews afterwards there was a little second guessing of myself.  I should have said this or that or this would have been better etc.  I told Ann today I needed a keyboard in my lap and my fingers typing to think better.:)

Finally, we went to lunch with Emily Brown and her new husband, Jerry.   Emily was one of the 'experts' on the show to talk about what we did well in recovering and changes she would have us make. 

They shared their story of getting together.  He was in the Navy and she in high school in the fifties.  They dated until he dumped her.  They didn't see each other for forty-five years!  His wife died a while back.  He wanted to make amends and have a little closure.  He called Emily to apologize and they began to see each other and eventually married.  I told him he failed at that closure part and we all laughed.  It was wonderful to listen to the two love birds. 

We first had lunch with Emily seven years ago in San Diego at one of her trainings.  She has written a book therapist-to-therapist called Patterns of Infidelity and Their Treatment.  Several years ago we had lunch in Boulder.  Now we ate together in DC.  So we decided our next lunch should be in London since we are working east. :)  I had the Cuban Panini in case you were interested. 

All in all it was a terrific trip.  Every now and then I look around and think, "Wow, God.  You really are redeeming this mess Ann and I made."  And it's a good thing.  It's Gggood. :)