The group was small, twelve of us in total. Folks from Arizona, Utah, and California. At least six of the people were very wealthy, the 1%. It was mostly fun to debate some very opinionated, very smart people. The manager of GCT is a Har.v.ard Ph.d. who I think took himself a bit too seriously. I bemoaned the lack of vocational training in the United States and how we push even those most incapable to a liberal arts education and he replied that he was a licensed plumber. OK. And he makes "museum quality furniture." I'm not sure that was the best way to say he makes fine furniture or he is a master woodworker.
What surprised me about this particular group was there love, absolute love of dropping names. The plastic surgeon's wife is apparently close friends with Jane.t Napoli.tano and enjoyed telling me about the adventures together. I felt like asking my adventure mates whom exactly didn't they know? Nearly everyone was off on another adventure soon, one hitting Paris with a granddaughter, another Turkey with a friend. LDS bashing was also popular as well as putting down the overweight. That wasn't nice.
The hiking was awesome. We got a little lost the second day and the lawyer told me he was frustrated, a bunch of us ran out of water although not everyone was completely out, but we managed to make it out and have celebratory beers at the trailhead. I favored water. As we said our goodbyes, the lawyer's wife invited me to Phoenix since she knew "a bunch of people my age I would have fun with." She might have just had a bit too much beer, or maybe she did really like me. I received at least three separate comments from people saying they liked my boldness and how I wasn't at all afraid to offer my opinion on any topic. And I very much appreciate they cared to listen to my theories on how to reform the US tax code.
Back to the tired state Friday night. My husband had told me a couple days before we left that Peter was not bringing, let's call her Birdy, on the trip. Peter had broken up with Birdy a couple weeks ago. But he had someone new, naturally. We met the new girl during the Friday night cocktail reception at the Lodge. I could tell she was young. How young, I didn't know. But I do know that Peter is 51, albeit a very young looking 51. He could pass for 40. That is not such a comfort when the girls are in their early 20s.
I did ask her, let's call her Sybille, how old she was on Saturday. 23. I was dying, dying to ask her if she knew how old Peter was but I chickened out too many times that weekend. Peter, in a solo conversation, said she didn't know how old he was just that she said, "he was old enough to be her brother." Great.
Back to Friday night. I was extremely tired. For me, that doesn't not mean I will sleep through shelling outside my door. It just means I'm desperate for sleep. I don't think we were in bed for an hour when it started. She was loud. I estimate the noise was 10% genuine pleasure and 90% to boost Peter's ego. And that thought made me sick to my stomach. I was angry. Really angry. I asked my husband to talk some sense into his friend, that he was looking like a fool and should act like the professional he represented himself to be.
After Saturday's hike, most of us relaxed in and around the hot tub. My husband wanted to stay in the room and take a shower. After my soak, I went back to our room and heard the Devil's Children at it again. I was pissed but not as much as the night before since it was the middle of the day and I was awake. But, the shamelessness, the immorality was gnawing at me. Peter and Sybille came to our room holding hands, disgustingly self-satisfied. All I could do was act disinterested and do a ridiculous passive-aggressive act. I told them their time might have been better spent with the group, not staying in their room. Peter told me we should try staying in our room, I might find out how much fun it is. I responded that getting out is better if he had the good sense to try it. They had sex that night. All bets were off.
Sibylle's family is LDS and she left her faith because "[she] discovered coffee." When she said this I wanted to respond, "and apparently for extramarital sex." I wanted desperately to talk to her, give her some perspective beyond this temporary high. That Peter in these situations does exactly the same thing. The only thing that changes is the woman. I wanted to believe that if she just sobered up she could see sleeping with someone thirty years your senior is a horrible mistake. But, she seemed to eat up the attention. He spoon-fed her dessert. He does that with everyone. He holds her hand, puts his arm around her, holds her from behind. He does that with everyone. The facade fooled everyone but me and my husband but bothered me the most. I'm sure all the other participants thought his behavior was so sweet, genuine affection. I saw the drama, the act, the play.
I wasn't the only one to notice, though. The organizer's wife asked me why Peter brought a different woman than the he had indicated during sign-ups. She reacted to their hugging and kissing on the trail as "bizarre." To me it was and is much more than that. My husband can't understand why this is making me so upset. Here are my reasons:
- Even after my husband had asked Peter to exercise a minimal level of discretion, he refused to do so.
- Peter is using women and the immorality is stunning. I don't care that they seemingly consent to the relationship. No 23-year-old is on the same level as a 51-year-old. Peter won't deal with women who are his equals and takes advantage of the naive. That, to me, is sickening.
- Peter made a mockery of marriage this weekend. Everybody on this trip was married except him. None of the spouses were hanging on each other. Does holding hands make him feel his choices are more legitimate? It's sending a message to everybody, "Hey, I really care about this girl." No, he care about continuing to have sex with them. That's all. Those of us sharing a room made a life-long commitment to one another. Peter reveled in the debauchery, the sin.
- Peter is leading this girl to certain heartbreak. It's the height of irresponsibility. It's cruelty. He complained at dinner while he was holding Sybille's hand, that Birdy had sent 50 "aggressive text messages" that day. Poor Sybille just smiled confusingly. I wanted to tell her so badly that she was next.
For all the anger I feel towards Peter, I'm mostly angry at myself. That I failed to take a moral, Christian stand, to be a voice for my faith, for Christ. I let these people walk into Hell and said nothing. I told my husband that I would never see Peter again with a date. Alone, maybe but never again with a girl. I don't want to be a witness to this ever again. My husband doesn't want me to tell Peter what I think. Or he wants censorship rights. :) I'm not sure what steps I'll take right now. I just wanted to get this off my chest.