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Friday, June 2, 2006 | Before I met my wife, I fancied myself quite the babe magnet and, fortunately, at least one babe agreed: My wife.

Since we became an item, I’ve tried to put those days of chick scamming out of my head, especially when my wife is around.

In many ways, it’s improved my relationships with women because I’m no longer wondering if they want me or assuming they want me or even caring if they want me.

Well, to be honest, even though I’m faithful, there is a part of me that still wants to be desirable to the opposite sex even if I’m not going to act on it.

But that part of me still freaks out on those occasions when it looks like a woman other than my wife is showing interest. Heck, I sometimes get freaked out when my wife shows interest.

Take last weekend. I was at a party for a friend and, at one point, I was carrying Owen trying to calm him down. It’s actually an easy task because he is one mellow baby.

Anyway, I am trying to give him attention while engaging the adults in something close to grown-up conversation. I say “close to grown-up conversation” because I think I was discussing the merits of the Wiggles, a popular kiddie act comprised of Aussie musicians who look very, very hungover, vs. the Doodlebops, a Canadian children’s act that look like a bunch of club kids on ecstasy.

So, while I’m talking to the grown-ups and holding Owen trying to get him comfortable, I started noticing a woman looking at me smiling and I started freaking out and having an inner dialogue with myself.

“Is she hitting on me? And if she is, did my wife, the Scorpio, see it? Am I doing anything wrong? Did I spill barbecue sauce on my shirt? Is “Saturday Night Live” a rerun?”

I didn’t want to seem obvious or even flirt with this woman, but I kept sneaking peeks to see if I was actually getting a come on. And there she was, still smiling.

It’s a weird feeling. I’ve been spending so much time on my wife and kids over the last few years that I figured I had lost my mojo. In fact, I thought I forgot what mojo was.

But there she is staring at me – and there’s my wife far away in the other room talking with some friends.

If someone had been staring at me when I was single, I would’ve known what to do: Smile and say, “Are you staring at me?” and let biology take its course.

At this point, I’ve had two kids and a vasectomy so I have no interest in biology with anyone but my wife.

However, when I got married, I quickly realized that my wife loved me in spite of my faults and made it abundantly clear that the days of imagining me as a perfect manifestation of all she dreamed about were kaput.

There’s a part of me that forgot how exciting it is when you’re single and meet someone and start the slow process of learning all their annoying qualities and loving them in spite of this.

By the way, just in case my wife is reading this over my shoulder, I wish to state for the record that she has no annoying qualities and that any annoying qualities that were brought into the relationship are mine alone.

But I digress. So this woman is staring at me AND smiling and I’m confused because I don’t know whether it’s the benign “I’m-looking-around-with-a-grin-on-my-face” look or the “I’m smiling because I want you” look.

And I have the looking around trying not to look look.

Finally, the woman in question makes direct contact with me and says point blank:

“Your son is very cute.”

Now, it finally dawns on me. I was thinking this woman had the hots for me and really she just has baby fever that is stoked by the sight of a sleepy baby.

Basically, instead of a woman fantasizing about me, it’s a woman fantasizing about having a son like mine.

I smiled at my assumption and started thinking about something a mentor once told me. He said, “Fathers only envy one thing about their sons: Their age.”

It’s a true enough statement but I’m pretty sure they also envy the babes that they attract as well.

David Moye is a La Mesa-based writer who will discuss the pros and cons of the Wiggles vs. the Doodlebops anytime, anyplace. Send a letter to the editor here.

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