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Probably the greediest, most vile woman I’ve met was Karen P, wife of a small town lawyer. She and I worked together. Even though we were both married, she constantly flirted with me. When we talked she had a way of crossing her legs and bouncing her foot that made me worry that she was going to jump me! One day she asked me to lunch. I agreed to go. We went to a quiet, very nice restaurant on the outskirts of town. We were the only customers there.

She spent most of the next hour telling me how disappointed she was in her husband. Even though he had a solid, growing law practice, she complained that he didn’t earn enough to support her the way her father did. Daddy was a successful entrepreneur. She never really knew about his early struggles. All she knew was the good times after he became a success. Her husband suffered by comparison. She was practically whining about how much she suffered living in the best part of town, having the newest cars, imported rugs, the finest of everything.

I met her husband on several occasions. In fact, he was a tedious, argumentative bore, the worst kind of attorney. In several hours of conversation I never heard him once utter anything original or anything that concerned more than legal trifles. It seemed to me that the problem Karen had with him was not that he underachieved in the financial arena. It was the fact that his personality was deadly, a shot of novocain to the soul.

At that same lunch it soon became time to leave. This leaden, heavy woman with greed shrouding her like a death veil, reached across the table and touched my hand. “What should I do?” she wanted to know.

I had nothing to say. I was already close to getting sick right there in the middle of the restaurant. All I kept thinking of was my own wife and how disappointed she was in me.

“I don’t know,” I said, and stood up. I looked at Karen and my sense of scorn and pity must have been obvious.

We walked out to our cars and went back to work. That was the last time we were alone together.

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