Saturday, May 21, 2011
Infidelity and Domestic Help
My recent blog about men behaving badly sparked so many insightful comments that it's worth reflecting on them.
But, of course, I realized I'd omitted a lot of shagging scandals. We're not talking about dancing. That's another one of those things that got lost in translation half way across the Atlantic.
So when I started working on a newspaper in North Carolina and the editor assigned me to cover the activities of a "shag club" I found myself thinking 'maybe North Carolina isn't so bad afterall.' Until it turned out to be a few old people rotating around a village hall, gripping their partners so hard I thought they were having a stroke.
The main omission from my last blog was Tiger Woods. And despite Tiger's many infidelities with vacuous wannabees and porn stars, I fond myself more grossed out by the notion of Big Arnie groping up his domestic help and apparently even her 70-something year-old mother.
Maybe Arnie, Tiger, John Edwards and the former South Carolina governor should all go on a game show called "who's the most pathetic philanderer?' where members of the audience ask questions and vote off contestants.
Minus points for groping the frumpy old woman who turns down the kids' beds or cheating on a wife with cancer. Plus points for creative texting. That kind of thing.
But the Tiger episode has alarming ramifications for mankind in general because Tiger's form on the golf course plummeted after he was busted. It raises the following question. Did Tiger need a massive ego boost of illicit liaisons with a posse of brain dead floozies to make him feel immortal and to rule the fairways? And once he fell down to earth and his missis went for him with a golf club, did it shatter the self belief that made him the world's best golfer?
And what about the obliging women who are attracted by power and money?
Don't beat up too much on the men. It takes two, commented e.a.s. demers who wins my person of the week award. OK let's make that decade.
I'm not sure if Anna Gray would be quite so forgiving after her recent experience with a cad living in Britain. But at least he wasn't British. We all know Brits are impeccably behaved. Jeffrey Archer is surely an impostor etc.
Nor Jennifer Fabulous who suggests lesbianism may be the answer. As guys we are intrigued but a bit intimidated by this idea. Afterall, scientific advances mean there's not a biological need for men at all. The whole process could be so much more efficient if women were involved. Margaret Thatcher could be cloned on a massive scale and the rest would be history.
But really I have nothing sensible to add to this one, so I'll post by favorite K.D. Lang video.
Some rather pointed questions were raised by Lucy Corrander who seemed slightly skeptical about the whole lesbian improvement package option.
Daisy suggests famous types should be more careful about how they act. But I do wonder if they would have ever became famous if they were careful. Brian, the man down the street who plods to work every day and plods back and repairs cars on the side, is the careful type. He'd never cheat on his wife. But nor would he be likely to tell me he'd spent the day "pioneering cubism."
In contrast Pablo Picasso was fairly up on cubism. He also had a number of mistresses. I haven't done a scientific study on this but there seems to be something of a correlation here between intelligence and ability and faithlessness.
But how does this explain some of the woman the rich and famous take up with? The sad answer may be opportunism. As guys we can be lazy. Mildred Baena it seems was within easy reach of Arnie's "grabby hands" with a feather duster at his beck and call. John Edward's mistress Rielle Hunter apparently chased him with a video camera. Camilla apparently said something to the effect of "Our grandparents did it - how about it, Chuck" to the fresh faced, big eared Prince Charles at a polo match.
Now none of these women were finalists in their local beauty pageant, but they still got their man in one way or another. Are men just lazy or perhaps as Rek points out, powerful men can't cope with powerful woman who could compete with them. They'd rather be with someone called Mildred as a form of catharsis.
Sue points to a power imbalance that can lead to the woman being intimidated into complying. However, in the case of Mildred, it seems she was rather eager to be intimidated into complying. But was this because, and, like Marnie, I tread delicately for fear of being labelled shallow, but was this because Arnie's maid looked a bit like his great uncle Fritz who lived in a cave in Austria in the Middle Ages. Just saying.
Talking of caves it even appears that great hater of all things westernized, Osama bin Laden, had a few mistresses and had become a more sinister version of Hugh Hefner in his Burka Boy mansion. As if being killed by the Americans wasn't bad enough for the image of this architect of evil, after his death his depravities made the front page of the National Inquirer, which decided to give him the Mel Gibson treatment.
But we can psychoanalyse and take all of this too seriously. If you took the men Robyn manages to dig up from under stones in her hilarious blog too seriously half of the world's population would get a complex; or at least put in a request for a couple of hundred more brain cells.
And where does marriage fit into this? According to Emm, it's an outdated, useless institution.
Jayne is always so worth reading and her comment on this issue is pertinent.
"Our species is not innately monogamous--to never stray takes an immense amount of discipline and determination. Man is hunter, gatherer, and predisposed to roaming."
Perhaps the modern lack of roaming opportunities has made us worse. In the past we could head over to the Crimea to lose a couple of legs or go to sea with Captain Cook. Today we are faced with carpet texture choices at Home Depot.
I'm not making excuses here for man's failings. Just saying. Affairs dominate movies but Damage as well as The End of the Affair, have always been the most poignant movies of this genre to me, and not just because no crazy jilted women come out of the bath with a knife at the end.
In Damage, Jeremy Irons is a government minister with a big house, a well to do if somewhat annoying wife and a glittering career. Of course he's cold and work obsessed. Then things go awry when his son gets engaged to Anna Barton.
Not only is Anna Barton more interested in the minister than his son but she's Juliette Binoche for goodness sake; she's French and alluring and mysterious and rather bad.
So on one hand Irons can sacrifice his wife, his son, his house, his career and his reputation - on the other he can sacrifice Anna.
It's no contest really because she's Juliette Binoche - for goodness sake.
Damage makes it rather clear that marriage is often safe and dull. The alternative is excitement and danger and ultimately catastrophe.
This still doesn't explain away the housekeeper, though. On a final note it's interesting that few guys commented on the shagging post, apart from Oilfield Trash. Does this speak to our latent tendency not to want to address the issue?
Or maybe I am reading too much into it. Now about that guest spot on the Dr. Drew show.