I don't typically comment on the things that go on in celebrity lives, mostly because they have no bearing on me, my life, or my writing. But this Tiger Woods debacle on the other hand, feels very personal and has angered me in a way that few news stories have in recent memory.
You have a guy, who, at least on the surface, comes across as an intelligent, successful family man. He has a beautiful wife who loves him and appears to support him unconditionally, two adorable children, wealth beyond my wildest dreams, a gorgeous house, and basically, the kind of life someone like me only dreams about--jet setting around the world, hobnobbing with the rich and powerful, loved and admired by one and all, instantly recognizable, with a personal brand that makes everyone feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
And yet this seemingly intelligent and successful man was willing to throw it all away (or at the very least, put it all in serious jeopardy) over various affairs with 9 (9!!!) different women, some of whom he was banging while his wife was pregnant with his children, sometimes (purportedly) in their own house!!!
No one is claiming that an enraged Elin Nordegren went after Tiger with a golf club, but I'm sort of hoping she did. As the mom of two small children, I know all that I've sacrificed of myself to be a mother. I have the stretch marks and the c-section scar to prove it. And I'm still carrying excess baby weight that I just can't seem to lose. I've aged about 20 years as a result of sleep deprivation and deferred maintenence. I choose to buy the boys what they need over having fresh new highlights and the latest trendy haircut. Since I'm usually covered in snot and Chef Boyardee anyway, the sexy jeans and tight tops I used to wear have given way to sweatpants and old t-shirts. My idea of romance is watching the latest sap-fest on the Lifetime Movie Network... It's a sad state of affairs, but it's what comes of domesticity and child-rearing.
I understand that it's probably no picnic for a man to go from center of his sexy young wife's universe, to husband of a sleep-deprived, stretch-marked mommy of two. And by virtue of his not having carried and birthed the children, the husband is still the sexy Adonis of his bachelor days, with the same energy and sex drive. Suck it up guys. Because here's the deal: THOSE KIDS SCREAMING IN THE OTHER ROOM ARE YOUR FAULT. AND COUSIN IT IN SWEATPANTS IS YOUR FAULT TOO.
And just to clarify for literal people like my husband, I do not mean "fault" as in "Bad dog! No! No!" I mean "fault" as in the consequences of your actions.
We women were just minding our own business til your sperm came along and fertilized our eggs. So understand that this is what comes of wanting to reproduce and suck up the consequences. You can't have it both ways. Women have to evolve from sex objects to unsexy mothers for the continuence of the species, and it would behoove men to evolve right along with us.
When I look in the mirror nowadays, this is what I think to myself: "Well, shit, Brittany. You definetely look like you're in your thirties now. You're old, you're fat, and you look like someone's mother. Damn."
And then I think of Tom, who at 35, still has washboard abs, and I cringe at the thought of the disparity in our attractiveness. I tell myself I need to hit the gym, and the salon,and pull myself together for fear that he'll become totally grossed out by me and trade me in for a newer model. Not that I think he would, but I'm sure Elin Nordegren, who is more attactive then me by a factor of a million, never expected Tiger to go screw a Perkins waitress.
I'm a pragmatic person, and after this story broke, I told Tom how extraordinarily pissed I was about the whole thing, and how he'd need to fear for his life if he pulled that crap on me. I can understand why a man would want to cheat, especially if he's not getting what he needs at home, but for me anyway, I would rather my husband come to me and say "I need X, Y, and Z to be happy." At which point I could say, "I'm willing to do X, Y, and Z to make you happy" or "I'm not willing to do X, Y, and Z. Find it somewhere else." Then at least I would have a say in the matter, and a choice (albeit an unpleasant one).
It's an entirely different situation when you think everything's fine, your husband acts like everything is hunky dory, and then you find out it's all been a lie. That I could not tolerate. If I were Elin Nordegren, I'd divorce Tiger so fast his head would spin. And I would drown my sorrows in fat alimony checks.
I don't understand women who are humiliated to learn of their husband's affairs, and stay with them anyway (the Kathie Lee Giffords and Elizabeth Edwards' of the world). Sometimes, I fear, it is the lure of money. I have been disturbed to hear that Elin and Tiger immediately started renegotiating their pre-nup. There would be no amount of money that could entice me to stay with a cheater--especially after he'd had affairs with so many women--and most especially after we'd had children together. The minute I have a child for a man, I expect my status to elevate. Maybe he won't see me as a luscious sex goddess anymore, but he damn well better respect me enough to keep from embarrassing and tarnishing my life and the future life of our children.
If I was in Elin's situation right now, Tiger would be lucky to be alive, or still male. The title of this blog is taken from The Color Purple and refers to a mister who continually cheats on and abuses the goodwill of his young wife. I don't advocate domestic violence in any way, but there's a difference between escalating violence after an argument over toilet seat position and finding out your spouse has violated all bounds of morality, fiscal responsibility, and communicable health issues by screwing a passal of other people. In situations like this, I think common sense dictates that the person in question most certainly deserves a figurative and literal wallop upside the head.
And while I'm on my soapbox, another group of people who need a good smack are the women, clearly lacking in good sense and self-esteem, who choose to have affairs with married men (with children) just because the guy's famous. Maybe I'm alone in thinking this, because when I *was* a hot young thing, I had ample opportunity to sleep with older (sometimes married) men and reap the benefits from that sort of situation, but as my friend Michael pointed out about me our senior year of high school, if the ends don't justify the means, I don't waste my time. What would be the point of sleeping with a guy who's clearly unavailable for purely short-term gratification? So I can detail my exploits on national TV and sell all the gorey details to the tabloids? That's sure to make me daughter-in-law material...
As a future mother-in-law to some girl out there, I'm rooting for the woman who tells my son, "I don't come easy, and you need to thank your lucky stars you found me. Lest you forget it, here's a golf club/rolling pin/snow shovel/Lousiville Slugger to remind you..."
It's times like this that I look to someone like Jenny Sanford as a beacon of hope for women everywhere. We need more role models like her. From the get-go, she called a spade a spade (or in her case, a tool a tool), she has never stood by her philandering husband, and while she probably hasn't brandished golf clubs at him, she's made it abundantly clear that she's not going to suffer that fool gladly, support him financially or emotionally, and that she's worth far more to him than he ever realized. Too bad he didn't realize this sooner. Mark Sanford has had an education (much as Tiger has, I suspect), and it's been good for him.
There's nothing like putting a little fear in a man's heart to remind him which head to think with before it gets bashed in.