“It just blows me away,” Sara said as we sat in her kitchen, mud packs on our faces,
“What blows you away?”
“That Tony could cheat on Eva. She’s gorgeous!”
“Being gorgeous has nothing to do with cheating, as you know. Remember, Rob cheated on me.”
I waited for her to get my joke, but she was too engrossed in her People magazine; we include trashy mags when we have our monthly DIY Facial Saturday just to get the full spa effect.
“No, of course not! It’s just that, I don’t get it.”
I don’t get it either, except I get this: it doesn’t matter how hot a woman is — and I would
guess that many men would put Eva Longoria
in the hot category. All relationships have
their troubles, and not everyone can handle them well.
And that’s when affairs can happen — if you
can call sexting cheating, which is all the San Antonio Spurs guard claims he did.
OK, well, whatever …
But it’s funny that we find affairs confounding when they happen to hot women — not only
Eva but Elizabeth Hurley and Shania Twain and Sandra Bullock and … The list goes on and on. Guess it makes us think, Well, if a guy could cheat on someone who looks like she does …
And then we start to worry; what hope can we Plain Janes possibly have?
Which, of course, fuels our fears about our looks, our weight, our wrinkles, our age …
when we really should looking at what kind of woman are we and how we treat our man. And, of course, if we’re a woman who loves sex (because most men do!). Because if we’re not giving it to him, happily and often …
But, shouldn’t we be just as upset if a man cheats on a Plain Jane? (and maybe even especially so in the case of someone like, say, Elizabeth Edwards — the woman had cancer, for God’s sake!)
When you think about it, why do we think being “hot” somehow magically turns our partner into someone who’ll be honest and faithful? Or that it makes for a loving, grounded sexual woman?
I don’t. Do you?
Sara and I were soaking in the views from the West Point Inn on Sunday, when we heard a woman’s laugh, a loud woman’s laugh. Suddenly, Sara froze.
“What’s up?” I asked.
“I know that voice.”
“It’s Heidi, Jeff’s ex-wife,” she said turning toward the laugher to confirm what she already knew.
“Oh, I remember Jeff. You really liked him.”
“I more than liked him; I was in love with him. ”
“I can’t remember; why did you break up? He was so nice and cute.”
“He was nice and cute, and fantastic in bed, too. But, I couldn’t imagine having any sort of happy life with him if it included her. It’s her fault we’re not together.”
“Really. She made my life hell.”
I understand what Sara’s saying; some ex-wives can make life pretty insane for the new girlfriend (although I imagine some new girlfriends can wreak as much havoc). But, can you really blame a psycho ex for destroying a love affair? Sure, maybe she’s manipulative, passive-aggressive, irrational, controlling, bitter, confrontational — feel free to add your own adjectives if you have experience. If they have kids together, you’ll forever be an odd chess game — him and you and her, with the kids as pawns. It’s a situation custom-made for a Lifetime TV drama. But could Sara have made it work if she were a “better” woman? Could Sara have sucked it up a little more?
If the man you love comes with a horrible ex-wife, isn’t he worth that extra pain?
Honestly, I have no idea, mostly because I’ve never dated a man whose former wife made my live hell. I’ve dated men whose former wives were pieces of work, that’s for sure, who made his life stressful, which of course impacted us.
Maybe I haven’t been drawn into that kind of relationship drama because I didn’t move in with any of those guys or — God forbid! — marry them; we’ve all heard of nightmare stepmom experiences. Becoming the new Missus is a lot more threatening than being “just” a girlfriend.
And the poor guys, they have to manage it all — put the new relationship first (along with his kids, obviously) while trying to keep it civil with his ex, no matter how “psycho” she may be.
It works both ways, of course. One girlfriend has had to have a restraining order against her ex — he’s stalked her and even broken into her home. She’s a total hottie and sweet as can be, but barely dates — and I can understand why. If I were a guy would I want to walk into that mess? Hmmm …
Am I happy I’ve never had to have my love tested that way? You bet! Still, I’m not sure I would say a crazy ex-wife is a deal-breaker.
What about you?
Photo © Tadija Savic – Fotolia.com
I’m not an Us or People kind of person, but I’m human — I’ve been known to take a peek from time to time while in a doc’s waiting room. How else would I be able to talk intelligently about whether Demi Lovato is morphing into the new Lindsay Lohan? But on my most recent waiting room experience I found myself for some inexplicable reason watching ESPN on the TV instead, a recap of the some of the previous night’s football highlights — so you know I really was not feeling well — along with the two 60-something men in the waiting room with me.
As I sat somewhat engrossed in the action, one of the men walked up to the TV and lowered the volume.
“Do you mind?” he asked, turning his attention to the other man.
“No, it’s fine.”
And then he sat down.
He didn’t even look at me.
Really, I thought — really? (just like that pretty funny Windows cell phone ad).
“So, are you going to live, or should I start planning the guest list to your memorial?” Sara asked when she called me later.
“No, but one, you’re a woman, and women
don’t care about sports, right? And two, you’re too nice, the worst kind of woman.”
“I am not too nice!”
“You are, Kat, face it. Most guys would have
said something to that jerk, just like the women who are in touch with their inner bitch. But, the problem is, we’re raised to be nice, and it never helps us. Nice is like saying you’re ‘good’ when someone asks you how you’re doing. Good isn’t an emotion; it’s meaningless. Same with being nice; it makes us spineless. It isn’t honest.”
Sara was onto something, as usual.
Most of us think being “nice” is among the heavy-hitting virtues. We’ve had that drilled into us from Day 1, thanks to our parents (most likely our moms) who were always hounding us to “be nice” or “play nice.” I’m not against people being nice: I like nice people. But call someone a “nice guy” and we know what we’re talking about — he’s as bland and soft and as interesting as a slice of Wonder Bread (and most likely have a doughy body to boot, despite the old claims that WB builds bodies 12 ways).
Because there’s nice and then there’s nice — you know, the person who never offends or takes offense, who will do anything for anyone to the point that it’s personally detrimental, who is about as PC and selfless as they come.
And, sadly, most girls are raised to be nice. And when we grow up and suddenly show some cojones, well, then we’re called the B-word.
Sometimes, we really shouldn’t be nice. Sometimes, we really do need to be willing to offend someone to stand up for the truth and what’s right. I think sometimes women confuse that with being nasty or cruel or feeling that we’re putting someone down.
Was it worth getting into a “thing” by saying something to the oblivious man in the waiting room? Sure, it bugged me but it wasn’t that big a deal. But I know that there have times in my past when I should have gotten into it and I didn’t; I was too afraid of being offensive.
I was too nice.
What about you?
Photo © Angelika Bentin – Fotolia.com