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Nov 15

Kat Von D, my turkey and believing we’re different

Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 in Affairs/infidelity, Celebrities, Honesty, Kat, love, Relationships

I’m not sure why this somehow didn’t register with me before, but yesterday is when I realized for the first time that Thanksgiving is next week. Which meant I had to order a turkey — ASAP.

Holidays like Thanksgiving, where there are certain culinary expectations, means you have to detailed plans; what gets picked up when, what gets cooked first, etc. No one wants to deal with the crowds at the supermarket on the day before, so I ordered mine to be picked up on Tuesday — as if I am the only person who would think of that. Somehow, I have a feeling Tuesday will be as crowded — if not more — than Wednesday. Too late.

People are funny that way; we are predictably irrational, as MIT professor Dan Ariely says. 

Which is what I think about tattoo artist Kat Von D’s reaction to the discovery that her ex-fiancee, Jesse James, cheated on her with 19 women in the past year of their on-again, off-again engagement.

Because given his history, you’d want to ask her, what were you thinking? Everyone else was thinking once a cheater, always a cheater.

Although, how many of us date or marry people who cheated on their spouse to be with us? Well, lots of us. What does that say about us?

Few people in online comments have been kind to Kat — in fact, most are downright cruel (of course, so many people aren’t kind in online comments, period!). If they aren’t shaming her, they’re asking, How could you think you were different than anyone else?

Beside the tats, that is.

But, of course we all feel like we’re different than everyone else to a certain extent or in certain situations: We’re never going to be the one who gets cancer, even though we smoke. We’re not going to get a DUI, even though we drive home after a three-martini happy hour. We don’t keep emergency supplies ready even though we live in quake-ridden Bay Area and The Big One is due. And we’ll avoid the crowds at Thanksgiving by picking up our turkey on Tuesday, not Wednesday.

Are we stupid? In denial? Irrational? All of the above and more?

I do not totally convinced of the adage “Once a cheater, always a cheater.” Depending on what drove a person to cheat, I think some people can change; I did.

I am pretty sure we’re capable of cheating on someone we truly love.

I am positively certain that we rationalize a lot of our actions because we actually believe we are different than everyone else.

What about you?

Oh, and see you at the supermarket …

Oct 3

Can cougars and boy toys be happy forever?

Posted on Monday, October 3, 2011 in Aging, Happiness, Kat, love, Marriage, Men, Relationships, Women

“I feel so bad for Demi,” Sara said as we made our way up Old Railroad Grade.

“Sara, you really need to stop obsessing about Demi and Kim and Leann. When did you become such a celeb follower?”

“It’s not that! I couldn’t care less about them. I care about the broader issues.”

“Like?”

“Like can we older gals live just as happily-ever-after with boy toys as old guys with hot babes do?”

“So, you don’t think we can just because Ashton likes to have sex with other babes?” 

“Other younger babes.”

“Of course — did you expect he’d cheat with someone older than Demi? She’s 48!”

“It’s not that.”

“You’re right. It’s that he’s a cheater, and that probably doesn’t have anything to do with Demi’s age.”

Or does it?

Guys go for youth. This is not rocket science. But older women get their share of interest from younger men because we bring quite a few things to the table — experience, comfort in our own skin, and a savvy sexual appetite.

Say what you will about cougars, but it makes sense that older women should hook up with younger men. Maybe not guys 15 years younger, like Demi and Ashton, but maybe a few years — 5 or so. Why? Because men die younger than women do, and that means there are so many more widows than widowers. It means women often spend a decade or more alone when they’re old and more likely to need companionship more than ever; that’s sad!

Marrying someone younger would lessen the chance of that.

Plus, 15 years is an awfully big gap; your interests and experiences are bound to be pretty different. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean a marriage wouldn’t work — lots of people the same age with similar interests and experiences get divorced! But being just 5 years or so apart in age puts you in the same generation, anyway. And, you’d also have similar aging issues.

Maybe that’s the biggest turn off of all. The body starts to wrinkle, sag and shift, the mind starts to wander and then what? I know that stuff shouldn’t matter —after all, we don’t know what illnessnes and accidents await us at any age. But maybe starting off with a “disadvantage,” it will — eventually.

So, maybe cougars and boy toys should plan on five blissfully happy years together, and then move on. There are always more young men out there, ladies …

Does a big gap in a relationship matter in the long run?

 

 

Sep 20

When marriage meets Alzheimer’s

Posted on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 in Aging, Divorce, Happiness, Honesty, Kat, Marriage, Relationships

So last week, I was feeling kind of cynical about marriage, well, at least Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries’. OK, maybe marriage in general. But, maybe we’re going about marriage all wrong; maybe we can tweak marriage so that we’re happier in them so there won’t be as much divorce. Seems easy enough.

Like a lot of people, I was floored when uber-Christian Pat Robertson (he of the Christian Broadcasting network) announced that it’s OK to divorce a spouse with Alzheimer’s because the disease is “a kind of death.”

Robertson advised a man whose wife has Alzheimer’s:

“I know it sounds cruel, but if he’s going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again, but make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her.”

Really? Well so much for agreeing to stay together “for better or worse.” “in sickness and in health” and “till death do us part.” Why even vow to do that if we can ignore it when it’s convenient? But, of course, we do ignore our vows in ways just as surprising as what Robertson is proposing:

We cheat because our spouse has a life-threatening illness and we can’t deal.

We cheat because we’re in a sexless marriage.

We cheat because we can.

And, we cheat because we don’t even agree on what cheating is!

But, maybe we’re not allowing for what Robertson addresses; when the marital rules are changed by forces beyond what we can control. Yes, the “for better or worse” part; better or worse for whom? And does that have to be cheating?

Remember a few years ago when retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announced that her now-deceased husband, John, who was living with Alzheimer’s, had found a new love at the nursing home where he lived? She was happy about it because he was happy; the essence of a good marriage. As we baby boomers age, a lot more of us will be facing something like that.

She was accepting of her husband’s choice — he had Alzeimer’s and therefore “didn’t know better,” and  many thought how sweet and kind that was of her. So, should we be so hard on someone who does “know better” even if his partner doesn’t know?

Isn’t loving someone “for better or worse” supporting each other’s happiness? What if your spouse didn’t have the mental capacity to decide what was “for better or worse”?

We promise to care for each other “for better or worse” and “in sickness and in health” and “till death do us part,” but not many of us mean it. That doesn’t mean the vows are flawed — we are.

Maybe we need to change those vows to something that we’ll actually follow — that we’ll love and care for each other as long our partner is an equal participant in the marriage.

Does having a spouse with Alzheimer’s or dementia — versus something like cancer or multiple sclerosis any other illness in which the mind is still willing but the body is not — change the marital vows?

  • Is Robertson wrong or right?
  • What about O’Connor?