Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bad Boys

What is it about bad boys that causes otherwise bright, talented women to lose their reason? to throw caution to the wind and set aside their brains?

Today's "news" was filled with the John Edwards video and the madame who supplied Tiger Woods with .... er, companions. Embarrassing as all this attention is to these men, what about the women who are left in their wakes, having to deal with the fallout that was not directly of their making. Does Elizabeth Edwards really need for us to know if John took his girlfriend "home" to their marital bed. She probably knows the answer to that already and wasn't planning to share it with the rest of us. Likewise, Elin Woods doesn't need an accounting of how many women at the time Tiger requested, or how much dough he blew on that pastime.

But cast a wider net. Both Hilary Clinton and Monica Lewinski were bright women. One spent 30 years in the shadow of Bill (and perhaps running things from behind the scenes) and the other threw away a promising career and left herself marked for life as one of a long line of Other Women. The list of politicians who have been caught in honey traps is endless, but what of the women who fell for them and threw caution to the wind? From Fanny Fox to Gennifer Flowers to Monica, there are too many of them to list - or count.

Charlie Sheen is the current bad boy of Hollywood, apparently able to attract one woman after another to his boyish charm and edgy reputation. But he is just the latest in a list that goes back to the 1920's. So what is it?

Do we want to walk on the wild side? You know, fly close to flame and try not to get our wings singed? Show our girlfriends that we are daring and edgy; that we have the nerve to date a bad boy. We all have dated at least one - haven't we? Mine was an older boy in high school - a senior, with at car, who lived nearly on the wrong side of the tracks. What was my mother thinking? Truthfully, she didn't have a clue about him or she would never have let me walk out the door with him - much less get in his car. Lucky for me, his interest died before I could get into any trouble!

Are we so flattered by the attention that we just ignore all those warning bells?
Surely all these women who date men who are married, public figures know that there is no way to keep it a secret. Or, that married men almost never leave their wives for the Other Woman - unless the affair becomes public. And then only rarely.

Are we avoiding commitment, too. I had a friend years ago who only dated married men. She had plenty of dates, but wanted nothing to do with entanglement, so she could just enjoy the good times and walk away. Wonder how that worked out for her?

There are no easy answers. It's all the of above and many more things. All this relationship stuff is just too complicated. The most important thing is that we need to start putting ourselves first. Looking at our own strengths and talents, appreciating ourselves and not defining ourselves by the men in our lives. We need to be proud of our accomplishments and expect the good boys to come to us and just let all those bad boys go off on their own.

These are all educated, bright and talented women who could have done better. It somehow seems unfair that the dirty laundry is hanging out in their front yards.


  1. Oh that's a true, true story...Every time I see StoopidJohnEdwards on TV, I just want to throw my yogurt at the screen. And why oh why Rachel Maddow keeps having Eliot Spitzer as a commentator on her show is beyond me. Personally, I would like to excommunicate all of the married cheaters to their own island in Siberia and then have a love-fest with the left behind women...but maybe that's just the married woman in me talking. At the very least, I want to give Jenny Sanford a huge hug and a vat of wine. As for Hillary? She had political aspirations that divorce would certainly hamper. Bill's probably not getting any and she's secretary of state. Look who's laughing now. ;D

  2. I "get" the whole bad boy thing... but I get really unnerved when the seemingly "good ones" also can't seem to keep it in their pants.