Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
I've been trying to resist writing a single word about Tiger Woods, but I'm weak. When I was in college, I arranged my class schedule so that I had a midday break that allowed me to watch All My Children. When I began teaching, I purchased a VCR so that I could record AMC, One Life to Live, and General Hopital. My name is Sheria and I'm a soapaholic.
Three years ago, I stopped watching daytime soaps, about the same time that I took up blogging. Alas, I'm still a soapaholic and I've been enmeshed in the Tiger Woods drama, also known as Golf Is A Four Letter Word.
When the story first made the news on the Friday after Thanksgiving, like everyone else I was concerned about Tiger's welfare. However, by the next day, my familiarity with the basic rule of soaps--nothing is at it appears--along with massive inconsistencies in the story that the Woods were presentig to the media, led me to believe that there was a juicy truth hidden behind the public story. Of course, we now know the details: a cheating spouse making a hurried escape in his vehicle and a hurt and angry spouse carrying a golf club. I think that it was my blogami, Mark Olmsted, who first suggested the applicability of the R&B hit, Bust the Windows Out Your Car by Jazmine Sullivan, to the Tiger and Elin saga.
I totally understand the public fascination with the private lives of public figures, where I draw the line is trying to defend our rabid curiosity as being grounded in righteousness. Just because a person is a public figure does not automatically mean that every foible of his or her private life is the business of the public. Don't try to dress up basic nosiness as symbolizing some ethical concern for the sanctity of marriage. The argument about the public's right to know may have some merit when it comes to cheating spouses who are elected officials, but only if the individual has used or abused his or her elected office in the process of engaging in extramarital flings.
I admit that I have no personal stake in Tiger's marital woes but his troubles have provided me with a fix almost as fascinating as Erica's marriages to most of the men in Pine Valley, some of them more than once. It's not a matter of entitlement to know, just my general fascination with bad human behavior.
I am also fascinated as to whether or not Tiger or any of his fellow in-the-public-eye-cheaters have just been so busy with their conquests that they missed the update--it's the cell phone that is now mightier than the sword, or in some cases it's the Blackberry. What is it with all of the texting? Why do these unfaithful types always send sweet vulgar nothings to the objects of their affection in a hundred text messages per day? How do they find the time for all of this texting? Did Tiger miss the 2008 scandal involving former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick who paid a huge settlement, was forced to resign, sentenced to serve time, and disbarred in a legal case that ultimately centered on revelations from thousands of text messages exchanged between Kilpatrick and his mistress who also was Kilpatrick's Chief of Staff?
When they aren't texting, they are leaving voicemail. Just to be certain that there is no doubt when the media eventually latches on to the voicemail, they announce themselves on the message. "Hello, this is Tiger,..." When I call people that I know well and speak to frequently by phone, I figure that they recognize my voice, and I seldom announce myself. If I were having an illicit affair, I certainly wouldn't do so.
Perhaps the larger question is why do the cheaters hook up with women who hoard text messages, voicemails, and dirty dresses (remember Monica Lewinsky)? I wouldn't argue that there is any appropriate way to be an adulterer, but there was a time when one's partner in adultery refrained from sharing all the details with the public. Eisenhower and Kennedy were alleged to have mistresses, but none of them popped up loudly proclaiming, "Yoo hoo, here I am!" Far be it for the modern mistress to show any discretion. While weeping on Good Morning America and proclaiming, "I'm a good girl, I am," she is selling copies of text messages in which her married lover describes in explicit detail what he wants to do to her body when they next meet.
So far, 13 women have identified themselves as Tiger Woods' sex partners; I think that's enough for a coven. Perhaps Tiger should ask them to cast a protection spell.