by Kristy Campbell
“Mom, what’s an affair?” asked my 9 yr old daughter after catching a news headline on television about Tiger Woods. “It’s when you have sex with someone you’re not married to,” said her twin brother not even looking up from his homework. “Oh really, when did you become an expert?” I asked, rather curiously.
“It’s in the news. I heard that he had sex in all of the rooms in his house with his girlfriend, except the bedroom,” my son continued, still not looking up from his paper. How nice. Another male seemingly nonplussed about the whole situation. I did one of my deep inhalations since I felt the need to not let this one go. “Hey guys, can we talk a second?” I said as I took the pencil out of my son’s hand and pulled a chair out from the table motioning for my daughter to join us.
I began to launch into my whole morality=values=respect speech. I told them that sex is a special part of a couple’s life and reflects a commitment, and whether you are married, single, gay or otherwise, you don’t blow up that commitment just for the chance to have more sex. “He has a sex addiction,” said my know-it-all son.
I wondered what he’s been reading or seeing until I realized that the story has been on every news/sports/entertainment channel as well as splashed on the cover of everything published in the Western Hemisphere over the past couple of weeks.
“Yeah, well, I have a salt and fat addiction," I said. "I’d butter my potato chips and eat every bowl of nuts from here to Milwaukee if I could. I’ve had to learn to control my urges and cravings. I don’t know that much about sex addiction, but it doesn’t sound like a solid excuse for ruining a career, a marriage, and his image as a role model, do you think?"
“He’s the world’s greatest golfer, Mom. I don’t really care about the other stuff,” said my son, ready to be done with the conversation.
My daughter who had been quiet and taking it all in finally said, “I think that if you pretend to be a really good person, and then it turns out you are lying to everyone and doing things you shouldn’t be doing, you shouldn’t even ask people to forgive you. You should just move to another country.” I love that girl. She’s pretty black and white about certain things. I’ll save this article for her husband.
We talked a little more about what it is to be a role model and how important it is to always choose good behavior when you put yourself in a position of leadership. As the kids went back to their worlds, I thought about how many men of late have absolutely ruined their marriages, careers, and reputations over sex. And so many of them quite stupidly, I might add. Some of my personal favorites:
John Edwards. I knew the truth about this story when he was photographed visiting a baby in a hotel room at 2am. Not his? Yeah right. If it weren’t his, he’d have had his intern send a gift from babyGap and would have gone back to running for President with his cancer-stricken wife at his side.
Charles Phillips. He’s the guy whose girlfriend of 8 years took out giant billboards in Times Square and San Francisco with just a picture of him and her on them after he broke up with her. Turns out he is the President of Oracle and an economic advisor to President Obama. Oh, and married.
Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina. I loved his story of hiking the Appalachian Trail while in reality, he had left his wife and 4 boys to zip to Argentina to see his soulmate girlfriend.
And now, Jesse James. I’m not so sure he was ever considered a pillar of respect in the community, but I think he’s just cemented his future as a scumbag for cheating on Sandra Bullock.
I really think someone needs to issue a business card to exchange when entering a relationship. Just a little warning label much like what is printed on gas pumps about gas containing carcinogens known to cause horrific birth defects. I imagine it would read:
Attention Potential Cheater: With today’s technology, consider it your death sentence to have an affair. You will get caught. You will be on Entertainment Tonight. The world will know.
At least they’ve been warned and the rest of us can be spared the lame excuses and tearful public apologies…and the need to explain it to our kids.