The other shoe has dropped, and it’s a precious little hand-crocheted bootie: Arnold Schwarzenegger has a 10-year-old child with a “household employee,” although you might prefer the Coozledad version: He got caught with his dick in the maid. How surprised am I by this? Not even one tiny bit; you don’t even have to pay slight attention to the gossip sheets to know the former governor of California was notorious for his wandering pee-pee. No, today I want to talk about something else: D-I-V-O-R-C-E.
I found this passage telling in the L.A. Times story:
Friends of Shriver, 55, (said) she had been unhappy for years but made no move until after her parents died and Schwarzenegger finished his term as governor. Her father, Sargent Shriver, died Jan. 18, nearly a year and a half after the death of her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver.
The Kennedys are America’s most famous Catholic family, and Catholics frown on divorce — or used to. Certainly they did in Eunice and Sargent’s generation, which might be the last one that did. Infidelity was no reason to break up a marriage, as virtually every Kennedy woman could tell you. It was something men did and women suffered in silence, thanking God that at least they were the wife and not the mistress. Because mistresses come and go. Wives, children, family — that was permanent.
Infidelity with a love child attached? That was one for the priest’s counsel, but maybe even Eunice would have yielded on that one. Because that has to be the deal in any marriage with an “understanding” at its heart: You better wrap up, dude. The fact he didn’t does more to call his judgment — on everything — into question than almost anything else. He’s 63, the kid is 10, which means all this happened to him at an age when he should have been well-past being swept away on a tide of hot blood. What an ahs-hole. As Arnold might say.
But back to divorce. Whether or not Maria knew about this child, she surely knew about the tomcatting. But she waited until her parents were gone, and then gave him the heave-ho. After Alan’s mother died, leaving both of us officially and entirely parent-less, someone told me that only now were we free to be entirely ourselves. (Alan took up skeet-shooting, if that means anything.) Maria chose to become a divorceé (or she will, presumably).
In my lifetime, divorce has gone from a social stigma — see Helen Bishop of “Mad Men” — to perfectly acceptable, and even preferable to staying together for the kids, at least if it means constant fighting. People only look at you askance after your second or third divorce, and maybe not even then. I know many Catholics who’ve divorced, had annulments, and remarried in the One True, one of those things that used to be a shameful secret and take years to get, complete with humiliating “testimony” about the most intimate details of your married life. Now it’s mainly a matter of filling out a lot of forms and writing a check. Never have I known a Catholic who’s pursued an annulment and failed to get one, not even after years of marriage and multiple children. (When my BFF asked for one, I noticed one of the questions I was asked as a witness was whether the couple in question used artificial birth control. I tried to make my answer as emphatic as possible, figuring this was the express lane to approval: “Of course they did.”)
Our new openness about the big D has brought with it one rather smelly side effect, however: Everybody now feels entitled to hear the details of yours, and offer opinions. I have a feeling that when the full story on Mr. and Mrs. Mitch Daniels is out there, it will be nothing big, just a rare female case of what used to be called pussy madness. (I ask you: If you had to wake up every morning and look at that guy on the next pillow, wouldn’t you say, “Oh, it’s you again” each and every day?) They got divorced, they married again. Happens all the time.
So, some fast bloggage:
My favorite single comment on all this came from an anonymous poster at New York magazine:
What is not being said that Arnie actually traveled back in time to impregnate this woman. Her child will be the savior of humanity and will have to fight his own father for the future of mankind.
A few weeks back, a beauty salon owner in Dearborn was shot to death in a robbery, in which the thieves stole only human hair extensions. Astoundingly, it’s a trend. NYT is on the story:
“They’re selling it to stylists who work out of their house, they’re selling it on the street, they’re selling it out of the car,” said Ms. Amosu of My Trendy Place. “People who don’t want to pay the prices will buy it from the hustle man. It’s like the bootleg DVDs and the fake purses. But this is a quality product.”
I always find the underground economy interesting. It’s pure id.
There is much to admire about French culture, which has given the world great cuisine, wonderful fashion and the fine art of whiling away hours in cafés. But this shit is disgusting. I couldn’t have less sympathy for the guy. Enjoy prison, monsieur.
Off to plod through Tuesday, under another iron-gray sky. Relent!