Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Not Again

I was just getting used to liking politicians again.  Our President's gutsy call in Abbottabad, Jan Brewer actually vetoing two of the more egregious bills sent to her by the Legislature.... well, I've been sitting here for a few minutes and that's all that I can come up with but you get my drift.  Things were looking up for the ones I admire and those I do not were at least not digging themselves deeper holes.  


Personally, I was feeling kinda sorta sorry for myself (see last week's posts as evidence).  I needed to put on a game face.  I needed intensity and concentration and devotion to specific goals.  My physical therapist took me at my word and loaded me up with exercises.  There was nothing else to do - I had to reread Education of a Body Builder.


I needed Arnold's encouragement to reach my goals.  I needed to immerse myself in the body I wanted to create.  I had to stay focused and strong and use my strengths to overcome my weaknesses.  I had to go outside and breathe the fresh air and....


..... everytime I get to this part of my Arnold Affirmation I hit a little bit of a speed bump.  This is the part of the book where he talks about climbing the Austrian Alps to lift weights in the sunshine.... with his buddies.... and his beer.... and some girls..... and no clothes. 


I recommend this book with a caveat  - you have to remember that he was 18 then, and just get over the wanton sex.  It's the best primer on the how's and more importantly the why's of body building.  There's no doubt in my mind on that score.  


This is a kid whose father was an Austrian policeman, a member of the Nazi Party (though not guilty of any war crimes according to the Simon Weisenthal Center), and by all accounts a rather despicable character.  This is a kid who ran away to find the American dream and who made it big, literally and figuratively.  It's real estate as well as body building and movies.  He learned from American political royalty and turned that knowledge into election and re-election in California.  I was sad that his foreign birth precluded his running for President.


He is a pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-gay rights Republican.  Are there more than 4 of them extant?  It wasn't only that I liked him and admired him.  He was an endangered species; it was my job to protect him.  


I made excuses.  I looked the other way.  I shrugged my shoulders and chalked it up to European values.  His sexual escapades kept making the news, but I was determined to admire him.  He was Ah-nold, after all.


I wondered about Maria Shriver giving up her fabulous career to become California's First Lady.  I didn't judge, though many of our generation did.  It wasn't seemly to comment on another woman's choices, I thought.  She saw in him what I saw in him and she was willing to give up some of herself so that he could be all of himself.  


I couldn't fault her.  I moved from Chicago, from my friends and my history and my life, so that TBG could run his own business with somebody else's money.  I got it then and I get it now.  Neither of us made a bad choice.  It might not be your choice, but that doesn't mean it wasn't the right choice for me.... or for her.


Yahoo! alerted me to the fact that Maria and Arnold were splitting up.  No reasons, "we still love one another,"  she wasn't living with him any more, the kids were going to be fine..... yada yada yada.  I was sad.  I wondered about the possibility of an annulment after 4 children and 25 years of co-habitation.  I sighed and moved on.


I woke up this morning to TBG's face - a mysterious amalgam of distaste, confusion and surprise.  CNN had alerted him to the fact that Arnold was the father of a 10 year old child whose mother was a household staffer who had just recently retired after 20 years of service to the family. 


Service, indeed.


My heart is broken, denizens.  I stood up for him, I defended him, I made excuses for him because I thought the reports were typical media hype.  He's a big sexy guy who smokes cigars and wields weaponry with aplomb.  Reports of groping and innuendo seemed par for the course.  I was willing to laugh it off.  


Foolish child.  Silly, ignorant, foolish child.  I put my heroes on pedestals and that's it.  I'm committed for life.  I'm all in.  I can justify all manner of silliness that seems to stick like feathers on tar, for that is all that it is .... a mob overreacting.  Get a life, people... or at least a sense of humor.


No longer.  This is it.  The man had a baby with a woman who had worked in his employ for 10 years. He had a 12 year old daughter when he created her half-sister, and she had 3 other siblings living in that house.  In the house.  With his wife.  


And the woman stayed there, working, in the house, with his wife, for 10 more years.  Am I the only one who finds this kind of creepy?  


I take that back - it's totally creepy.


So, here I am, disappointed once again in a man of my generation.  Bill Clinton.... Arnold.... John Edwards...... they each have fabulously talented, intelligent, successful wives and they can't keep their pants zipped.


I sound like G'ma.  I know.  I don't care.  She's right.


I'm going to have to find my gym inspiration elsewhere today.  I'm just not in the mood for Arnold right now. 

15 comments:

  1. You are so right - and this grandma says so. I read a good post today about power and what it does to powerful men and the women they choose. I really hate it when men I've put on a pedestal fall from grace. They get to thinking that they are above the law and ethics don't apply to them. Oh, foolish men.

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  2. Ethics, Kenju - that says it all. It's not about love or a civil contract - it's about what is right. I'm still disgusted.
    a/b

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  3. I didn't feel disappointed in him because I thought he was a womanizer and he did what I expected from that type of man. For years, when I'd walk into a restaurant (or anywhere else) and I'd see a man was watching me when he was with his wife, I never felt flattered. It irked me and any man who did that to me when we were together but he had his eyes on other women,I'd not want to continue being with him. that's the kind of man though I figured Arnold was. It's all about their ego and not flattering to any woman with him or without as if he was with you, he'd always find someone prettier as there always is.

    What disgusted me about him was that he kept that woman on the household staff all those years and let Maria be totally humiliated by it. I consider that plain out cruelty. A man shouldn't go after his wife's friend and heaven forbid not the women who work for him and with her. That was the revolting but I can't say surprising fault as I said-- with womanizers, it's all about them and not any of the women!

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  4. The whole thing is mind boggling. I thought they were a special couple; and she seemed like she stood up to him and he took strength from her. Talk about Shakespearean.

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  5. So, why don't we start electing these smart women that these men are married to?

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  6. My thoughts exactly... I was disappointed last week to hear of their split--theirs always seemed like a solid relationship. And yesterday to hear of the infidelity and the details surrounding it...now I'm just disgusted and disheartened. Who's next?!

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  7. I always wondered what people saw in Arnold and why he was able to hold people spell-bound and was able to get elected here. Except we are the land of the crazies here in Cali. Your post makes me realize there were probably a whole lot of other very smart women out there who were so duped by his big body and personality. Oh, my.

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  8. dkzody, I can tell you that I saw a social liberal/fiscal conservative who had met a payroll of his own, had written books, had developed a real estate empire and had charmed an intelligent woman who, I thought, would have seen through his foibles. After Grey Davis, he was a breath of fresh air.

    I, like Leah and Meg, always thought he and maria were "special". Another fantasy bites the dust :(

    Rain, you are solidly on the side of my Cali friends who thought he was a pig then and still do now and could not then nor cannot now understand why I supported him. I'm beginning to wonder about myself, too.

    Sigh.
    a/b

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  9. I'm such a cynic. It's a shame really, but I didn't sign up to be one. Cynicism came with that job of mine where I got a view of every local hero's underbelly. I don't even have heroes anymore. Heck, my cynicism goes so deep, I ASSUME that attractive public figures are fooling around on the side. It's something to do with the Weltanschauung shift that fame and celebrity bestow, a sense of entitlement that is virtually unavoidable and comes with side-effects, every time.

    As Maddow says, if they tout their family values publicly and hold themselves up as examples, then they get no mercy. It's not that Arnold succumbed to temptation, but that he did it so sleazily, so Trumpishly, all the while bragging about what good parents and role models he and Maria were.

    Speaking of role models, Maria had some heavy "Stand By Your Man" genes and examples in her young life. She knew from experience how the political wife has to live. My guess is she knew from way back, but she wasn't going to blow their status as American Royalty until he was out of office.

    He might have been the very soul of fitness, but he left California in crappy shape.

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  10. I am not a bit surprised. I always thought Arnold was a fake and a sleazeball, and I never understood what his supporters were thinking. Ugh!!

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  11. AB, I found it kind of creepy and icky that she remained on his staff (God, the pun, sorry). And Maria was pregnant at the same time! Even though he's a Republican, I respected him. It's hard for me to respect him now. But I think I may get over that if he can redeem himself.

    Bill Clinton is back on my pedestal. I didn't agree with what he did, but he is a good guy and he's done so much good for the world.

    I hate news like this 'cause it's so counter-productive to what's really going on in the world. I really feel for their family. This cannot be easy on Maria and the children. :(

    Megan xxx

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  12. I am also a cynic from way back. Anyone who touts family values and ethics publicly is usually hiding something. It is those who just quietly live an ethical life because there would be no other way-those are the ones who are the most trustworthy.....but not invincible.
    I never have understood anyone's fascination with Ahnold, but to each their own.
    Did he really think no one would ever know?

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  13. alwaysinthebackrow, it does seem the ones screaming the loudest about ethics and family values are the ones usually caught with their pants down. It's as if they are saying, "Do as I say; not as I do". It's so utterly hypocritical and it disgusts me. You have some men saying that homosexuality is wrong and it's against God, but secretly they are gay. These are the people I really cannot stand. They criticize others for their "life-style choices" and behind the scenes they are paying prostitutes, engaging in affairs, etc.... (no, I don't believe homosexuality is a life-style choice).

    I have no problem with people's life-style choices, but when someone is telling the rest of the world what is morally acceptable and then they aren't even living up to the moral code they so loudly say everyone else should live up to, I have a real problem with that. My motto is live and let live. Let me live my life the way I want and you can live your life the way you want. I don't think it's the actual affair some are upset with, it's the hypocrisy of it all. :( (at least it is for me).

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  14. MS, I couldn't agree more. I had a friend who was heavily involved in her church. It was found out (after 5 years of her working in the office) that she had been stealing from them. Her husband had to mortgage their home to pay back the church, and she had to go to work somewhere else to pay for it. (She was lucky they didn't prosecute.) She is on Facebook, and all she ever posts is about God and the Bible. The hypocrisy turns my stomach.

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