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.
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.