Whether it's Tiki Barber, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tori Spelling or the couple down the street, there seems to be a lot of "sleeping around" going on in supposedly conservative America and (from what I read) in the rest of the world as well.
Infidelity is constantly depicted as a disrespectful and despicable action--and maybe rightly so. However, despite the fact that it may be happening more frequently than we know about, the issue is not often addressed, researched or studied--either statistically or objectively.
Infidelity is usually disparagingly termed as "cheating" and dismissed as "something that only happens to other (scurrilous) men or women..." but it may not be that unusual an occurrence. There is likely more "cheating" going on than is talked or written about--and the reason for this may be that we only read or hear about it after it has been discovered.
Those who commit unfaithful acts are judged and reviled by armchair pundits who have now suddenly become psychology "experts" on the intricacies of the private and personal relationships of others who they really know nothing about. The "outed perps" (men and women alike) are demonized as evil and heinous monsters, when in fact they may be wonderful husbands, wives, parents and partners in all other responsible areas, but have succumbed to one of the temptations that occasionally occurs in normal, real-life situations. Should this issue be judged by the media and others who have no stake in the game? Or is it a private issue between those individuals directly involved?
At some point in history (and for obvious reasons), our social mores have declared that we must strive to be monogamous creatures.
Unfortunately, things do not always work out that way, and, depending on differing situations and circumstances that only those involved can really know about, the results can be tragic and devastating:
First comes the possibility of discovery and then the hurt followed by the inescapable and stereotypical labeling by others. But it really might not be such a simple, one-two-three scenario. Not many who move around in social situations and in the workplace environment escape the occasional temptation--unless they are lucky--or perhaps, not quite so appealing to others. Or they may be very strong-willed and totally content for the moment in their own relationships.
Using the "Catholic, D.A.R.E. or Santorum" philosophy of, "Just say No," or, "Keep your clothes on and we won't need condoms or abortions" mentality, is the way the issue of infidelity is dealt with nowadays. But it sometimes does not work out so well.
Until a "lead us not into temptation" pill is invented, or a "fidelity" chemical is added to our water supply, we can only hope that if or when temptation does come, we will be strong enough to ignore that little "id" that dangles a carrot over our left shoulder--determined to respect the partners we have pledged to be faithful to--and mindful enough to just move steadfastly on.
With these thoughts in mind, here is my haiku of the week:
God made a mistake.
We are not monogamous
But we are jealous.
Charles Laquidara has lived on Maui for over 11 years. He worked at WBCN radio in Boston for 30 years as the morning-drive host of a show called "The Big Mattress" and is occasionally heard on Mana'o Radio here on-island.