I feel compelled to weigh in on the Eliot Spitzer fiasco and the rain of judgment that has been drumming down onto the head of his wife, Silda Wall Spitzer, from all quarters of the media and far too many of my friends.
First up, the truly banal Wolf Blitzer gets right to the important matter at hand in an interview with really former Mayor Ed Koch: "She looked awful standing there alongside him." This prompts Ed to chime in with "she aged in a few moments before your very eyes." Wolf is somehow stumped by the use of the word "aged" since he then feels compelled to ask, "And when you say ‘aged’, you saw a difference between earlier pictures of her and what we saw yesterday?"
Ed. Wolf. Puleeese. It might be the aging process or it might be the effects of STAYING UP ALL NIGHT CONTEMPLATING THE WAY YOUR LIFE HAS FALLEN APART.
And then there is "Doctor-and-by-Doctor-I-mean-PhD-in-well-uh-um-if-you-want-to-be-picky-about-it-physiology"Laura who is probably still trying to clear her conscience for hooking up with a married man by, naturally, saying the whole sordid business was really Silda’s fault.
Then we have the LA Times Wednesday morning front page story with the headline, yes the headline, that read, "Wife puts troubling face on the Spitzer scandal." Troubling? To whom? I guess Silda didn’t get the memo that she is supposed to be worried about our feelings WHILE HER LIFE WAS FALLING APART.
The article did contain this kernel of truth however: "This scandal has many salacious details, but it was the image of Silda
Wall Spitzer at her man’s side that dominated conversations across the
Seriously, what is up with that? I certainly encountered it. People would start off saying something to the effect of "Sheesh, did you hear about Eliot Spitzer" and then move right on to "and can you believe his wife was standing by his side?" This was usually followed by some assertion as to how they, in similar circumstances, would act differently. They’d be outraged, furious, homicidal. They’d take the kids and flee home to Mama. They’d take a knife from the chef and, you know, deal with it.
There are two things that I think might be at work here. One, in asserting their differences, my friends are kinda like the people who, when they learn that someone else has been diagnosed with cancer, come up with all the ways the afflicted person brought it on themselves. They hen comfort themselves by reminding themselves that none of those "causes" apply to them. They are different, better, if you will. That’s why it could never happen to them.
Second, let’s face it, Silda Wall Spitzer is a beautiful, smart, successful,
rich woman who is married to a man who was until recently exceedingly
powerful. In short, she kinda had everything, including exactly the right clothes to wear to her husband’s resignation press conference. How much of the
almost gleeful attacks on her decision to stand at her husband’s side are really born out of simple
envy? Do all the pearl-and-Hermes-scarfless members of the pack just want to take down the Alpha Female?
And while I’m asking questions, why does the conversation so quickly turn to the wife to begin with? Why doesn’t it dwell on Eliot "I’m-the-smartest-guy- in-the-room-who-can’t-keep-his-dick-in-his-pants" Spitzer instead of jumping to judgments about his wife’s looks (always with the looks) and the choices she makes as HER LIFE IS FALLING APART?
Cause people, really, we are missing the point: This is what we all should be thinking about.