Monday, May 11, 2009


An anonymous reader suggested I comment on Elizabeth Edwards so I've been letting her rattle around (Elizabeth, not the reader) in my head for the weekend to see what I can come up with.

The truth is, I am so dumbfounded, stupefied, horrified, saddened, and mystified by the whole book and tour that I cannot form any really insightful or quippy thing to say about her. She reminds me of that girl in college who dated an asshole but felt compelled to tell us constantly just how great he was despite all evidence to the contrary. No, really, when you guys aren't around he's soooo wonderful. Really. We didn't buy it then, Elizabeth, and we sure ain't buyin it now.

What is her point of all this? It can't be to get rich off her book because she knows she will not live long enough to spend that money. Is it to make sure her kids have enough money? I doubt that--surely between the two of them there's a considerable estate. Is it for fame? No, I don't think so really--I mean that can't be important when you are on your way out.

The only thing I can think of is that she wants to die in peace knowing that her decision to stay with "the cad" (as Dennis Miller so aptly called him) was the right thing to do. And because she surely knows that is not the case, she needs to really, really convince herself that it is by writing an entire book about it and hopefully convincing the rest of the world that it's a really, really good idea to live with a man who would betray you in your darkest hour with a horrible, horrible woman.

Make no mistake here: while I think that Reillo woman (what the hell is her name? I don't want to add one more hit on Google looking her up) is indeed the lowest of the low home-wrecking, predators but her crime is dwarfed by John's crime of infidelity. To quote Laura San Giacomo's character in Sex, Lies and Videotape when asked she can betray her sister by sleeping with her sister's husband, "Hey, I'm not the one who stood up in front of God and everyone and promised to be faithful to her." (going on memory here, I think that's how it went)

But John did. So this twist on the whole thing in which Elizabeth portrays her husband as a sort of dupe to a cunning woman's wiles is disingenuos at best and pathological denial at worst.

Above all, I object to the spectacle for two reasons: 1) she is passing the whole thing off as a lesson in "resilience" when it appears to actually be a lesson in "rationalization" or maybe "denial" and worse 2) she is doing this in public at the expense of her young children. This is as unforgivable as the affair itself.

So, I don't really have much new to say about this topic, but the fact is, neither did Elizabeth but that didn't stop her from writing an entire book about it.

The only thing I can hope for is that it brings her some peace at the end of her life though if it does it comes at an exorbitant price--the future peace of her children.


  1. Amen, I wish them all peace. Maybe even especially that baby whom Elizabeth insists on referring to as "it."

    MM in Holly MI

  2. In the Netherlands we have someone who became a succesful writer by writing about how he cheated on his wife while she was dying of cancer. How about that?

  3. Gee, I thought "anything for a buck" just applied to Americans!
    Of course, maybe the dying wife didn't mind...


  4. Well, the Dutch would sell anything, tulips, wooden shoes, drugs, slaves, New York...

  5. Okay, it seems that a lot of men have affairs while their wives are dying from cancer. At least that is how it happens in the movies--"Sunshine" and "Terms of Endearment" spring to mind. But to make a buck off of selling the story is pretty low.

    And Mary, you bring up another victim of this, in fact probably the most innocent and saddest of them all, the illegitimate child. Start the therapy now.

  6. The word "illegitimate" and "child" don't belong in the same sentence. (Hey, can I be the Self-Righteous Divorcee?)

    I think I am in love with your friend Laurent. Is he available? (Don't tell him about the herpes)

  7. time is the most valuable thing we have. Every day I am conscious of how I spend my time - that I am doing what I really want and what is important to me. why someone with a terminal illness would AND with very young children would choose to spend so much of their very limited time writing a book and touring with it is beyond me. Too many people air their dirty linen in public. Doesn't anyone want to keep things like this private?