If Tiger were Joe Schmoe, would I care what he does in his spare time? Not at all. By the same token, I don’t much care what Tiger does in his. And there were plenty who didn’t care what President Clinton did in his free time, either.
If I were Tiger’s wife… well, if I were his wife, I wouldn’t be his wife any more. Money and the good life be damned. But then, I never loved him like Elin has, and I haven’t had a chance to see how much being a multimillionaire might change my mind. So who knows, really?
What happened is between Tiger and Elin… and by default, his children, who are blessedly too young to absorb what’s transpired. At the present, anyway.
It’s not for me to judge. I wasn’t primed for fame from age three. I wasn’t blessed with (cursed with?) the power, money, and good looks to send men flocking to my feet. It’s easy for me to sit in my living room, with my cat purring on my lap, and shake my head at Tiger’s indiscretions, but what if I were a gorgeous golfer who traveled the world? I doubt I'd earn the nickname “Tigress” but still…
And then there’s the question: Which is worse? Screwing around with 20 women once or twice each? Or taking one life-long lover that you sleep with 20-40 times? Pick your poison if you’re the unknowing spouse.
After Tiger’s public apology the pollsters began gathering data: Do you think Tiger is “sincere?”
How would anyone know? He’s clearly of capable of deceiving. You have to at least appear sincere to have umpteen lovers and a devoted wife at the same time. It’s an art form, appearing sincere.
And now people are not only judging Tiger’s sex life, but also his apology.
“Body-language experts divided on Tiger's speech”
“Watch His Apology, Get Celebrity Reactions & Share Your Thoughts Now”
“POLL: Tiger's Speech: Perfectly Professional or Too Cold?”
“Do you think Tiger Woods did enough today to put the scandal behind him?”
And what even weirder is that ... I Googled “Tiger’s speech” and the page refreshes constantly. Every thirty seconds. This is big. Wag the dog? Or just vicarious thrill? Or righteous indignation?
Our mail comes to the mailbox at our driveway's end—a black plastic box that replaced the metal one the plow took down last winter. This is where I stick my outgoing mail, as well, flipping the red flag to attention so the mailman will stop, which he'd do anyway, because there are always supermarket fliers to deliver, if not bills. But today I need to mail a book to someone who reviews for the Internet Review of Books, so I go to the post office.
Post offices are funny places--friendlier than the Registry of Motor Vehicles, but not much more efficient. I've met some great people in both, and had some wonderful conversations while waiting my turn. Efficiency is not conducive to chatting; I'm fine waiting and talking.
Today I stand in line with a book in a "Priority Mail" envelope and a five-dollar bill in hand to pay $4.90 to send the book from snowy New England to New Mexico's desert in a day or two.
The line shuffles forward; only one of the two windows is open, but people are patient. Each person has a reason to wait—they send packages to servicemen, birthday gifts to grandchildren, a camera to a winning eBay bidder. And a book to a reviewer.
The clerk is Al. He has a toupee. It's an old one, well-worn, and the part is wide as a pencil… white fabric of some sort, no hair there. He's a serious man and he always asks me five questions:
Do I want delivery confirmation?
Do I want something else?
Do I want another thing?
And when my package is in the bin behind him, do I want stamps, today?
No, thanks. Have a good day. Bye.
Today, when he opens his mouth to ask, I say with a smile, "No, no, no, no, no. I'll save you from asking. You must be sick of saying it."
"I could say it in my sleep," he says.
Puffy eyed from a wakeful night, I say, "At least you sleep."
"First I talk to my uncle Jim," he tells me. I notice his lack of a wedding ring. I picture him, lonely, touching base with his uncle, his mother's brother maybe, before he sleeps.
I say nothing, and he says, "I talk to my uncle Jim, or my uncle Jack."
And I get it. I laugh. "Your uncle Jim Beam?" I ask. "And Uncle Jack…?" I know the name, but I can't bring it to mind.
"Daniels," he says. His eyes twinkle and I don't even look at his toupee. I see the life in his eyes instead.
"You know," I tell him, "I have an Auntie Merlot. Maybe I should give her a call tonight.
"You should," he tells me. He smiles and forgets to ask if I want stamps, which I don't.