A little bit of a departure here from my personal story … to turn the spotlight onto a juicier, timelier, potentially awesome-r soap opera.
This tale is half Westside Story (without the power ballads), half Legends of the Fall (without the sibling power struggle) and half Fatal Attraction (without the boiled bunny. Yet.).
And yes, I realize that makes it 1.5 times a story, but so be it: I told you, it’s potentially awesome-r than my story.
The protagonists: Carol Anne Riddell and John Partilla. They’re like Angie and Brad. Only bolder.
The antagonists: Marriage. Fidelity. Vows. Oh, and journalistic integrity.
So this story I’m about to relate was published last weekend in the super-sick New York Times.
(Urban Dictionary, btw, lists five definitions of “sick”:
1. To feel ill, or not well.
2. A secondary word for awesome.
3. Gross, disgusting.
4. Tired, pissed off.
I’ll let you decide which version I’m referencing)
So as I was saying, in the sick Times appeared a sappy hearts-and-flowers love yawn yarn right under the headline – wait for it – “Vows” (irony much?). The profile chronicled a certain Romeo and his dazzling Juliet, who just happened to meet, as silly fate would have it, in a pre-kindergarten class their children both attended.
The problem for this star-crossed-duo: Said children were from their respective (and very current) spouses.
That would be a pesky little thing I like to call obstacle # 1: the current spouse. (And as a former obstacle #1, I’m totally allowed to call it both “pesky” and “little.”)
So the story goes on, detailing the remarkable evolution of a beautiful friendship – if by “beautiful friendship,” you read “filthy flirtation.”
“The connection was immediate, but platonic,” the Times story reports. “In fact, as they became friends so did their spouses. There were dinners, Christmas parties and even family vacations together.”
Um. Ick. I mean, really…ick.
So there, my friends, would be obstacle #2: Temptation. It rained down on this poor, powerless couple like a million little, red, succulent apples.
And now here comes my favorite part of the story. According to the Times tale, and this is Riddell (undoubtedly played by Angie J in the future big-screen blockbuster) speaking:
“The part that’s hard for people to believe is we didn’t have an affair,” Ms. Riddell said. “I didn’t want to sneak around and sleep with him on the side. I wanted to get up in the morning and read the paper with him.”
Oh, right on…she just wanted to get up in the morning and peruse the Local News section with him.
Wait a sec, but doesn’t that beg the question: After a night spent doing what, sweetheart? Knitting scarves with spun silk and stuffing chicken flavor Top Ramen and cans of Sirloin Burger Chunky soup in care packages for the homeless?
Nah. I’m thinking they would have been spending their pre-morning-newspaper nights SEWING GIANT BLOOD RED “A”s ON THEIR CHEATING LITTLE CHESTS!
Yes, I’m yelling. Because yes, that’s cheating: Any time you engage on an emotional level with a person outside the confines of your marriage: You. Are. CHEATING! (Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment below…bring it friends, I’m ready for a heated debate.)
So cutting to the chase: They proclaimed their love for one another, vacillating à la The Clash in a stereotypical “Should I stay or should I go now” struggle (WTF with the Spanish back-up vocals in the middle of that song, anyhow?).
But as all star-crossed lovers do, they managed to overcome obstacle #1, channel obstacle #2, and our star-struck Romeo seamlessly slid into Juliet’s wide open – ahem – arms.
Then they got married. Then they decided to shove their seedy, sordid story down the throats of the entire New York Times readership, a story that spread like Athlete’s Foot throughout popular blogs, all breed of social media and the morning news shows.
Then they got blindsided by the backlash.
Obstacle #3: public perception. It’s a doozy, especially when you do something morally reprehensible, brag about it, disrespect all key players along the way (including the most innocent victims of all – children) and expect what, exactly? A warm embrace from a forgiving readership that believes you are MFEO? (Come on, people…Sleepless in Seattle? “Made for each other?” Only the best acronym EVER.)
So according to Gawker.com, even Twitter was all a-twitter yesterday about the story, with Slate movie critic Dana Stevens tweeting, “That Vows column was staggeringly monstrous. I’m waiting for the Modern Love column that’s a rebuttal from the abandoned spouses.”
Hmmm. What an interesting idea for a blog. Maybe even one that starts out something like this. Just sayin’…
So what do you all think about this story? Am I just crazy … or are they?
And you can check out the New York Times story by clicking the pic above, if you’re so inclined. Just be sure to show me the love by coming back and commenting. Early and often, baby…early and often…