School for scandal

Holly Petraeus went dumpling, and Gen. Petraeus Kardashian-ed up.

There’s a connection between these two clauses but no causality.

In other words, just because Mrs. Petraeus supposedly “let herself go” in the words of the blogosphere – and my uncle, a blogosphere unto himself – it doesn’t necessarily follow that she drove her husband into the Michelle Obama-like arms of Paula Broadwell. (Not since the mispronounced Anthony Weiner has a name been so suited to a sex scandal.)

If keeping up your appearance were all it took to keep a husband, Jennifer Anniston would still be married to Brad Pitt, wouldn’t she? People cheat for a variety of reasons, though the stereotypes unfortunately still apply. Many men cheat, because they’re afraid of death and so seek another, reverential partner to perpetuate the illusion of eternal youth. (See the hilariously insightful “Moonstruck.”) It’s fascinating that Petraeus says the affair began not in the heat of war-torn Afghanistan, which would make some sense, but in the cold reality of Washington D.C., where he had become another suit at a desk.

Many women cheat to acquire status – either the status of beauty with a boy toy or the status of power with an older accomplished man. Looks like Broadwell and alleged Kardashian-esque rival Jill Kelley fall into the category of power-worshipers.

We don’t really know what went on (although we sure do enjoy speculating).

Here’s what we do know:

  1. Private acts have public consequences. Think before you do.
  2. Men, never get in the middle of a catfight, no matter how much it reminds you of porn.
  3. Never put in an email anything that you would not say to that person in public, and never blame the victim.
  4. Never refer to anyone but an immediate family member as “sweetheart.”
  5. And, if like Jill Kelley you call the police to invoke diplomatic privilege, learn to pronounce the word “inviolability”. – Georgette Gouveia

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