Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Irresistible Lure of Strange Nookie

It's odd how a little strange nookie can bring the mighty down. "I did it because I could, and I thought I could get away with it. I didn't tell you, honey, because I thought it would make you mad. I was trying to keep my behavior from hurting you, darling. I love you. It meant nothing." These are words most women and a lot of men have heard in some variation by the time they're thirty or so. If not, he's probably really good at keeping his secrets secret, or you have agreed to an open relationship and complete discretion. So far, so good. But I bet it will bite you on the ass someday. Love can ruin the best marriages.

Love is strange in and of itself. And as some of my favorite books have demonstrated so beautifully, there are two or three entities in any love relationship. There is the lover. There is the beloved. And then there is the other beloved, that longed for other, the temptation. Honesty has very little place in love since none of the performers in this fascinating dance knows why they love the mysterious other and must pursue this person or resist another.

Ballad of the Sad Cafe the novella by Carson McCullers is the book that best and most quickly comes to mind when I ponder the mysteries of love. The ebb and flow of love, it's circularity, the pull and push back of love. Need is always a character in love. Neglect, arrogance and dishonesty are often the weapons of it's death.

Another of my favorites is Death in Venice by Thomas Mann. The love of the forbidden. The love you would ridicule in another, have ridiculed in another. The love that is your demise.

And oh, these days, how love or lust or curiosity or narcism has brought another mighty man lowdown. Sad it had to be the husband of Elizabeth Edwards.

19 comments:

Ingrid said...

thomas mann..I bet I've read a book about him in german class (in Holland, you have to take at least one foreign language, I took 3, engl,fr and german) as with every language class you have to read a lot of lit.. you can pick and choose too though.. I was a bit devious in that I checked out my parents' books and found the translated versions of Madame Bovary and Bel Amie (Gustave Flaubert and Guy de Maupassant) for one. However, I did have to do my oral exam in them in french so no worries.. anyhoo.. for german , one of the books I read was 'das leiden des jungen Werthes', the suffering of young Werthe..by Goethe. god awful but then so is most german literature.. at least with brit lit you get humour and some repressed sexual thing, with french, status and sex sex sex and that particular book by Goethe..he suffers heartbreak after heartbreak after rejection upon rejection from the fairer sex (I need to tie it in to your post now don't I??) and then, it's all too much for him and commits suicide. Of course I knew from the beginning that that was going to happen but couldn't wait for it to happen as the 'woe is me-again' was just too unbearable for me!! [g]

I'll have to check into the Thomas Mann book you mentioned...that kinda love well, it ain't love but the forbidden isn't it? (geesh..I'm starting to sound
'BrI-Ish')..

Ingrid

DCup said...

Far be it for me to say anything about Edwards. I couldn't be more of a hypocrite if I did.

I know how that kind of thing happens, unfortunately.

Utah Savage said...

Shit, Dcup, don't we all. Thats kind of the point of really great books isn't it? We are in them. We are all the lover or the beloved, or the desired other. Freida knows what lust is about, I do, so does Ingrid, I'll bet. I do not lay this burden at the feet of men alone. But it's hard to be the one the beloved left for the fatal attraction. It's all so damn complicated.

Yellow Dog said...

Thanks for the literary review of Love. Good reading, but I don't think it's paramount in this case.

It's the political sin in Edwards' actions that is most contemptible. Not even a decade away from Monica Lewinsky's blue dress, JRE has the hubris of running for president in the incomprehensible confidence that he wouldn't be found out.

The latter is evidence of his complete incompetence. The former is politically comparable to having casual sex while infected with HIV.

Deciding whether getting nookie behind his wife's back was sin is above my pay grade. But it was political sin to run for president after having done so.

Utah Savage said...

Yellow dog, you got no argument from me.

Vigilante said...

Dawg, excellent analogy with HIV: as a philanderer, Edwards' candidacy contaminated his own party's campaign to take back the White House in 2008. But what about Elizabeth? She Knew But Supported His Run For President? By standing by her man, she betrayed our party, too.

Utah Savage said...

Yes, Vig, I did forget that she knew. That was nice of John to toss out there in his "apology." Nice of him to take her down as well as himself. But I don't think this in anyway does the party in or will hurt Obama. Not running against McCain. It does make Bill speaking at the Convention a little awkward.

Randal Graves said...

That longed for other is often a figment of our imagination and we simply look for facets of that illusion in others and we rationalize it through copious amounts of bullshit poetry repeated in our head ad nauseum. I do that all the time. Good thing I'm too lazy to cheat. I kid, I kid.

yellow dog is right, mainly because we're in America where the penis and vagina are still snickered at in a press full of twelve year olds. You can bomb the fuck out of someone, spy on everyone, give the rich even more money, but cheating will end your career - if you're a Democrat. Not defending Johnny (and CERTAINLY not the other Johnny, the angry one) but no saints run for national office.

Vigilante said...

Randal, I have the audacity to hope for a good enough saint for my president. I don't expect a perfect saint. But I expect someone to put the demands of his office above hie personal temptations. You think that is too much for me to hope for?

Obama-Clark 2008!

Je ne regrette rien said...

my kingdom for some nooky. the stranger the better.

Utah Savage said...

Hey Frenchie, I believe strange nookie is what the French are all about. You want it, you'll be getting it. Glad to see you out and about. Sorry it's because your handyman (sounds like a nookie opportunity) is taking his vacation.

DivaJood said...

I echo what Dcup said. I would be a hypocrite to criticize anyone for stepping outside the marriage. And that the press is all over Edwards like flies on shit, rather than the hypocrisy of Bush criticizing China for human rights violations, does not escape my notice. Obviously adultury remains far more dangerous than waterboarding.

Your post, your lead up to that last paragraph, was a perfect build. I had no idea you would refer to Edwards, and it was a beautiful read to get there.

Unconventional Conventionist said...

Like I said at PoP's place and anywhere on this subject, the US continues to equate morality with sex, which is completely stupid IMO, since it's in private and between consenting people.

Real morality is in public policy, where people often do NOT give their consent, and are screwed anyway.

Utah Savage said...

Well, we've obviously failed the commander in chief test. We lusting, poetry thinking, smitten and yearning man and women. At least we women and Randal. I can't throw stones. But as a woman, lying arrogant, narcisistic bullshit artist pricks running for president, better get his answer ready on that question and get his story straight about how his wife's taking the news, first off. And for god's sake don't drag your wife into it by telling us how you got her okay for you to run for Pres. Tell us what a prick you are and go away. Try to convince your daughters that all men aren't lying, opportunistic, fuckwads like you.

Utah Savage said...

UC, you are absolutely right. But the lying sticks in our craws.

Randal Graves said...

vigilante, I'm a professional cynic, so I'm the wrong person to ask. ;-)

utah and UC, what you two said leads me to what I wish one of clowns would do, have the balls if a dude, ovaries if a chick to just admit it before hand or whenever it happens. "I fucked up, my spouse knows, it's our private business, please respect that and I hope you'll support my plans to help all people who need it. Go Jets."

Of course, the odds of that happening are as large as finding the longed for other. Well, off to go look for her.

Beach Bum said...

Try to convince your daughters that all men aren't lying, opportunistic, fuckwads like you.

I tell my daughter that everyday, because as certain as God made little green apples men are fuckwads. Yea, I include myself.

Petrosexual said...

That's right Beach Bum. The rest of you guys are beating up Edwards like he was a son of a bitch. He's actually the son of a mill worker.

D.K. Raed said...

so I ask my dear husband tonight, "why kind of a man, who knows the wife that he loves has the kind of cancer that most women don't survive for more than 5-yrs, couldn't just wait for 5-yrs?". His response: "oh, probably just the average man."