Dear Mrs. Vera,
Should Wiener withdraw?
Sometimes in this line of business you get a question that is quite “on the nose,” as the illustration provided our Art Correspondent Barbara Broido nasally and somewhat unnervingly demonstrates. Nothing on the planet matters more to Americans than disgraced New York Democratic Politico-sexters running, albeit a bit stiffly, in many cases, for elected office. But like all forms of exercise, running for office gets easier with practice, as the flab of self-restraint melts away, and the muscles for covering up the lack of self-restraint get built up, often with a throbbing vascularity that is more reminiscent of Sylvester Stallone’s face or Jackie Stallone’s pot roast than the lax, sallow muscle tone of the humiliated, brave and furious Supportwife who finds herself still married to the little boy she married, for better or for wurst.
These women have earned a special form of regard from me, as a political mannersist, for their unblanching fortitude in the face of adversity. It can’t be easy to be forced into a public shunning, even if it’s a sub- or unconscious one, from those people who used to be glad to see you out and about but now seem to gobble cheese in a panicky dread like starved spider-hole maniacs whenever you approach them at a party or event. Since when did a husband’s runaway libido necessitate all of one’s acquaintances turning into wine-sipping tapeworm feeders forever chasing mini-quiches all over the rotunda at the Guggenheim? Granted, it is hard to know what is safe to talk about with these crimeless victims, as saying anything to them at a social setting is a bit unnerving, like that dancing hippo ballet scene from Fantasia, but now the dance has been set in the middle of a minefield of whoopee cushions, only the minefield is in the shape of someone’s gigantic husband’s penis, namely hers. Anyway, you can’t wait for it to be over, no matter how awkwardly-gracefully good they are at dancing, under that harshly revealing and unforgiving spotlight. It is still a big relief, for everyone, to change partners as soon as possible before the conversation turns to Anthony’s Weiner.
So while we should try to treat those wronged by certain man-behaviors as normally as possible, we do so despite the quaint notions of propriety and shame that linger from our somewhat more puritan and less sex-positive upbringings. I urge people to remember that, in fact, these so called “scandalous” actions are seldom as salaciously eye-opening as one would hope, and hardly unheard of, at any point in humanity’s existence. You were not born tainted by scandal, and you were actually there, naughty reader, in the room, when your parents did it with each other 9 months before your birth, even if you don’t remember it, or all the heavy breathing, and the copious probably ludicrous porn dialog your parents were utilizing at the time of your conception.
And even when you work really hard to picture them going at it (go ahead and try!), even if you must resort to imagining them as much younger, still attractive and not yet worn out and exhausted by you, your dinosaur/princess phase, the piano lessons, the hiking club and soccer practices, and your first African-American boyfriend just to piss them off, you can’t, because eew gross. Despite the fact that sex is a nearly ubiquitous experience among humans who have turned the legal age specified in their respective state’s constitutions, “parents” are not sexy that way, ever. Okay, maybe to each other, whatever, but give me a break, we do not need that imagery in our heads. In the same way, neither are politicians sexy. Society calls those people “actors,” and that is what George Clooney is for.
Most people simply don’t want to see the man who is proposing a temporary sales tax to fund PTSD treatments for returning Servicemen and Servicewomen introduce that legislation while dragging his tongue across his nipple and looking steamily into camera three with hungry lip-licking eyes, not even if Sandra Bullock is standing somewhere near you in the shot. It seems disrespectful and a little too horny. Horniness has been known to cloud one’s judgment, and voters are already on the fence regarding nearly every politician out there without them being super-easy to seduce as well. Some of those Lady Lobbyists are pretty shapely after all, and will let you order anything on the fancy restaurant’s menu, while smiling a lot at you and laughing at all your crummy, tired jokes that people who know you all agree are lame, and lobbyists always seem to know lots and lots of overly attractive people in whatever crappy city your business trip has taken you to, and really, when you think about it, if we could just lower taxes on financial management services again those savings could in turn fund programs designed to aid health care providers who know a guy whose sister is married to one of those PTSD fellows, as the fly crows and Bob’s your uncle.
And while I’m happy that Lorena, who wrote-in with this week’s question, has found happiness in her unconventional household shared with Tonya Harding and Jon Gosselin and Ed Hardy, I refuse to take the bait she’s dangling on a hook in front of me, and prefer to let the voters express themselves at the polls, which they are quite capable of doing. I can’t shake the feeling, not even after 3 shakes, that Ms. Bobbitt is less concerned about Mr. Weiner’s qualifications as a “candidate” than she is with finding out if she “can or did date” him. Leave me out of it, please. The more out of it I am the better it is, in my opinion. I mean, I may know a lot of people, but last I checked I wasn’t running for the office of New York City Mayor, and I certainly don’t know any Ladies named after playing cards, aside from the Queen of Elizabeths, who is in that sadly tedious nappy-changing mode where all she talks about is her little Royal Poops. T.M.I. say I, warning her that if she names them she’ll never be able to pull the chain and part with them, and people will stop coming to visit you because of the smell, I says to her, politely, when I can’t stands to listen to no more. Call me old-fashioned, but talking about your diaper contents is not a topic of polite conversation no matter how many hats and scepters an old Lady has in her closet. It is almost as rude as not really paying attention to what someone is talking about, being ill-informed about current events, or of being overly-informed about the sex lives of allegedly famous people — All examples of terrible manners.
I, along with a lot of people following this controversy, would be very uncomfortable, indeed, if Anthony Weiner pulled out suddenly just because he heard a noise from the news media getting home early, for once, while assorted loose Kardashians still run free and assorted earlier wives of Land Newts dying of cancer are still out there, and furthermore, bald George H. W. Bush. Whatever the character flaws Mr. Weiner’s actions may reveal about himself, I’m oddly more reassured by a politician who does things every other modern person is doing, even if it is lamely tweetching pictures of their badonka-junk over the internets to other horny folks, than by the type of politician who still lives in a throwback time when it was the common assumption that Mamie Eisenhower’s bathing suit area most likely looked like an apple pie painted by Norman Rockwell. Anthony Weiner, it could just turn out, may be America’s first Saturday Evening Post-Twit.
Mrs. Vera Newman is a San Francisco absurdist character, humorist, artist, writer, community organizer, clothes horse and co-founder, with Mister Tina, of The Verasphere. She has been answering the unasked questions she receives from the lonely, empty rooms of America’s heart-shaped circulatory pump room ever since it began beating. Nestled in the politically bent bowels of the Nation since she was a young girl babysitting the very same newborn Nation, her ability to self-reflect about anyone else’s embarrassing shortcomings, inept fumblings or lousy recipes has enabled her invisible rise as a modern-day Cassandra, whatever that means. Feel free to dispose of all your worries by leaving them on her doorstep!