Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Wrecking Ball

Bizarro is brought to you today by Jobs That Require Orange Vests.

I never had a job where I had to wear an orange vest, but in high school I worked at a place called Dr. Redlove's Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and we had to dress in those goofy straw hats, bow ties, and vests, like singers in a barbershop quartet. At the time, I had long, bushy hair, so when I removed my hat at the end of my shift, the top was perfectly formed to the cylindrical shape of the hat. Very sexy.

Speaking of sexy, cartoons about home wreckers and cheating spouses are always oriented the way this cartoon is: the husband cheats, a hussy helps. But in recent years, women have been catching up to men in the infidelity department. Polls show that a larger percentage of women cheat than used to (although at least some of that increase is due to the fact that women are becoming more comfortable admitting it.)

But I've seen a very real trend in this area in my own circle of acquaintances, as well. While men have always had a tendency to stray, I know more women who have cheated on their significant others than men. Perhaps because women have in recent decades experienced a change in their social standing, it has lead them to react in the same ways that men traditionally have. With so many choices – career, motherhood, both, neither – I suspect there is more pressure on them to succeed in a variety of arenas and so they are more prone to midlife crisis-type symptoms than they used to be.

Just a guess on my part, I'm no sociologist. But I've seen what seems to be a growing amount of self-destructive behavior in my female friends in their thirties, the sort that used to be almost exclusively associated with men. And before anyone gets fired up in the comments section, I am by no means suggesting that women were better off before the women's movement. Liberation is always a good thing.

Some people just handle liberty better than others.

So, dear readers, how many of you have been to the Home Wreckers Depot? Have you cheated on a partner? Have you been cheated on? Were you able to forgive and save the relationship, or was it a deal breaker? While most human societies have always leaned toward monogamy, it is clear that we aren't particularly good at it.


Lorie said...

Interesting topic. I have never cheated on my husband. Most people cheat not to hurt the other person, but for some sort of affirmation they are not getting in the marriage. And maybe to hurt the other person a little. Most regret it, with the exception of serial cheaters, who are narcissists, and should be dealt with swiftly and with as little pain to yourself as possible. I don't think it is a deal breaker. If my husband were to cheat on me (my feminist sisters are going to kill me here) I would look first at my own behavior. If he (or she) were truly remorseful, I would try to salvage the relationship. Sometimes we get so involved in our own lives we forget our partners or take them for granted. A good marriage is not easy to come by. If you have one, do whatever it takes to protect it. I've seen some cheating in my friends in their thirties, also. Most got married too young.

Penny Mitchell said...

I'm your feminist sister but I'm not going to kill you, Lorie. It does take two to tango, or not. I've not cheated on my husband, nor he on me; we're always both amazed at the way so many of the married people we know talk to each other. S/he is the person who is supposed to more firmly have your back than anyone on the planet, so you think you could at least be decent? I grew up with parents who were consistently just really crappy towards each other...I am blessed that I was able to land in the polar opposite situation in my marriage.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

This Bizarro is not very funny.

derekamalo said...

cheat cheat and more cheat my friends...its what the world is all about beat her to the punch ....i got a a piece in the east and a piece in the west they can do what they want as long as i have my fun :)

isee3dtoo said...

This Bizarro is incredible funny.

The women enticer is the store itself. I laughed so hard I nearly peed myself. I think the enticer represents the spirit of the store and is found in the tool section. I hear it calling to me every time I walk by a power tool.

I can careless about the blog but the comic is great.

isee3dtoo said...

Hidden objects: I count six if I count the bird twice, I still think repeated items should only count as one hidden object if they are hidden in the same way.

Johnny said...

I can barely handle one woman, to juggle two would be my downfall. Besides, I would get caught cause I am not good at lying. My spouse and I do have our "List" of people that we have the green light to cheat on though. I have Celia Ward and Dana Delaney.

Anonymous said...

Its Sela Ward, superfan.

Anonymous said...

isee3dtoo - its "I couldn't care less."

isee3dtoo said...

anom - that too, though I prefer "could not" over "couldn't"/

Jeremy said...

I am assuming you got this sort of setup from the Home Depot commercials that ran for quite a while? That what this reminded me of anyway. Some (clueless) dude strolls in and asks a woman employee to help him find something for his wife (at a Home Depot?).

At one point in the commercials he gets a little too intimate with the employee and touches her shoulder or something.I don't see those commercials much anymore, but I loved the cartoon!

Home Depots tend to be really wide open stores and there are lots of places to hide and do it since there are so many door displays and stuff. The premise works extremely well.

JustRex said...

I've been lured like that once or twice. It threw them off when I asked them to come home and meet my wife. I am a polyamorist by inclination and it really throws people.

Mike Duffau said...

women are my weakness...but in boxin'...women weakens the legs! its true!!!

Judy said...

I've told my husband that one a$$ in my life is enough - so, ah, no. But my bestfriends husband dipped his wick in other candles and they eventually divorced. She forgave him on her deathbed, though

Jezzka said...

In the history of the human race, monogmy has only been a recent social and mostly a western practice.

polygamy is still practiced in societies across the board, but through religion and laws many countries including the United States consider marriage to be a singular contract between two people and any form of polygamy is illegal/sinful. For the most part, polygamist practices were pertinent to the survival of specific causes, beliefs or purposes; basically to have children and make sure those ideals, beliefs survived and lived on.

In the hay day of ancient china (before the republic), it is common for a wealthy man to have multiple wives, the number of wives equated to his success and wealth. In many african tribes polygamy is still widely practice form of cultivating a sustainable society and for survival of the village. When the mormon religion was "founded" polygamy was widely practiced, but was banned in the late 1800s in order to be accepted into the union (polygamy is still practiced among mormons, but they are known as mormon fundamentalists).

I consider humans to be animals too and although we are suppose to be more evolved and therefore capable of making complex and emotional decisions, we are not immune to our biological urges and genetic makeup as animals.

With all this being said and to answer your questions about cheating or being cheated on i can only share my own experiences.

i am a strong believer in mahogany, i mean monogamy. i may make inappropriate jokes from time to time, but i am very traditional and conservative when it comes to my ideas about love, trust, and the commitment of marriage. i believe in love, i believe (maybe stupidly or naively) in the one; the love of a lifetime. perhaps i may die a bitter old lady alone searching in vain (or end up in antarctica chipping away at a frozen man trapped in block of ice from the dawn of time), but well it is my journey to take and i refuse to settle for anyone because of fear of being alone, for money, for status, for anything less than what i know and understand to be true love.

i have never physically cheated on a partner, nor has anyone cheated on me, but i have had been subjected to complications of cheating behavior, so i have experience the feeling of such conflicting emotions with my own sense of morality; because sometimes love can be blind in a bad way. it doesn't help that our brain secreates chemicals that make us woozy and fog up what is suppose to be our own good judgement.

there is no formula, no tried and true, right or wrong, no cinderella story for everyone. i am, however, very thankful i have (not perfect) but healthy examples of monogamy while growing up. my own parents have been married for 36 yrs now. to which i attribute to the standards i hold for myself in the matters of heart.

on their 30th wedding anniversary, my parents had a invited all their long time friends to celebrate. i got to hear from their friends who had sideline tickets through their thicks and thins. despite their complete polar opposite personalities, my father being so laid back and unemotional and my mother being more on the high strung side, but very sensitive, this combination some how created a unique balance in their 36 years of marriage. although no one could make sense of how it all worked, everyone in the room appreciated that it just did.

growing up and seeing my parents marriage roughly through 30 of the 36 years, i saw a lot of fighting, plenty of threats about divorcing each other out of frustration, plenty of crying, yelling, laughing, but i realize as an adult, they over the years had many many rough times, but they managed to overcome a lot of hurdles together and i think that is what made them love each other even more as time went on. life has definitely thrown my parents a lot of curve balls, including raising me, a complete brat, who talked back and was stubborn as chewing gum in knotted hair.

in 89, when the Loma Prieta earthquake hit, my father had gotten a call from my mom on a pay phone saying she was alive, but to go pick up my brother, me and then to come find her as she was stuck in downtown SF trying to keep clear of shattering glass from the high rises.

my father worked in palo alto at the time, south peninsula (2 hours outside of SF), and he had raced to pacifica (30 mins south of SF) where i was staying with a friend after school, once he got me, he raced to pick up my little brother who was attending school on the outskirts of SF, then finally racing into downtown SF, to find my mother.

my mother worked as a bank teller at BofA which was located in the financial district. this was a time before cell phones, so we had no idea where my mother might be after all this time. She had phoned using a pay phone only to tell my father where she would be around to pick her up, but that there was glass and people running everywhere, that things were on fire and the trains were not running because of the aftershocks; basically chaos everywhere.

my father was constantly swerving to avoid the people running into the streets. by the time we had reached downtown, over two hours after the initial quake, everything was in shambles, it looked like armageddon. the rolling aftershocks would push the car and forced my dad to jerk the car back on to the lane, which put even more tension on the situation to get to my mother.

i remember my father in frustration ordering us to help him, i remember him screaming to us in a frantic tone, LOOK kids, LOOK!! LOOK!! i just remember rolling down the window and peering out as hard as i could trying to spot my mother and trying to focus my eyes through the tears.

my father had found her standing near the bank she worked at, but she was clearly shaken and had dirt on her face and a scrape on her knee. as she was telling us what had happened we all realized how glad we were to have found her in the mess. this was back when many of the SF structures were not retrofitted and when the entire section on the bay bridge collapsed on drivers. everyone was just trying to get away from the tall buildings.

a few years later, my mother had quit her job at the bank and stayed home, but my father still worked in palo alto a 2 hr commute with traffic. one afternoon after school i heard fire engines racing up our hill and realized they had stopped in front of our house.

i suddenly saw smoke people running out into the street, so i screamed maaah FIRE!my mother grabs us and for whatever reason grabs the credit card and phone bills and a jar of lose change and pushes us out the door. we were all in the street in our floppy house slippers while we watch as the hill behind our neighbors house in full blaze. our neighbor's kid had gotten a hold of a propane tank (his father was a mechanic) and decided to light it on fire behind his house (yes, this kid was a real GENIUS). luckily for us, the wind was strong enough to blow the flames away from our house. we were let back into our home when the fire had been contained. my father must have left work because he could not be reached by phone. that day, my mother waited for hours by the window, screaming, where is your father?? for hours she would run back and forth every time she heard a car drive up our hill. she had tired herself out to the point of tears worrying where he was and if something bad had happened to him too. the thoughts she must have raced through, i can not know.

traffic had been particularly bad that afternoon and he didn't arrive home until 3 hours after the fire had started. it had gotten dark when he finally arrived to a smoke filled house and ran up the stairs shouting is everyone ok. Later on that night, we were telling my father how my mother of all things grabbed the bills when rushing out the house. not picture frames, not cherished belongings, no, the bills and a jar of pennies. haha. my mother could only defend her actions by saying, what?? you want debt on our hands, we have to pay the bills! her illogical reasoning was always something that my father would poke fun of her for, but undoubtably loved about her.

anyway, these stories stick out in my memory not just because of the intensity of the situation, but how my parents reacted to the idea of loosing the other. what i remember observing was my parent's love for each other, at it's most honest sincere form, when neither one was trying, it just poured out. i don't think either could have imagined their life with out the other and these events pushed them closer together. it is through the rough times, that gives shape, strength and character to a relationship between two people and it is these life moments that show real love transcends physical love.

a first reaction is usually the most honest and accurate one, there is no time for muddiness, just immediate clarity. usually my initial instinct is the correct one, i tend to trust a gut feeling more than what is on the surface level. i guess i have no real answer, other than what i have shared.

L. Erskine said...

I think that there are a wide variety of reasons for why people cheat.

If I were to focus on the possible reasoning you gave, I would suggest that the straying might not be the result of a midlife crisis so much as discontentment in life.

The more choices women have, the more burden is put on them. Women are still expected to be mothers so if they want to have a career they often have twice the burden.

It can be somewhat uninspiring being involved with someone who simply does not pull their weight because society has not changed enough for the roles to have really evened out.

I have only cheated once and I did it to reclaim my body from a selfish partner (my brief dabble in the realm of the insane). He was a cruel and rude person who did everything to try and control me. So I found someone else to sleep with, it reminded me that I was mostly definitely not the sort of person to be involved with an asshole and I got out of the relationship. He never found out about the cheating because it wasn't about him. The therapist I went and saw to bounce my thoughts off of about the situation (because I didn't want to believe someone could be *that* bad) wasn't nearly as helpful as the perspective gained by having healthy sex.

My only issue with cheating is that now I have to admit that 1)I went out with an asshole 2) I cheated. I take pride in having integrity and know that cheating, even in that sort of situation, is wrong. However, it served a greater purpose and I benefited from it so I don't feel bad about it... I just don't like worrying about the possibility of future rejection because of it.

SAYOTTE316 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Delete. Delete. Delete. Getting trigger happy, Dan?

derekamalo said...

delete delete come on he just wasnt interested in a useless blog taking up his wholeb logspot ...it was alraedy on here ...

he kept fidos ass comments there is no way he he censors

Rebecca C. Brown said...

Cheating is up there with littering and voting Republican for me. There really is zero excuse. If you don't like monogamy, then yeah, by all means, have sex with whomever you please. Consenting adults having safe sex is completely unobjectionable; it's downright fantastic.

But the word "cheat" implies that someone in the equation isn't consenting: the partner on whom you're cheating. If you want to have sex outside of your relationship and you haven't made prior arrangements that this is acceptable to your partner, then call off the relationship before you have sex with someone else.

You can attempt to justify cheating any number of ways; you can blame your partner for not meeting your needs, you can blame society for enforcing what you consider an "unnatural" system, you can blame your genitals for being so darn attracted to someone else. But if you don't have the decency to be honest with your partner and you stray without full disclosure, then you've disrespected your partner beyond forgiveness.

I don't believe in the "sanctity" of marriage or love or relationships. But I do believe in honesty and respect.

Jezzka said...

well put, but, no sanctity of love? aw, that is too sad. there's always room for love and pie!!

Piraro said...

I delete as little as possible from these comments. I've lately begun deleting nasty comments directed at other readers that have nothing to do with the post (but not nasty comments about my cartoons, you should notice) and the one on this page I deleted was a joke that was forty-something paragraphs long with no punchline. Just seemed an unnecessary waste of space.

Anonymous said...

I've cheated ones in my life. It's about 11-12 years ago. I was a wreck. I never told her and I don't think she know still. I learned from it. It was a stupid thing to do.

I not only have seen and heard that women are catching up to men's bad and foolish habits; it's even proven statistically in at least Norway and Sweden. Women consume more alcohol, they are more violent and I'm not shocked if they even cheat more also.

You can't have the cake and eat it too. Some of us men discovered or learned that very early in our upbringing.

And before you extreme-feminists start attacking me for being honest, I'm all for gender equality. I just prefer calling myself a humanist instead, as I focus on the individual instead of the gender.

Anonymous said...

"I've lately begun deleting nasty comments directed at other readers that have nothing to do with the post (but not nasty comments about my cartoons, you should notice)"

I'll hold you to that the next time I post a critical comment and get attacked by the mindless bloggers.

Rebecca C. Brown said...

I should clarify that love is better than vegan chocolate cake topped with vegan whipped cream topped with hundred dollar bills. I'd punch a polar bear in the face if I thought it might protect my husband from danger. I'd wrestle an alligator for him. I'd stand between Sarah Palin and a limping moose for him.

What I meant to say is that I don't believe in the sanctity of anything, seeing as I'm a godless atheist and all that. Any meaning derived from marriage or relationships or love is cultural rather than innate.

But I know you were just joking.

derekamalo said...

lol...the lasts two posts anonymous has now posted...i laghed out loud

Jezzka said...

would you punch a camel's toe for your husband? because that would just scream love in a nutshell. hee hee.

eh, i crack me up...

Superhero Spouse said...

My ex-husband cheated on me at a point when our marriage was all but sexually and emotionally dead, it was just still chugging along propelled by momentum, responsibility and compatibility. He met someone at work, they had mucho chemistry, he leapt. On that level I can't blame him.

I can, however, blame him for lying in my face on a daily basis for months and for bringing this woman into my home and letting her touch my things and play mistress of the house every day while I was at work. I can also blame him for potentially exposing me to sexually transmitted diseases so that he could perpetuate the charade that we were still married and yet not deny himself the pleasure of unprotected sex with his new love. I can -- and boy do I -- still blame him for his scummy behavior but I don't hold his desire for a new and fulfilling relationship against him. All he had to do was tell the truth, I wouldn't have been acrimonious.

I was willing to consider forgiveness (by this time his new relationship had fizzled and he was desperate for us to get back together and repair the marriage) but as it turned out, his affair was a catalyst that made me examine the relationship and my feelings. All that introspection made me finally realize I wasn't in love with him and hadn't been for a long time. I had just grown comfortable and stagnant. So there wasn't any good reason to try to save our marriage, it was long over. We went to a few sessions with a counselor and then filed for divorce. It the love had still been there it might have gone differently.

Smartest thing I ever did by the way. I haven't had a moment's regret.

I heartily agree with rebecca c. brown's post above. I think everyone deserves to pursue love and passion in their life but nobody has the right to lie to their partner and treat them with that sort of blatant disrespect.

Unknown said...

wow, I'm pleasantly surprised at all the comments. I was expecting more people sharing the cheating stories... but I guess that's left up to the PostSecret blogspot, eh?

I was almost the hussie... was interested in a bloke, we hit it off splendidly, and almost went for it, when he had a change of heart and divulged that he had a pregnant girlfriend.


where are all the good boys?

Anonymous said...

Thanks Derek - I appreciate your support.

Unknown said...

Alli..Where are all the good boys? They are the ones with nicknames like Troll, Tubbs, and Bubba. Remember that brainiac in school who always offered to help you, but had hand-me-down clothes or the wrong shoes? He's bound to be a good boy. You know your last boyfriends' buddy who was always there to help with a project and seemed to be perpetually single? Probably the good boy. We are out here in the world, under-appreciated because the bad boys get all the attention, but they need somebody to keep them from really hurting themselves, like every superhero needs a sidekick. The good boys are the comic foil to the bad boys, If you want a good boy look behind and slightly to the right of the bad boy and that's where he is most likely to be found. We don't have "Game" and we are often the quietest guy in the room, and most likely to make the inappropriate comment. Get past the surface and you will find a whole world that you thought was only in fairy tales. If you want a good boy, look for him, he's looking for a good girl.

Unknown said...

You know, I wish I could believe that. Being the supergeek myself (biologist/math teacher, who loves videogames) I do naturally gravitate towards other nerds like myself.

Maybe it's the area I live in, but all the guys seem to be taken, gay, or huge jerks who mess around (the guy I mentioned above was a super nerd... I thought I was safe with him).

blah blah blah < /story of heartbreak>

guess I just gotta keep looking


isee3dtoo said...

A lot of the good boy stop looking after awhile. I have been the "best friend" of too many women. I was the one they felt safe with so I was the one who heard all the stories about the bad boys in their lives. And once you become their confidant you might as was well kiss becoming anything else goodbye.

At the same time l look back and thank God those prayers were unanswered.

Yes, riding a bike across Europe, swimming with whales, taking a train across Australia, caving in Tennessee, and so may have been better with a girl friend nearby. But, hey, I am glad I had the balls enough to do them on my own.

What a good boy does want is a little space and not a lot of cling. Good boys have confidence where bad boys are bad because they need a mother figure in their lives.

B.A.D. said...

I've never been one for monogamy, or relationships in which cheating is even possible. But I have been pressured into them, and oddly enough the other party, the one wanting this kind of relationship where the ones who cheated on me.

It sucks, a lot. I would like to avoid getting into these kinds of relationships in the future for just that reason. Maybe I'm a young cynic, but I've never wanted to get married and this was one of the reasons. Marriages end, more often then not, sometimes the marriage itself is what will drive you apart, so why bother? I'd prefer to love who I love, and have that be enough for both of us. Maybe next time I'll be able to remember that, and get out instead of give in.