You date and/or live long enough in New York City, and sooner or later you run into the complaint, usually expressed after numerous beverages, that there are “no good men in the city” — you know, they’re all taken, or married to their careers, or taken and married to their careers … or they keep heads in their refrigerators. And, in our experience, there are certain fellows (not all of them, not you) we’ve run into on occasion who do seem to have that perpetual not-wanna-grow-up, not-wanna-settle-down thing going. Earlier this week, the the New York Times’ Susan Dominus pointed out a little factoid that sheds some interesting light onto the plight of the single lady.
If Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, a divorced Democrat, is elected governor in November, New York will have two ostensible bachelors at two significant helms — City Hall and the statehouse — which might, given the many ways politicians have mangled their marital vows in recent years, come as something of a relief.
Mayor Mike Bloomberg, of course, has been something of the perfect political boo to his longtime lady Diana Taylor for years now, treating their relationship with the dignity and grace you’d actually not expect of an elected official, and setting a solid pathway for Cuomo and his live-in love, the Food Network’s Sandra Lee, to traipse with ease and grace (even if his mother does say her lasagna sucks).
But Dominus’ “something as a relief” is laden with the wretched sweat stains of Eliot Spitzer, Mark Sanford, John Edwards, Rudy Giuliani, David Paterson, and so on. You know, the perpetrators of ill-advised and publicly mortifying scandals inflicted upon not only their wives but also the media and general public. Somehow, a scandal perpetrated by an unmarried person is just…not so dramatic. Which may be why we don’t call those “affairs.”
As Dominus says,
Sure, unmarried couples cheat, too, but when they do, that sort of infraction tends to be the stuff of dinner party conversation, not front page news. And if, in some turn of events I’d call far-fetched were it not for loopy precedent elsewhere, Mr. Cuomo suddenly starts chasing, say, an alluring Argentine, he would probably not feel compelled to make up some humdinger involving the Appalachian Trail. Instead, he might merely tell the public that he and Ms. Lee were, in the famous words of the Ross Geller character on the sitcom Friends, “on a break.”
Which brings up all sorts of questions, not the least of which is, does getting married make you crazy? Further, what does having boyfriendy instead of husbandy political figures mean for the single ladies who aren’t, say, Food Network hosts or Ivy-League educated, many-degreed bankers who date Bloomberg? Might it set a bad precedent among those New Yorkers who are already a bit — how shall we say — marriage-challenged? And…do we care?
Interestingly, of all the ladies I canvassed, not a one said that unmarried politicians bothered them in the slightest. In fact, most of them agreed with Dominus that if we could be spared from future ridiculous scandals by politicians remaining bachelors, they’d be all for it. What they did want, however, was a little common human decency. Women!
I would say that I have no problem with unmarried commitments as long as they present a relationship of respect, commitment, kindness, etc. I much prefer a healthy unmarried relationship to the series of political marriages that are constantly in the news, which end with one several outcomes — foreign lovers (covered up by so-called Appalachian trail hikes), trashy affairs and secret love-children, gay bathroom sex, sex with pages, harassment, etc… I’d rather politicians didn’t get married because it makes good politics when behind it all is a series of lies and betrayals.
I don’t have any issues with “boyfriend politicians”, to me it’s about commitment. As long as they’re faithful then it doesn’t really matter if marriage is involved.
I have more respect for politicians who get divorced and date openly than those who stay in unhappy marriages and cheat. It’s sort of like Derek Jeter vs. Tiger Woods….they’re both extremely famous and at the height of their game, but at least Jeter is honest about wanting to keep his options open. So I have more respect for politicians who do the same rather than get married to project a certain image, and then violate that.
You heard it here. Women like: commitment, honesty, trust. They dislike: hypocrisy, betrayal, and secret love children.
But, guys, you may not be able get away with this kind of bachelor behavior if you’re not an elected official or at least mayor of Foursquare:
Also, let’s face, it, your average guy is not a billionaire mayor of one of the biggest cities in the world…so you can give him a little less of a leash.
Still, even the token dude we asked expressed — after an exuberant “I hope they’re gettin’ some!” — the belief that politicians eschewing marriage wouldn’t impact the general New York City guy population “any more than Spitzer, McGreevey, and Rowland give us leeway to patronize whores, hire our gay lovers, or take bribes.”
But since the day that all the politicians go single is the day that the awesomely heinous trainwreck scandals that bloggers love to write about die (leaving us only to cover dancing and smoking babies), here’s to you, John Edwards.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 18, 2010