THE INJURED PARTY

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m no fan of Angelina Jolie.  Nor of Jennifer Aniston, nor Chelsea Handler, nor any of the players in that never-ending tug of war over the phlegmatic Brad Pitt.  I never did understand why reasonably intelligent women would bitch-fight over such a man.  That it’s been dragging on for years and still inspiring people to take sides is even more baffling.

Don’t tell me you haven’t picked one.  The poor rejected wife or the femme fatale, for which do you secretly root?  Which has appealed to your worst fear, or deepest desire?  This modern Hollywood soap opera has become less about the people involved than a template of archetypical conflict.  Wholesome girl-next-door has true love swiped by calculating man-trap, so let’s all draw sides and go to war.

Which brings me to the point.  Why are there only two sides?  If I remember correctly, two people are bickering over a third.  Where is he in all this conflict?  Just a hapless bystander who tripped and mysteriously found his dick lodged in a stranger?  Oops, sorry lady, guess I better stay here and help you raise the children I accidently sired.

What a load of crap.  If I didn’t know any better, I’d say he took the lessons from The Art of War a little personally.   As long as the ladies are duking it out, no one will notice what a dishonorable fuck he is and he can continue to play the distraught man caught between two lovers. 

I mean, who could blame him?  He can bang Angie until the cows come home,  cry on the shoulder of his sympathetic ex-wife who continues to blame the other woman and not the blubbering weenie in her arms, make a few public appearances at charitable events and suddenly nobody cares that he’s responsible for the rivalry.  Wow, what a man!

How can we find fault with such a stand-up guy?  He must be a real keeper if two women are willing to humiliate themselves in the ultimate public throwdown.  The fault must therefore lie with the women, so pick your side and prepare to do battle. 

Here’s a nice halberd:  He fell out of his marriage bed because the the exotic Ms. Jolie bewitched him.  Grab it and bludgeon your opponent!   Not to your liking?  How about this flail instead:  He reneged on his marriage vows because the high-maintainence Ms. Aniston bored him.  Slap that one in the face of your adversary!  Nothing feels as good as righteous anger.

Except that in this case, it’s misdirected.  Who is the injured party here?  I would argue that there are no victims here, or in any love triangle; each one is responsible for his and her own actions.  The stalwart wife?  Give enough rope to any partner and they will hang themselves with it.  The hussy?  A woman who takes up with a known philanderer can surely expect the same.  The wayward husband?  No one can eat cake and have it, too.

But like all fairy tales, the reader wants a happy ending with sides clearly drawn and enemies vanquished.  However, in this case when the enemy is one’s self, those endings are not so tidy.  As long as you point the finger of blame at another, it will grow ever larger until it finally turns and pokes you in your own eye.

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