Monday, September 13, 2010


Whenever my vulgar curiosity needs satisfaction, I turn to the Daily Mail website. What, you've never visited? The DM's intrepid squad of reporters fans out across the globe, leaving no Dumpster unsifted in the quest for sordid celebrity gossip (or, as the DM delicately names it, Femail), so readers are kept up-to-the-minute on which celebrities are too skinny (Angelina!) and which are too fat (Jessica!) and which have just been outed for cavorting with prostitutes while their wives were pregnant.

The latest in that illustrious line would be 24-year-old footballer Wayne Rooney, a star player for Manchester United and the England national team, whose response to the scandal is that he's "not prepared to take any s--- off the wife and her family" and "if she can't handle it and it's over, so be it." If this sounds a bit jaded, well, Rooney's been there before: he's already well-known among football fans and Femail readers alike for his teenage encounter with a 48-year-old hooker known (affectionately, one presumes) as the Auld Slapper.

At least wronged wife Coleen can take comfort in the fact that she's not alone. From Elin Nordegren to Sandra Bullock to Silda Spitzer, the wives of high-profile men have put up with a lot of high-priced competition over recent years. Or maybe the cheating was always going on, and today's offenders are just unlucky to have come of age in a time of instant news and transparent privacy. The Rooney affair came to light when Juicy Jeni -- one of the ladies involved -- sold her story to a tabloid, prompting a wave of disapproving website commentary that she was dishonoring her profession.

Whether it's the reap-the-rewards mentality of successful people, or our modern capability for rationalizing and entitlement, or the diminishing sacredness of sex in Western society, we've heard any number of reasons for the infidelity epidemic. Rooney's petulant comments suggest that he knows he did a bad thing, but can't summon the moral fiber to blame himself for it. As an athlete, he ought to be well-acquainted with self-control and physical discipline; apparently, though, he chooses to save all that effort for the football pitch, where it's appreciated by legions of worshipful fans rather than a single nagging wife in the yucky throes of pregnancy.

Anyhoo. The Daily Mail will feast on the story for a week or two, and then the Rooneys will probably reconcile and have another baby, and Femail will move on to obsess over the speed at which Coleen loses her pregnancy weight.

Which means the next celebrity cheating scandal can't be far behind.


  1. Beatriz, I'm trying to find some way to reach you. I read in RWR that you sold Overseas, and to Penquin! Wow! I'm so happy for you. I judged Overseas (then Oversea) in a contest about a year or so ago. I told you that your prologue was the best prologue I'd ever read. I made some suggestions for your first chapter. I was so happy to see you sold this great book. I made a note to remind myself to buy it when it's released. Again, congratulations.

    Carolyn/Cara Marsi

  2. Carolyn, thanks so much! I'm so happy to hear from you. I wrote the entire first draft of OVERSEAS in a six-week frenzy, without the benefit of a critique group, so the contest feedback was hugely valuable. I remember basking in the glow of your comment about the prologue (prologues get such a tough rap these days!) and putting your suggestions on that pesky first chapter to work. Thank you, thank you for your early encouragement! It meant so much to me at the time, and still does. I do hope you'll enjoy reading the rest of the book!!