Monday, August 18, 2008

The Apple and the Tree

I had a crazy conversation with a college sophomore who dated a foreign student at her school all last year. In April, the guy was kicked out of school and sent back to the UK after being caught with drugs, and not just any drugs--- heroin-- on campus. He’s now being allowed to register for the upcoming fall semester and he’s been sending Marley FTD bouquets to make sure she doesn’t forget him. After much urging from her mom and girlfriends, she says she's planning to dump him, but not until October. I asked why the wait. In my take on this, if guys perceive her as single, she’ll be more likely to meet someone new, and if she sees herself as single, she’ll be more comfortable flirting. Au contraire, she told me. You need to have someone and then look around.
Interesting. Especially considering that her father surreptitiously fooled around with a string of women for five years. Most of them had no clue that he had a wife at home. He waited until he found just the right one--a neighbor who knew he was married --and made sure she was willing to leave her husband before he packed his bags and left his wife and kids.

And then there’s the case of Stanley and his new wife, Peg, 26 years his junior. They carried on an affair for six years behind his wife’s back until Peg decided she was ready to have a baby and gave Stan an ultimatum. Years ago, Peg’s dad baled on her mom, Peg, and three other siblings to set up housekeeping with a "friend of the family" who ditched her husband for him.

So, it appears to be true that the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree. But what compels these girls to reenact their fathers’ sleazy behavior when the have perfectly nice, smart, competent, attractive, morally sound mothers who would be far superior role models?

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