In My Opinion
The Case For Not Letting Yourself Go (AKA A Note to Mrs. Patraeus)
I’m just going to say the thing that everybody thought but nobody wanted to say. And I’m saying it because I live in the real world of male/female relationships. When your cable or local news network inevitably showed the split screen of General Director David Patraeus’ wife, Holly, and his mistress, Paula Broadwell, you most definitely thought, "Holy hotcakes! Will someone please get Holly some conditioner… And a brush, for crying out loud". Your inside voice, may have even said,”Well, that explains a lot.”
Don’t feel bad. Looks matter! This is the reality of the world we live in. I don’t make the rules, people, but I do try to play the game. And while as women, we don’t have to subscribe to razor thin bodies and other unrealistic images of beauty, as a general rule I think it is good to have your hair combed and tidy in public as much as possible. I mean I think your mother taught you that circa age 5. Caveat: this expectation does not apply to mothers of newborns who have a 6-8 week pass (at least) for showering, grooming and being even remotely presentable.
Back to my point.
Here’s the thing ladies, men are visual. You’ve read the books. You’ve seen the casualties. They like to see their woman looking good - whatever YOUR good is. But here’s the most important part so pay attention - you should also have some desire to be presentable for YOU. Forget your man - doesn’t looking and feeling good about yourself matter to you?? And by you I mean you, Mrs. Patraeus.
Perhaps this is just an unfortunate picture taken on a (very) bad hair day (hey, we’ve all had them), that has been circulating.
But let’s face it, moms get a bad rap for “letting themselves go.” To which I often ask men, go where? But usually that answer involves several expletives. Truth is, sometimes we let the mom in us overpower the woman in us. We are so focused on our children (not that there's anything wrong with that) that we forget that we are women. Beautiful women! And that your husband/partner/boyfriend actually partnered with that woman! And most likely because of something he was physcially attracted to. Yes, the personality mattered later, blah blah blah, but he had to notice YOU first.
I pride myself on always trying (emphasis on trying) to maintain my sexy, my mojo, my va-va-voom even as a mother. Of course, what sexy is as a mother is nothing like my pre-child sexy. Sometimes my “best” is hair combed with lip gloss and some mascara. Done. But that is important to ME. Stiletto Mama is not just a cute name, people.
I also need to note that men cheat on beautiful women all the time. And for every man that may have cheated on me or broke up with me, NEVER did he say it was because I let myself go. I refuse to give a man, such an out. Sorry Mr. Loser, you will have to find another excuse.
Listen Holly - you are accomplished, successful and military royalty—and I am very sorry that a private matter between you and your husband is now the obsession of the American media machine and cable news circuits. And I am even sorrier about that picture of you that is plastered on my screen on a near daily basis. You’ve already been through so much. But as the straight-talk girlfriend you clearly don’t have, I’m going to give it you plain and with love: spend a few dollars on some good drugstore hair products, get a department store moisturizer and an age cream, feel free to see a colorist, consider losing the boxy bob, and don’t ever, ever, ever, ever forget the fabulous, hot mama that I know you are inside. Umm, deep inside.
And lastly in the name of female solidarity, I offer you this: If a woman steals your man, the best revenge is letting her have him. A real man would never cheat.