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International Law of Mistresses: The Scarlet A is for Argentina.

 

You learn so many things when you travel and not all of them are about history, art, music, architecture and culture. Probably the most important things you learn are about how people live, how they handle life’s stresses and how they deal with daily challenges in life.

The controversy over the Governor from South Carolina’s dalliance with a woman in Argentina brings to mind the differences between American puritanical approaches and other countries’ ways of judging and reacting to the value of a person’s professional contribution once they are labeled with the Scarlet A. In this case, it’s A for Argentina.

Putting the hypocrisy of people who publicly espouse the importance and sanctity of marriage and family and then live their lives in a flamboyant and cavalier manner that flaunts society’s expectations, today’s news brings to mind a philosophy that was shared with me by a charming, very married Frenchman who was the CFO of a decades ago:

To have a mistress is European.
To get caught is American.

There is a wonderful scene in the film, “Only You,” starring Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey, Jr. which takes place mostly in Italy.  In a scene with Bonnie Hunt having coffee alone in the courtyard of her hotel, the lonely character tells the Italian waiter that she is sad because he husband is having an affair.  The waiter sees how sad she is and tries to help her sort out the problem.

Trying to determine the depth of the problem, the waiter asks questions to determine the severity of the situation and inquiringly says, “It’s your friend?”

“No,” Bonnie Hunt’s character replies.

“Your sister?” asks the waiter.

“NO!” the character emphatically replies.

“Bravo!” Bravissimo!” states the waiter, gleefully, because, for the waiter, it was clear that the dalliance was meaningless and, as far as he was concerned, congratulations were in order!

Amazing, the things you learn when you travel.  They don’t always fit into our ‘black and white’ clear-cut ways of approaching life’s events.

--Gotta Fly Now!sm
Your Personal Travel Expert
Nationally syndiated radio show host
Stephanie Abrams

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