To Sleaze or Not. That is the Question.

Billboard on 52nd Street posted by YaVaughnie Williams after she was scorned by still-married lover Charles Phillips, Oracle Exec.
Ho hum, yet another tycoon disappointing his family, pissing off a mistress, losing a wife. So what’s new? Not much, but this story intrigues me. (Okay, so I’m easily distracted.) It lands smack dab on top of a string of stories from Tiger Woods (not him again), to John Edwards (didn’t we know this all the time). Hats off to you Chucky boy for picking such a creative girlfriend. Using her well-earned resources to capture the attention of well, everyone.

With the exception of Tiger, who just wanted to get nasty and was willing to pay, each of these guys found a sanctuary, a soul mate, a woman that he fantasized would take away the stress of his everyday existence. Give him a chance to exhale. Help him find his “bliss.” Validate his need to feel he really could rule the world. Dudes, didn’t we learn something from Henry VIII? Been there, done that. It’s about sex, fun, release, something that seems impossible to do with the person we picked when we were young trying to erase stress forever. The girlfriend’s thinking, “Wow, I’ve landed a tycoon. I knew these legs would come in handy someday.” The wife’s thinking, “Gee, this is how I hoped life would turn out but somehow it still sucks. That guy who everyone else thinks is so exciting is just a boring old office potato who wants to have sex the same way every night.”

What I’d like to hear more about (Dr. Phil, please take this cause I know you know) are the stories these guys told their mistresses and their wives. “Her thighs have gotten out of control.” “She just doesn’t understand me.” “We have nothing in common.” “She doesn’t like the music I pick.” “Honey, I’ll be in China solving the open source problem, then off to the Arctic Circle to check on our Penguin database. Reception could be a bit spotty. Talk to you in a month. No, I just need this small bag because I’ll be on the jet or a helicopter the whole time.” And all the while, the mistress is hoping, crossing her fingers that this guy, sans the wife, could really solve all her troubles. She tentatively offers advice like, “Why don’t you talk to her? Maybe she’d be open to an open relationship. Have you tried therapy?” Thinking maybe this will bring it all to a head. And the wife, well, she’s so busy making sure the family reflects the perfection that a family of a powerful man should reflect that she’s hiding in her gourmet kitchen gossiping with her nanny hoping he stays away for a month. I mean really being the wife of a tycoon is a full time job with overtime thrown in for free. (For the record, I think I’d be really good at it.) Or most likely, she’s so enamored by the true ease of it all she refuses to make an effort to actually open her eyes and realize no one’s really happy.

So what’s with you people? Have you not heard, we’re living in the 21st Century. That’s right, there are even a few not-for-profits like Center for Sex and Culture fighting to help us all get past this repression that’s creating so much distraction from the work we really need to do. Clearly Carol Queen needs more press. Charles, what’s there to hide behind? Larry’s a sleaze and everyone knows it so why can’t you be one?

Maybe these guys can’t imagine a solo relationship with their children. And who, having held their child, seen the adoration, and reflection of god in their eyes, could imagine their lives without those little beings (occasionally). But, when you delegate the emotional care and feeding as well as the day-to-day management because you’re busy making money, the kids are going to bond with you in a different way…or not. So then, the fear that your kids won’t want to see you without their mother sets in. So, if you reject their mom, understandably she’s going to be pissed and may not want to talk to you for awhile which leads you back to that issue of not having a relationship with your kids if their mother isn’t involved. What would you talk about? There’s no common ground.

Maybe, just maybe, these guys love all these women. Who wouldn’t? They’re all just great, smart, interesting, loving, connected to some part of their man. It’s hard to choose. So instead of having the courage to be honest about your needs, you go to elaborate (and in this era, easily transparent) lengths to HAVE IT ALL. That must be exhausting. You’ve got a high-powered job, a demanding girlfriend(s) and a wife that really wants you to check in daily to talk about the kids. How do you manage it all?

So, as you’re indulging your desires, spending massive amounts of your free time, or perhaps your company (or country’s) time, dealing with the complexities of a not-so-simple private life, where’s the time to look after the real issues in the world. Charles, you’ve got $20M to spare on a tacky, tacky house in Hillsboro, how much effort have you spent helping Haiti? What was your response to Oracle’s CSR program this year? Is there time in your busy schedule or room in your clearly over-taxed personal budget to help save the World. Clearly you have time for Karaoki. You are in a very nice position to do so.

So hey Chucky, here’s my PR advice for what it’s worth. Don’t say you’re a sex addict and fake a trip to rehab (unless you want to hang out with rock stars which you probably already do and FYI, Tiger’s not really there). Don’t pretend you want to get back together with you wife. Tell the world you’re an IDIOT. You want your cake and you want to eat it too. And you always will. And so you should. Cultivate a nice little relationship with your kids (if you have any). Work on your friendship with your soon-to-be ex wife and ex girlfriend so you can be civil to each other and then go F*%K your heart out because you’re 50 and there won’t be much left in a few years. Swear never to lie again because that’s important to shareholders and employees. And most importantly, just to be sure you’re not wasting good money on stupid folly (that mansion really is tacky) you’re going to give the $10 million a year you spent maintaining your life with YatZhername to the children orphaned in Haiti. That’s right, “gulp,” reverse your Karma and do something useful. And while you’re at it, go over there personally and check out the situation. You’re an economist. Obama thinks you’re smart. Go use those smarts to really solve something. Step away from committees, board meetings, and love-letter writing for a moment and do something real. Let me know if you need help.

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