Monday, March 1, 2010

Apologizing is what Tiggers do best

When news of Tiger Woods' accident broke, I was trying to carry more bags than necessary through Boston's Logan Airport. At the time, I had London on my mind and the three-flavored chowmein at the Panda Express sort of place in the terminal's food court looked too interesting to pass up. That, and the nearby bookshop. So I boarded my flight, forgetting all about Woods, thinking that the poor guy must have been careless backing his precious SUV out of the driveway, which would explain his knocking into a fire hydrant and then tree. Or heaven forbid had just had one drink too many. Maybe that was what had irked Elin enough to "hit" him, with her weapon of choice - a golf club. Classic. That is, before she felt sorry and helped her discombobulated husband out of the car window. Bizarre, sure, but hey, anything is possible.

So a few days ago, the incident found some closure with a public apology from the man who wields a mean arm on the green. He admitted to infidelity and asked for privacy in true celebrity style. After neglecting this news for several weeks, I had the chance to review it in totality. From the beginning, when he supposedly crashed his car near his home to news of an affair making headlines and subsequent women coming forward with their versions of romping in the sack with Woods. Of course, who can neglect the larger context of Woods' unblemished image that preceded these revelations, making them that much more acidic. Vile. Poisoned.

Opinions on extramarital affairs, monogamy and all things related to marriage are personal, of course. Between a husband and wife, to quote the accused himself. But I struggle to dissociate a person's professional life from their personal one. A person is all that they are. In entirety. A person is not a cafeteria that allows picking of the healthy salad and chocolate milk while passing up the mystery meat.

This particular incident makes me more sad than judgmental. No one is about to send Woods to his room without dinner. His sponsors will grumble at the loss of millions and the tabloids might go to town with photographs of a teary-eyed Elin. But there is a possibility that people will become greater cynics, more suspicious of goodness. Expecting it to explode into immorality or corruption at the slightest provocation or without. For increasing distrust in goodness in a world where there isn't nearly enough as there should be, for chipping away just a little bit more at the sanctity of relationships and allowing to have one more reason to be self-assured, smug, you disappointed, Tiger. It'll be a while before you find your roar. Sorry, I couldn't resist.