I did not watch the Academy Awards, missing the infamous slap seen and heard around the world. The replay showed me enough I needed to know, and I commend Chris Rock for maintaining his poise and professionalism under the disturbing circumstances.
As a side note, I loved the Oscars, and for years, my mother and I would commiserate over the phone about the fabulous Red Carpet display, laughing together at the quintessential comedian, Joan Rivers.
Truth be told, I soon preferred the Golden Globe awards. My husband and I chuckled at Ricky Gervais’ expose of hypocrisy and elitism reigning in La La Land. We have not watched another award show since.
Glamour and elegance are days gone by in Oscar land. How sad! These privileged people climb on their high horses, preaching to us plebs how to think, and their exhibitionism has no bounds. Mr. Smith’s behavior may have been the most outrageous witnessed but not his first expose of baring all. Who does not know about his open-marriage lifestyle with Jada? If no one did before, everyone does now, which brings me to my point.
Could Will’s outburst have any relation to his acceptance of what appears to be his wife’s preference on how to conduct their married life? Those with inquiring minds want to know. My conjecture? It does.
Remember Merv Griffin, the fabulous daytime host during the seventies?
He interviewed a couple, the O’Neil’s, about their book on open marriage, one that promised liberation from the conventions of traditional marriage.
Their philosophy, accompanying those of the Frankfurt School, believed people could gain freedom from the shackles of oppressive, traditional marriage, for growth and change.
Guess what? For them, not a success. Later, they divorced, and Mrs. O’Neil admitted the choice of this lifestyle, not hers.
Surprised? I am not. Why? Let me explain.
Long before the Internet came into existence, I saw an individual seeking therapy to deal with their depression and anxiety.
Early in the treatment, this person informed me they and their spouse indulged in the extracurricular activity of swinging.
As a therapist, I thought, OK, to each their own. However, out of curiosity, I asked how they met their partners, and the client informed me magazines were their resources.
One day, the individual arrived at a session in great distress. Their spouse and one partner from the swinging world were involved in an “afternoon delight.” The spouse expressed confusion about my client’s upset, who revealed to me they did not enjoy this arrangement.
Years later, another individual requested treatment for relationship issues.
In the first session, this person informed me they took part in polyamory, questioning my knowledge about it. My response, “Well, poly means many and amorous love, so many lovers?”
From that point forward, the client told me about their involvement in this lifestyle and community, introduced by their primary lover. After some time, the client expressed bewilderment about the fact their lover took part in trysts with everyone but my client. I paused for a moment before saying, “Everyone wants to be the Queen Bee.” The client thanked me for validating a feeling they could not put into words.
Long ago, a movie came out starring Michael Douglas. His character embarked on a lifestyle deviating from monogamy. I do not recall the specifics, but toward the end of the movie, he visited Danny DeVito, who worked at a college, and asked him how he resisted the lure of pursuing young students.
I will never forget Mr. DeVito’s response. He told Mr. Douglas that nubile women came and went, but he wouldn’t sacrifice his relationship with his best friend, his wife, for anything or anyone.
Some might disagree with me, but like Mrs. O’Neil, my clients, and Mr. Smith, all is not well with sharing their spouses or paramours with others. At some point, most people desire the role of Queen Bee, as I stated to my client, and we know only one can reign. Individuals may deny it, but deep in the recesses of their mind, doubt lingers with this casual approach to relationships, where everyone is nice but no one is special.
There are consequences to so-called free love, or as Ms. Pinkett Smith refers to as entangling or the communities supporting multiple physical gatherings as polyamory.
Why? Because other than ourselves, having freedom does not mean absconding one’s responsibility.
Consequences may incur.
Goethe recognized this when he wrote his masterpiece regarding Faust. Yes, Faust bargained with the devil for worldly pleasures at his leisure, indulging without thought of the future.
Ah, but Mephistopheles did not forget. Soon he knocked at the door, calling for his payment, Faust himself.
All of us can be Mr. Faust, and in this day and age where anything goes, including outrageous exhibitionism (an article for another time), people lose sight of the ramifications they may endure, whether it be hurting themselves or others.
These behaviors are nothing new, but the relaxation of boundaries has contributed to moral relativism wrapped in pretty, decorative language. Ms. Pinkett-Smith can refer to her affairs as entanglements, but if Mr. Smith has an issue with this arrangement, untangled might be his preference. Perhaps, the couple will remain together or become uncoupled, another enchanting word used by Gwyneth Paltrow when she and Chris Martin divorced. Oh dear, forgive me! I mean uncoupled.
The Sirens often invite us to their hypnotic offerings. It is up to each of us to discern if such delicious tastings are healthy or destructive, an ongoing challenge in the unwieldy journey we call life.