Nina In New York: Let’s Drop the ‘Rehab’ Thing, Shall We?
A young professional’s take on the trials and tribulations of everyday life in New York City.
By Nina Pajak
The Weiner saga continues. Amid outright demands and implied suggestions for his resignation from politicians on both sides of the aisle, the embattled rep (I’ve always wanted to say that) has gone and done what all embattled public personages do when they get caught. He’s going to Disneyworld! No, sorry. Rehab! Yes, that sounds more like it.
According to his office, the Weinster has taken a short leave from the House of Representatives “to seek professional treatment to focus on becoming a better husband and healthier person.” Now, I am all for accepting personal responsibility and making efforts to mend your ways through self-examination, but I have to call BS on this. Being a liar, a cheat, and an all-around creepazoid isn’t something that a month of “treatment” can resolve. What kind of real change can be achieved in anything less than, say, a decade or so? Does any woman (or man, let’s be fair) out there with a narcissistic spouse (or ex-spouse) believe that such a Never Never Land exists? Is “being a bad husband” some sort of addictive behavior which requires intensive rehabilitation? The rest of us just go to therapy, sometimes for the better part of our lives. I guess the rest of us don’t compulsively photograph our junk and disseminate it across the internet. Unfortunately, that’s just called being an a-hole, and 99.7% of those cases are tragically incurable.
So let’s not insult the recovering addicts who genuinely need and want to rehabilitate themselves by pretending our celebrities are off doing the same thing. What would it look like if publicists and spokespeople and the poor rehabilitants just started calling these little sojourns what they really are?
“Representative Weiner has taken a short leave from the House of Representatives in order to quietly ride out the apex of his self-inflicted humiliation.”
“We’re waiting until someone else does something dumber. We’re confident it won’t be long. Unfortunately no, Tracy Morgan doesn’t count (actors can’t absolve politicians).”
“I’m taking some time to eat Chinese delivery in the dark and pretend I’m deep in self-reflection. My hope is that when I emerge, you’ll assume I’ve gone through some serious shhh—stuff.”
“Dems mad. Gone hidin’.”
“Representative Weiner is taking a leave of absence to spend less time with his family.”
“Slinking off so as not to make Pelosi any madder. Lemme know when she’s cooled off, okay?”
“Representative Weiner is taking some time to wallow in regret, draped in the tatters of a once-promising career. He’s really very sorry that he got caught.”
These can be tweaked very easily to work well for drug-addled celebrities, DUI recipients and other sex scandal perpetrators. Think of it! Isn’t it refreshing? I for one would be much more sympathetic if retreat statements were written with shameless candor. I have to give Charlie Sheen some credit for being a trailblazer on this front. I appreciate it! We know the subtext anyway, why not give it to us straight? We get it. They don’t need to bother spoon-feeding us excuses. They’ve been shoveling it on for years.
Dear Readers: While I am rarely at a loss for words, I’m always grateful for column ideas. Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions.
Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.
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