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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.

The Nina Archives:

The Great Purge

You Can Find Me At The Dog Run

Nothing Like Summer In The City

Sexting Will Get You Nowhere

Sometimes A Weiner Is Just A Weiner

The Catalog Attack

An Urban Exploration Of My Local Street Fair. It Was Fair.

Life’s A Beach! A Shark-Infested Beach.

  • nyc

    I feel bad for this sick/egomaniacs wife. How embarrising is this, she looks like a class act. I hope she leaves him ,if only for a while.

  • Jill

    That’s actually a way for him to deter the media from hawking him. If it were not for the media perhaps his perversion would not have been so widely known. He doesn’t need any rehab, he’s just being a man who perhaps thinks he’s got a hot body, thinks women want him and overheated like a dog. He forgot to realize the fact that the internet is not a private forum as your bedroom and it was just a matter of time that one of those young women wanted to jump on the bandwagon of “kiss and tell”. He also forgot the reality that he had a wife in the next room, evidently she was putting out if she’s expecting “his” child.

  • Cayce

    That actually cuts to the core of it, Molly. When all the other moral, ethical, etc., issues have been discussed, the bottom line is we don’t need someone that stupid in any government office. I mean, really… what goes through a person’s mind? You just can’t fix ‘stupid’.

  • Molly

    I couldn’t agree more. He is doing this in hopes that by the time he returns, it will have blown over. The reality is he doesn’t need “treatment” for his online stupidity — he should just stop doing it.

  • David Cayce

    (meant “always felt ‘that’ an argument….” d’ohh!)

  • David Cayce


    First time being acquainted with your writing. Great style and to-the-point content! I’ve always felt the an argument marinated in humor has more staying power, and you’ve proved it here. Nice work. Looking forward to more.



    • Jack

      My first time too. And last !

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