Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Anatomy of a Mistress

By now, you may be aware of the salacious affair of the week: NFL legend (and the man responsible for causing me my first sports-related painful moment – one yard short) Steve McNair and his 21-year-old girlfriend/mistress Salah Kazemi. The two were found shot and killed in his condo this past weekend. A man credited for breaking barriers for Black quarterbacks is now the most hated athlete by women (and some men) alike for abandoning his seemingly clean image for some young Iranian trim. While we don’t know all the details of their affair or the status of his marriage prior and during his escapade (and it’s really none of our business), it does bring up the ages-old conundrum: Why do women mess with married men?

You see, I could’ve flipped it into the other ages-old conundrum –“Why do married men cheat?” – however, it takes two to tango. She had to know that he was married and was willing to take that risk of messing up his other life to achieve happiness in her own. We women will commit to some crazy things for love or something like it. McNair was whipped – Kazemi was living in a condo and driving a car in his name – and was willing to jeopardize the lives of his wife and children to be an active participant in their affair (neighbors said that he was frequent guest to the house). Both people made commitments for this to work and ultimately fail (see: DEATH) but why would she make that move?

He probably told her that his marriage was over/he was separated and waiting for his wife to sign the papers. He probably told her that he didn’t love his wife anymore and he was ready to make a life with her. He probably told her that she shouldn’t worry about his situation – he’ll take care of it – and all she has to do is love him and be there for him; everything will take care of itself. He then told her that if she stays, she’ll be rewarded with something more expensive then a condo or car – to be the object of one man’s affection. He gave her the idea that she would eventually be his one and only … she just had to wait her turn and stay. She did. She was young. She was in love. He gave her everything material that she wanted and more.

But he also had the power to take that away. He had the power to uproot her from the world she knows: a world with him in it. If this plays out to be a murder-suicide (autopsies and the police have yet to conclude that such has happened), then she must’ve said “If I can’t have you, then no one will”. She made enough sacrifices to make it work, the biggest to ignore that big flashing light that says “Married!” flashing at her when she laid down with McNair every night. To ignore everything that she knew for one man who with the snap of his fingers could take it away; that can hurt.

People will – and have – said: “She should’ve known better. What 30-something man would want with a 21-year-old girl if just to have sex with her?” Clearly he offered her more than penis. Maybe he was trickin’ (it still is if you got it, sorry Tip), supplying her with the “bare necessities” so he could keep his jump-off in check while he makes his trips to Nashville. We don’t know his motives just as much as we don’t know her (McNair is damn come-up from any ol’ dude she could’ve pulled at Dave&Busters). But we do know how it ended up: Two lives lost, two families hurt, one legacy tarnished and one life not fulfilled. No orgasm is worth all of that pain.

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