At left: Governor Mark Sanford and the family he has betrayed. (Photo from Chapin, South Carolina's official website.)
I have retail inventory in a few days, and company coming next week... and what am I doing? What every self-respecting resident of South Carolina is doing, of course. Reading the steamy emails between Governor Mark Sanford and his paramour, Maria.
Interestingly, before the Governor's fun-filled press conference on Wednesday in which he admitted his affair, I joked on Aunt B's blog about the legendary Wilbur Mills and Fanne Foxe, known as the Argentine Firecracker. I wondered if the Governor was playing with similar fireworks, and damned if I wasn't right.
But what really surprises me about the emails between the Governor and Maria, is that he turns out to be a better writer than I expected:
Got back an hour ago to civilization and am now in Columbia after what was for me a glorious break from reality down at the farm. No phones ringing and tangible evidence of a day’s labors. Though I have started every day by 6 this morning woke at 4:30, I guess since my body knew it was the last day, and I went out and ran the excavator with lights until the sun came up. To me, and I suspect no one else on earth, there is something wonderful about listening to country music playing in the cab, air conditioner running, the hum of a huge diesel engine in the background, the tranquility that comes with being in a virtual wilderness of trees and marsh, the day breaking and vibrant pink coming alive in the morning clouds — and getting to build something with each scoop of dirt. It is admittedly weird but one of my more favorite ways of escaping the norms, constant phone calls and formalities that go with the office — and it probably fits with my weakness in doing rather than being — though you opened up a new chapter last week wherein I was happy and content just being. Last point worth further discussion. Afternoon projects had me outside and by days (sic) end I pretty much looked like a homeless person ... but in this case a very content one. Enough about my love of heavy equipment and woods at sunrise ...Hey, not bad. He should take up blogging, his GOP-fans (assuming he has any left) would eat it up. That "vibrant pink coming alive in the morning clouds" was pretty good. Do you think he plagiarized? (And what makes me think he would be the type of person to do that?)
While I was getting exhausted with one project after another at Coosaw work week, you were basking (I’m certain gloriously) on the beach..
Sounds great, hope to hear more about what sounds a great spot.
Will now finally get some sleep and write you a longer note with a few more profound thoughts tomorrow or Wednesday. In the meantime I send my love and hope you know I am thinking of you.. M
And then it gets pretty hot:
Above all else I love that inner beauty about you. That gift of yours is going to make a tremendous difference in [The State deleted sons’ names] life — and in anyone’s life who is blest to be touched by yours — you need to rest very comfortably in that fact. As I mentioned in our last visit, while I did not need love fifteen years ago — as the battle scars of life and aging and politics have worn on this has become a real need of mine. You have a particular grace and calm that I adore. You have a level of sophistication that is so fitting with your beauty. I could digress and say that you have the ability to give magnificently gentle kisses, or that I love your tan lines or that I love the curves of your hips, the erotic beauty of you holding yourself (or two magnificent parts of yourself) in the faded glow of night’s light — but hey, that would be going into the sexual details we spoke of at the steakhouse at dinner — and unlike you I would never do that!I love how right-wing Christians quote the Bible when they are aroused. They do, you know, as if to give it the A-OK: I'm quoting the Bible, so it's CLEAN desire!
Three and finally, while all the things above are all too true — at the same time we are in a hopelessly — or as you put it impossible — or how about combine and simply say hopelessly impossible situation of love. How in the world this lightening strike snuck up on us I am still not quite sure. As I have said to you before I certainly had a special feeling about you from the first time we met, but these feelings were contained and I genuinely enjoyed our special friendship and the comparing of all too many personal notes (and yes this is true even if you did occasionally tantalize me with sexual details over the years!) — but it was all safe. Where we are is not. I have thought about it and in some ways feel I let you down in letting these complications come into a friendship that I hope will last till death. In all my life I have lived by a code of honor and at a variety of levels know I have crossed lines I would have never imagined. I wish I could wish it away, but this soul-mate feel I alluded too is real and in that regard I sure don’t want to be the person complicating your life. I looked to where I often look for advice and counsel, and in I Corinthians 13 it simply says that, “ Love is patient and kind, love is not jealous or boastful, it is not arrogant or rude, Love does not insist on its own way, it is not irritable or resentful, it does not rejoice in the wrong, but rejoices in the right, Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things”. In this regard it is action that goes well beyond the emotion of today or tomorrow and in this light I want to look for ways to show love in helping you to live a better — not more complicated life. I want to help [one of Maria’s sons] with film guys that might help his career, etc. I also don’t want you walking20away (sic) from some guy (I take it the younger guy you mentioned a t dinner) because of me — and what we both have to see as an impossible situation. I better stop now least this really sound like the Thornbirds — wherein I was always upset with Richard Chamberlain for not dropping his ambitions and running into Maggie’s arms. The bottom line is two fold, my heart wants me to get on a plane tonight and to be in your loving arms — my head is saying how do we put the Genie back in the bottle because I sure don’t want to be encumbering you, or your options or your life. Put differently, given I love you, I don’t want to be part of the reason you are having less than an ideal week in what sounds like a cool spot.
Lastly I also suspect I feel a little vulnerable because this is ground I have never certainly never covered before — so if you have pearls of wisdom on how we figure all this out please let me know ... In the meantime please sleep soundly knowing that despite the best efforts of my head my heart cries out for you, your voice, your body, the touch of your lips, the touch of your finger tips and an even deeper connection to your soul. I love you ... sleep tight. M
And who knew he liked THE THORNBIRDS? Damn, our Governor is a closet romantic and there was never the first clue.
The political questions everyone has now: who paid for the cars, gas, and plane fare for his many trysts? Apparently, it was a state car he drove to the Atlanta airport. (Surely a 'fiscally responsible' conservative like Mark Sanford would not charge the costs of flying to his private love-nest to the good people of South Carolina?) Is abandoning the state an impeachable offense? People are bloody livid, including (especially?) at least two Republicans I know.
If he resigns, we get Andre Bauer. Holy God, are we ready for that?
But it's been fun, yall. As I said on Aunt B's, an Obama campaign worker I hadn't seen in months came into the store Tuesday night while I was working...and we just grinned and cackled at each other. And that was before Wednesday's bombshell.
It's been a long time coming. Justice is sweet. Although when I look at Jenny Sanford's face in the photo above, and I see that tight smile I always thought was just plain snootiness, I now see forced politeness and possible disgust.
Jenny, I'm sorry that our schadenfreude is at the expense of your pain.