I know that all your mail lately has probably been hate mail. Okay, all your mail not from Chris Brown. Well, this isn't.
I'm not writing to berate you and tell you you screwed up or have no morals, or that you sounded insincere and stilted at that press conference. I think even Clarence, my parents chocolate lab, knows these things. And he doesn't even know John Edwards had an affair.
No, Tiger: I'm writing to tell you that I am sincerely impressed.
(And no, I'm not impressed because you apparently had sex while taking Ambien; sorry, but I need some convincing before I can buy that one.)
I want you to know that I'm really, truly impressed that you were able to date so many women at once. And, I want to know how you did it.
How many was it, again? Twelve? Fourteen? Twenty? I stopped keeping track. However many we heard about, though, I bet there are more. And I gotta say, for your sake, Tiger, I really hope the ones we didn't hear about are less plastic-looking. I mean, I know chubby, middle-aged IT managers with overgrown goatees who date prettier women. Then again, they probably don't cheat on them daily. Just a thought.
Anyway. It's obviously a logistical feat. But you have, like, private jets and sports drink endorsements (okay, had) and are worth several hundred million dollars. I have to assume this comes in handy while leading parallel lives. You probably had a cell phone and airplane for each woman. Which is cool, but considering your resources not all that amazing. Or, relevant, cause I'm underpaid and this is really all about me.
Because on an emotional level, I'm amazed. In my experience, it's just not that easy.
And Tiger: I'm not even married. In fact, I'm pretty seriously single. Like, really single. Like, I have a roommate with a cat named Persephone and eat fudgsicles after my frozen burritos and watch a lot of 30 Rock and L-Word on my laptop.
And once, I tried it. One weekend, I slept with two different guys. And Tiger, I thought I could feel the horns growing out of my head. Sometimes, when one of my pillows gets scrunched up, I still worry that one is beginning to form. It was just two men I was dating who overlapped: Friday was the last time with one guy and Saturday was the first time with the other. I was mildly promiscuous for all of two days, and I'm sometimes certain that hurricanes are my fault.
Maybe it's a Jewish thing. But don't you have like eight different ethnicities in your background? You'd think at least one of them would have a guilt tradition. Maybe a few of them do and they all cancel each other out. Either way, I'd love to know before I procreate.
I'm sure gender plays a role, too. I know men don't always get attached the way women do. Unlike us, you all don't instantly conjure images of couplehood and marriage with every person you pass on the street. Not that I do that.
But still, most men I know can hardly handle being responsible for one woman's needs longer than a month -- much less more than a minyon's worth.
I really hope you can take the time out of your busy intensive-ambiguous-therapy schedule to write back and explain. Because I think it's important that we know. Everyone is always saying that it's good to play the field and date multiple people. And I think it's true: it is healthy to keep your options open and not take any one thing too seriously.
But hey, I don't need to tell you that.
Follow Elizabeth Tannen on Twitter: www.twitter.com/odysseydater