As if my inspiration from MTV's The City last week wasn't highbrow enough, this post was inspired by the one and only well-oiled, tanning bed, hair gel-fueled Jersey Shore. I wonder how that gelato shop got stuck with the Jersey Shore cast. Nothing about that can be sanitary. Nothing.
On last week's episode, a beautifully-crafted, anonymous letter was created by Snooki and JWoww for Sammi, alerting her about her boyfriend's misbehavior. I love nothing more than watching orange reality show stars writing. That might have been my all-time Jersey Shore highlight. However, getting involved in someone else's relationship, when it comes to cheating, is a tough call.
Cheating now has such a presence in modern love -- Elin Nordegren's interview is making headlines and Al Gore did something weird with a masseuse. (Shudder. I hope it was in the name of saving polar ice caps or growing a really bushy beard.)
Not to mention, cheaters can be exposed on national billboards, (as we saw earlier this summer), on Twitter (or just busted for coke...nice one Paris), or on Facebook. Don't go around "liking" too many photos of another girl or you're going to get dumped before you can say "I just checked into another girl's pants on foursquare."
But as a third party, what's your responsibility? What if you're friends with both people involved? Or just one? Or neither party really has a strong relationship to you but you hate to see the girl or boy look like a total fool?
I once made the mistake of getting involved in a situation like this. I was friendly with a girl, and knew for a fact her boyfriend was cheating on her. I sort of hinted at it with one of her friends, which turned into a crazy shame-spiral. Of course, told her friend immediately, who told the boyfriend, who called me. And threatened me. Repeatedly. Yes, he screwed up, but I'm not sure I should have been the whistleblower. Because the messenger almost always gets shot. I inadvertently took on a lot of responsibility I shouldn't have had. It was ugly.
What I learned from that was that you should never really get involved in someone else's relationship. But that's really not easy, especially if it's a friend of yours, let alone a very close one.
What do you think?
Follow Meredith Fineman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/meredithfineman