It was the perfect coda for the Super Bowl.
A Giant fan saw Gisele Bundchen, wife of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, heading to an elevator. He screamed out: “Eli owns your husband.”
To which she responded: “My husband cannot f#$%ing throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time. I can't believe they dropped the ball so many times."
Gisele was not in the privacy of her home but she was also not standing in front of a camera speaking into a microphone.
Strictly speaking, she was not on stage.
And yet, she was in public. She is Gisele and she is married to Tom Brady, so her remarks were immediately broadcast. And she was widely criticized for not showing the proper respect for her husband’s teammates.
Yet, as Jason Gay sagely pointed out, if you run into Gisele in the hallway and the first thing you think of is: “Eli owns your husband” you have a serious problem, one that has nothing to do with football.
One is supposed to understand the impulse to pile on Gisele, to teach the woman a thing or two about football etiquette, and especially about team-mating.
Anyone who thinks that has missed the point. Gisele was teaching a lesson in spousal loyalty.
It’s not quite the same thing as true love. You can love your spouse and be disloyal.
Unfortunately, in our narcissistic age, where people are incessantly told to be independent and autonomous, spousal loyalty has gone out of style.
As I have often had had occasion to say, spousal disloyalty is one of the quickest and easiest ways to kill a marriage.
Spousal loyalty is critically important to a long, happy marriage.
Gisele was just offering a demonstration of a transcendent ethical virtue. Among her many wonderful qualities this one has nothing to do with genes.