March 15, 2008

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer built his reputation as the state's crusading public attorney fighting corruption and insider trading. When last week he had to resign, after being linked to a prostitution ring, traders on Wall Street finally had something to cheer about.

It was alleged he spent $80,000 over a 10-year per

iod on hookers. But the morality of public servants and the hypocrisy of high office, the fact that he wanted "unsafe" sex - this wasn't what people were talking about. Most of the focus was on "Kristen", the prostitute he met at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC and booked for $1,000 an hour. She was described as, "American, petite, very pretty, brunette, 5 feet 5 inches, and 105 pounds".

My female friends in New York were outraged. "105 pounds? No way."

This was the biggest grievance. Not that she was a hooker. Or even that she was from New Jersey. The fact that somewhere along the line she had claimed to weigh 105 lbs and now it was being printed as fact. "Come on!" My friend Heather fumed. "No one weighs that unless they're 12."

After that, the biggest complaint was the money. $80,000? And he wouldn't pay the extra $50 for her to travel on the business-class train from NY to DC - she had to go coach.

But also, there was bewilderment. The Governor's wife, the lovely Silda Wall Spitzer, was standing by her man. She did not look happy. Why was she there?

"If my husband spent that kind of money on 105-lb ho's" my friend, Laura, said, "I would demand he give me the same amount to spend the following months in the nicest hotel in the Seychelles while he faced the press all by himself."

I couldn't figure out which was more disturbing for her - that he spent the money, or that he spent it on someone who weighed 105 lb.

I put myself in Silda Spitzer's shoes. I'd probably convince myself it's not all bad; at least he went for the high-class hooker as opposed to the streetwalker. I bet the pricier hookers are checked regularly for STDs. Then again, Spitzer preferred having sex without a condom. So I'd make him pay for $80,000 worth of medical checks. I'd get tested for every disease from ebola to bird flu.

What bothered my friend Lisa the most was that Kristen is only 22. "How old is he? 48? That's disgusting."

Maybe if he had gone for a hooker his own age, she would have respected him more. Or even better: a hooker his own age who was honest about her weight.

Another friend was hung up on the fact that Spitzer lied about his reason for wanting music. The night he was to meet Kristen, he went downstairs to the front desk of the hotel and asked if they had a classical music CD. "He claimed it was to help him concentrate on his work," She sniffed. And as if that wasn't unforgivable enough she added, "This happened on Valentine's Day eve."

When did February 13th become sacred? Besides, chances are the type of guy who spends $80,000 on hookers isn't one to observe the romantic purity of Valentines Day.

In one of the pieces I read it mentioned that Kristen, known as Ashley Alexandra Dupre, had a MySpace page. On it she stated, "I love who I am."

I don't think I've ever said that in my life. And I've been in therapy for years. How did it happen that someone who sells herself for sex has higher self-esteem than I do? Where did I go wrong?