Once upon a time, a man or woman could cheat on their spouse and, while it might result in hell at home, and maybe some disapproving friends and family, not everyone in your neighborhood, workplace, or even city would likely learn about it.
Well, those days are over, folks. We may have gotten rid of pillories and scarlet letters (the favorite shaming methods of our Puritan forefathers), but we have something just as damning in their place: public callouts via social media and even newspaper ads and billboards.
Yup, it turns out that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, as the Bard so brilliantly and timelessly noted, except that now, she can really embarrass the heck out of her cheating significant other.
Take Timeshia Brown of Texas, for example. When she found out that her husband Patrick had been having a dalliance with Shara Cormier, and apparently impregnated her, Timeshia decided not to get mad, but get even. How to accomplish that? Why not a nice big newspaper ad?
Timeshia zeroed in on the Classifieds Section of the Toledo Bend, her local news source. No doubt she knew everyone in town would see a large ad if she put one in the paper, so she went about creating the copy for maximum zing. And she cut right to the chase.
“I would like to say congratulations to Shara Cormier and Patrick Brown. They are expecting a baby. Hope you both are really in love and I hope it works out. Always, Patrick’s wife, Timeshia Brown,” the ultra-snarky copy read in the large print ad.
Of course, the ad was picked up by social media and spread faster than a California wildfire in September.
Another wrong wife decided to go big or go home: for what we imagine was a pretty hefty payback payout, she bought her own billboard. On it, she not only gave praise to her high-powered GPS and professional zoom lens camera, but she got an extra knife stab in by announcing that the billboard – which can cost thousands of dollars – was being paid for via withdrawn funds from their joint investment account.
She got a final smack in by telling her cheating husband, who she mentioned by his first name, to move in with his new girlfriend, “Jessica.” Boom.
Is revenge shaming a new trend, and if so, is it a good way to let off the understandable rage we all feel when we know we’ve been wronged? We’ll leave that judgment up to you to decide, but crime was a lot lower back in the Puritan age.
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