Welsh lothario, Tom Jones, of “What’s New Pussycat?” fame, eulogized his dead wife Linda this week. They’d been married since they were both 16, and Linda was pregnant with their son.
“I realised that she’s always been very important to me, throughout my life, but I now I realise she might have been the most important thing in my life – and she still is.”
“I felt very lucky to have fallen in love at an early age. We were teenagers. We fell in love, not just in lust. A lot of teenagers fall in lust and then it doesn’t last. But we knew this thing was forever, for as long as we would be alive. That’s how strong the marriage was.”
How strong was it? Jones used to brag that he bedded 250 women a year, on average. But hey, he took precautions! A former lover reported he would dip his dick in Listerine.
And perhaps a well-worn, but minty fresh dick is the secret to marital bliss. Tom Jones would have us think so. The Telegraph reports:
A notable womaniser, Sir Tom is said to have had affairs with women including Mary Wilson, from the Supremes, Marjorie Wallace, the 1973 Miss World, and model Katherine Berkery, with whom it was revealed he had fathered an illegitimate child.
Despite this, Sir Tom insisted that he had never thought his marriage had been close to collapse. Breaking down in tears, he said: “No. Never. Never crossed my mind; it didn’t cross her mind. It was solid. We had a solid marriage that nothing could shake and we both felt that.”
To say that Linda Woodward was a chump would be a misnomer — she was a relic. Cut from the Old School of Stand By Your Man, she’d known of his affairs since the earliest days before he was famous. But she stayed on, faithful to him while he was unfaithful to her.
Tom has explained that they have had an arrangement since the late Sixties, when Linda stopped going on the road with him and it has worked well. In his own words: ‘She doesn’t ask.’
So what did Linda get for her lifelong investment in Tom Jones? A son, a mansion in Los Angeles that she rarely left (apparently she suffered from agoraphobia), depression, insecurity, and a frequently absent husband who rarely ever mentioned her.
‘I think from the very beginning, Linda was made to feel as if she mustn’t exist in his life.
‘It is sad because she is a lovely person, very warm, and if only she had got that confidence initially, she would have been very different, I am sure. She always stayed very much in the background.’
Tom complained that, alas, Linda had lost her spark and let herself go. So Linda obliged his celebrity and remained hidden.
But hey, this arrangement is a love for the ages! Cheater and chump united in their belief that the cheater’s happiness is paramount, and fidelity and respect have nothing to do with a good marriage.
Was it worth it to be married to Tom Jones? To have his money and reflected glory? Sure those other women might come and go (or hang around for a couple years and bear him a child), but he Always Came Home to Her!
Really, he loved her All Along and those dalliances meant nothing! Tom Jones is a cheater cliche come to life. She didn’t understand him (and his pussy smorgasbord). He had needs she wasn’t meeting! And besides, she wasn’t all there mentally or physically, so can you blame the guy?
And now that she’s dead, he’d like credit for his Great Love of Linda. Now he’ll mention her. Now he gets on a stage and acknowledges their marriage.
And the narrative of I Loved You All Along is unchallenged, and the cheater garners the public’s sympathy. Poor bereft man. His oldest and dearest source of kibbles has died. How useful. Would you like to be Tom Jones’ next Great Love? Oh, sorry, You’re Not Linda! Try a little harder. Do you have a hankie? Because, you know, you remind me of Linda. She was special. Can you be special enough to heal that broken part of me that misses Linda? No, missed a spot.
It’s so much easier to triangulate when one person is a ghost.
Let’s all hail the Marriage That Endures.