Dirtbag. Womanizer. Alien abductee. Yes, many words have been applied to Jon Gosselin.
Here's one that hasn't: misunderstood.
Every year in America, hundreds of thousands of men divorce. Sure, Gosselin's more famous than most. Certainly, he's more infamous than most. But at the end of the Vegas pool party day, he's just a guy.
Who's being a guy.
Akilah Kamaria understands. She's the founder of Hemancipation, a concierge service that caters to men in transition due to relocation, job status or divorce. And she's seen lots of guys like Gosselin.
Because they're the rule, and not the E.T.-probed exception.
"Men respond to divorce in a certain way," Kamaria tells us. "And his response is fairly typical: 'I'm free. I can do whatever it is I couldn't previously do.' "
To one guy, that can mean eating pudding in the living room—true story, Kamaria assures us. To another guy, that can mean riding bikes, partying from St. Tropez to Sin City, and enjoying the company of young lady friends, very plural.
"It is a mad dash into a future that is very temporary," Kamaria says—and we think: Is that not the world's most poetic way to describe Gosselin's last few trainwreck months?
When framed as an act of temporary inanity, Gosselin's behavior not only demands that we cut him slack, it demands that we treasure our moments with him.
One of these days, he won't be dishing about how he "despise[s]" his estranged reality show costar. One of these days, he won't be making clumsy forays into fashion design. One of these days, he simply won't be providing countless hours of tabloid entertainment.
Chances are he'll grow out of it. The TV ratings suggest we just about have.
"Five to 10 years from now," Kamaria says, "the only people who will have any memory of this will be their children."
So, that's why Gosselin shouldn't misunderstand: Even though he's not doing anything that your average parolee with a TV show and access to complimentary yachts wouldn't do, for the sake of his legacy, he shouldn't.
"If he were my client, I'd tell him, 'No, no," says Kamaria. "Don't do the photo-ops…You don't fix any of this by going on Good Morning America. Go low-profile. Stay out of Vegas. Stay out of the party rooms.
Instead, try the pudding. Leave the bowl on Kate's presumably pristine coffee table. Mess up her magazines while you're at it. That we might understand.