On the one hand, the line between at least some of our daughters and prostitution grew strangely, dizzingly fuzzy as we heard that Ashley Dupre's former career was launched when she left home after crashing the family Porsche. (If you're going to have meaningless sex anyway, why not get paid for it?)
On the other hand, the once bright line between wife and prostitute also seemed to shimmer around the edges, as psychiatrists, marriage counselors, radio talk show hosts and "sex workers" were trotted out to explain to us what wives must do to keep our men from straying.
Meanwhile, on the Wall Street Journal's online comments page, an obviously well-intentioned Dave from Miami blurted, "After seeing photos of Silda, it's clear that she could gain employment at the Emporer's Club -- she's beautiful."
Gee, Dave, thanks. Quite an era we've entered when a guy means to compliment a lady by telling her she too could be a prostitute!
Enough. Where is Hypocrisy's conjoined-twin sister, Propriety, when you really need her?
Propriety is the art of appearing better in public than we are, which sadly requires a whole lot of hypocrisy, it seems. The human heart can only stand so much reality.
And, yet, the dream refuses to die.
Oh, the final bittersweet middle-aged truth: Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. And this week, of all these things, the greatest was love.
Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.