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life goes on


I suppose this was inevitable.

How wretched -- or maybe darkly bemusing -- to see your life reduced to this kind of cliche. So maybe it's the writer in me compelled to say that the "twentysomething actress", still very much in my ex-husband's life, is not what you might assume her to be. The ex informed me at some point in the summer that she is "very mature for her age" (a couple of years younger than I was when I first moved in with him), but in my experience this is what men say when involved with much younger women.

Although I haven't met her, some of my friends certainly have, and maybe the one negative thing that came filtering back to me was some mild comment about how the black Versace top was wearing her and not the other way around (that's the kind of top that I would choose and he would like, although at her age I was jeans and sweatshirts, maybe a skirt if forced). By all accounts she is bright and sweet and of course beautiful, and about as personally responsible for the death of my marriage as she is for the dynamic that played out inside it. In other words, not very.

Also, she is not blonde, and I do find this refreshing.


No one who knows my ex-husband would accuse him of being weak-willed. The same qualities that helped bring about his extraordinary success dictate that the life you lead with him is his life, you have to want the same things he wants, and that there is no middle ground (not least because he has no time to find it).

So the life I now lead -- apart from however we work out the co-parenting -- is my own, which means I'm still figuring out a lot of it, and I can open up this blog to things and thoughts I might not have risked otherwise (as for what such things will be, I have no idea, but the prospect intrigues me). Which I need to do in any case since falling out of my marital life includes most of the VIP social life that made for such great -- and impersonal -- material.

And I wanted to slow down. Way down.

For all the things my ex and I had in common, and all the things we did not have in common but served to complement and counterpoint one another, in the end I wanted smaller and slower and closer where he wanted grander and faster (or at least to maintain the same pace, which requires a twenty-three year old just to keep up with him). In and of itself, this is not a reason to divorce when five children are involved -- but it does mean I can exchange the thrill of the crowd for deeper if fewer friendships, and the subjects discussed over dinner no longer revolve around technology of any kind.

Having said that, I still like the clublife, not least because I can venture out well after I've put the kids to bed and told the twins their nightly Darth Vader story (although at moment the favored character is Chewbacca), which I make up on the spot and tends to involve Princess Leia going to karate class or stormtroopers browsing the aisles at Whole Foods (...write what you know...). But now I go to a club once in a while, drive myself to meet the girlfriends, leave early, and don't exactly take it for granted that I'll be sitting at some table with a five-thousand-dollar minimum. Since I'd rather dance than sit, and love to drive at night -- the sweeping lengths of empty road, the lush shadowed beauty of these neighborhoods -- and can generally only take one or two hours at the place -- turns out there's not so much to miss.

In other words, I club like a grandmother.
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( 62 comments — Leave a comment )
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Oct. 21st, 2008 12:45 am (UTC)
No joke, if you want to collaborate on a Douglas Adamsy Stormtrooper-types do Whole Foods short short, just say the word!
Oct. 21st, 2008 12:47 am (UTC)
Which, ya know, isn't so bad. Grandmothers are highly underrated for their clubbing abilities.

And as much fun as the glimpses into the 'high life' were, I'd rather know about you in relation to the things that are important to you -- your family, your writing, your thoughts on literature, your speculation on the future of print, your choice of paper or plastic...you know, boring, personal stuff.
Oct. 24th, 2008 04:07 am (UTC)
I second this!
Oct. 21st, 2008 12:52 am (UTC)
I'm sorry that your private life is now in the open.
Oct. 21st, 2008 12:53 am (UTC)
Woohoo! Time for laundry blogging! I never was much into nightclubs myself. I'm a reverse vampire. *yawn*
Oct. 21st, 2008 01:06 am (UTC)
Are the Chewbacca roars cathartic?

I can sympathize with the smaller and slower, BTW. My social life can only be measured using Kelvin scale.
Oct. 21st, 2008 09:35 am (UTC)
My social life can only be measured using Kelvin scale.

Brilliant. I am in love with this line.
Oct. 21st, 2008 01:11 am (UTC)
When I was eight I had a very large snail named Chewbacca. I can't imagine there was much resemblance, which I guess is a sign that Chewbacca is just awesome.
Oct. 21st, 2008 01:23 am (UTC)
There is no way to get a divorce and not have Other People think they know the whole story (often without asking either participant). I'm sorry that yours will be played out, even in part, in such public forums.

Finding your own pace, and your own footprint, is a gift that [eventually] comes out of that pain. I wish you joy and contentment in it.
Oct. 21st, 2008 01:24 am (UTC)
I am sorry to see it out ni the open like that.
Oct. 21st, 2008 02:05 am (UTC)
Good luck building your own life.
Oct. 21st, 2008 02:43 am (UTC)
I'm sorry that some folks feel the need to use other people's pain as fodder for gossip; you shouldn't have to go through that.

But I'm with Eric - Chewbacca roars should help.

Come to New York for a weekend! We'll take care of you and party like elderly spinster aunts!

[[[ hugs ]]]]
Oct. 21st, 2008 02:53 am (UTC)
:( I somehow missed the original post about this. I'm sorry to hear it. I hope you are doing well.
Oct. 21st, 2008 03:37 am (UTC)
Actually, it sounds like you club like me and my friends. Ah, being thirty-something.

If you're ever in Seattle, we can get a crew together and hit the private goth bar. Me and my friends tend to show up when it opens (around 9:00) so we can get a table, then we leave by eleven or midnight. But darling, we look fabulous.
Oct. 21st, 2008 05:37 am (UTC)
~ Worry in the worry out and store the time between. Mark the table with $5 bills and ask for another drink. Now come look up and see the heavens as you dive along night-clad streets. Then ink the stories and flow the ideas, yours is a new life complete. ~ NRB

My attempt at sudden poetry.

What would you suggest I read first of your work? Besides your LJ obviously. I should tell you the convoluted tale of how I found my way here sometime...
Oct. 21st, 2008 06:30 am (UTC)
Dare I ask, how did you find your way here...?

As far as my books -- well. If horror and dark fantasy is your thing, I would suggest Bloodangel, although I consider the sequel Lord of Bones the stronger better novel. If not, Uninvited is a slightly more mainstream and much shorter breezier read.

Or you could hold out for some future work, which will be much more reflective of the voice and world in this blog....blog being in some ways a rehearsal for such things.
(no subject) - celticshaman - Oct. 21st, 2008 04:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 21st, 2008 06:17 am (UTC)
Divorce... Never easy, rarely pleasant, but it can be so good for you... Was it your choice?
Oct. 21st, 2008 06:26 am (UTC)
Yes and no. It was not a choice.

I don't regret the marriage, but I cannot regret the divorce.
(no subject) - ayoub - Oct. 21st, 2008 07:34 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 21st, 2008 09:42 am (UTC)
you have to want the same things he wants, and that there is no middle ground (not least because he has no time to find it).

in the end I wanted smaller and slower and closer where he wanted grander and faster

I understand these two thoughts, far too well. It was like we were in a car driving down the highway, and he was at the wheel, and I kept shouting "No, look, over there! That's the exit I want to take!" and he wouldn't even slow down to let me jump out safely. He was hurtling headlong towards a future he'd envisioned and created, and there was no way for me to walk the path I wanted to take, except without him.

That article is extremely harsh to him. Is it hard for you to read that?
Oct. 21st, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)
To be honest -- no. And I truly wish I could say otherwise.
Oct. 21st, 2008 11:14 am (UTC)
obviously, i have no idea what i'm saying
once, when i was old enough to want to do the right thing, but far to young to know what that was, a close friend went through a LCE that i just had no idea how to deal with. now i would go and just hang out, be an unobtrusive presence in the background - like perfect wallpaper. except wallpaper that can make tea, read to the kids, go shopping, answer the phone - perfect wallpaper staff!

i still don't know if that would be the right thing, but proximity is the best i can come up with. we're not really friends and about 12000 km apart and i suspect none of this is of much use to you, but what i'm trying for here is to say that i know its silly because its been a very long time since i've seen you guys and in a world away really, but the news was quite sad to me. and also that the vanity fair material was fun, but that's not what kept your blog in the favourites menu. and so i'm relieved to find you at it again and look forward to the emergence of the novel (a bad pun for you).

Oct. 21st, 2008 11:30 am (UTC)
When you're excited over new appliances, get back to me.

Then you're old. :)

And not to add to the cliche of your life, but reading this blog post suddenly made me feel like I was watching an episode of The Starter Wife. Which is actually a compliment, because I find that show highly amusing and poignant. You're way better than TSW, though.

Sigh. If we don't laugh, we'll cry, right? I think you're doing beautifully, btw. Party till you break a hip, lady :)
Oct. 22nd, 2008 12:28 am (UTC)

You couldn't get any slower than Houston, Tx and you're always welcome down here any time at all - all five children in tow! (and how did I miss that you had five? that's impressive! and wonderful!)

As long as you don't take up regular date nights with NN, I'm behind you 100% - and by regular, I mean weekly.

I know it doesn't seem like it now, but I've never seen a divorce that wasn't "meant to be". There's torrid, fabulous love waiting for you beyond all of this slowing down. You are too lovely and smart to "club like a grandmother" for long.
Oct. 22nd, 2008 04:08 am (UTC)
It's no wonder that he felt bold enough to bring her to a public event instead of his wife, seeing that she could easily pass for one of your sisters! But, you're much prettier. Truthfully.

It took awhile, but it wasn't that hard. Hollysweird.com has them seated at the same table at a Hollywood Obama fundraiser in September. She's twenty-three and an actress. She's a brunette. And she has one heck of a name.

Am I right?
I must be right.
I am so sorry. I am so sorry for us all. For all the lessons and all the wisdom and all the beauty that comes with maturity, twenty-three is such a slap in the face. Sorry, all you twenty-three year olds out there, but it's true. Someday you'll understand.

Oct. 22nd, 2008 07:56 am (UTC)
Re: Her
Oh please.

Some relationships are defined through power and control. Are actually not 'relationships' at all, more like a pattern of daily interaction dressed up with a few romantic gestures.

In other words, when I see a middle-aged brilliant and very worldly man paired up with someone barely out of college, if she went to college, I assume that what is going on between them -- what the man is seeking out -- is not the kind of relationship I want. Or find acceptable to be in myself.

Re: Her - (Anonymous) - Oct. 22nd, 2008 02:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Her - moschus - Oct. 22nd, 2008 03:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Your heart should go out to some of them - (Anonymous) - Oct. 23rd, 2008 07:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Her - commentatorss - Nov. 14th, 2008 07:53 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Her - (Anonymous) - Dec. 13th, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 22nd, 2008 10:48 am (UTC)
So was it a change in personality or a change in preference?
Since I'd highly doubt that Elon has changed his traits, I can only assume you actually did like those at the start of your relationship.

I always find it intriguing to see how some very clear personality traits don't seem to stand in the way during the process of creating a relationship, go as accepted for years yet still end up as part of the grounds to break up over.

'd love some insights on the evolution of the mental settlement process.
Oct. 22nd, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC)
Re: So was it a change in personality or a change in preference?
Maybe if you could actually conduct a civil conversation with me in real life you wouldn't have to come at me -- again -- through my blog.
Re: So was it a change in personality or a change in preference? - (Anonymous) - Oct. 22nd, 2008 10:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 22nd, 2008 06:16 pm (UTC)
The first word to come to mind after reading that article was, "Burn!" There is a divine sense of justice after all. ;)
Oct. 23rd, 2008 01:25 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry
I've never met you, though I did meet your ex years and years ago. I'm so sorry that you're going through such a hard time and that it's so public.
I've followed your blog lately because I enjoy your work. You seem absolutely lovely and I wish you all the best as you find your own life.
Oct. 23rd, 2008 01:27 pm (UTC)
Club like a grandmother?! Well, we all get older...

I seem to remember the pub crawls, or rather pub-sprints after Friday Taekwondo classes. Do you remember the Friday taekwondo class followed by the tie-one-on class immediately after and then sparring class early Saturday morning? How about Jeff taking the back door off a bar after the band inside made a racist comment about Dave? How about 'Rex' the Omemee Nazi goose-stepping around a dance floor?

Maybe the quiet lifestyle better suits all of us now that fifteen years has gone by.

Regardless of memories, I hope you and enjoying your life!

Oct. 24th, 2008 12:50 pm (UTC)
Five kids? Bloody hell, woman, how d'you have time to write anything, much less novels? I am even more impressed than I was previously.

The ex informed me at some point in the summer that she is "very mature for her age" (a couple of years younger than I was when I first moved in with him), but in my experience this is what men say when involved with much younger women.

I never quite understood that, given that the whole reason to trade a forty in for two twenties when you ram headlong into your midlife crisis is to find someone who's not mature at all. So why the need to justify?

(And I should get it, being on the cusp of 40 meself...)
Oct. 26th, 2008 08:37 pm (UTC)
im 38 male recently divorced myself. your blog has always been a good read but i am sorry to see the kind of public exposure your personal life has received and seemingly exacerbated by your ex. the truth is parading a 23 yr old actress around is a reflection of HIS weakness and averageness - everyone thinks this - and yet men behave this way to garner the opposite response. i went through a short spree of dating some "sweet young things" to fill the sudden emptiness, try to relive the past or what have you - only to find if its any consolation that it is not an escape at all and the age gap a depressing reminder of the time gone by. i know the real thing is what gives you the highs and leads you through the lows which is hard to find and harder to not run from. with all your admirable qualities, if you ask me, he reduced himself from amazing to an ordinary cliche - better lies ahead - rock on vader.
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About Me

I'm the author of three published novels: the dark fantasies BLOODANGEL and LORD OF BONES (Roc/Penguin) and the YA supernatural thriller UNINVITED (MTV/Simon&Schuster). I also have stories in the MAMMOTH BOOK OF VAMPIRE ROMANCE 2 and ZOMBIES: ENCOUNTERS WITH THE HUNGRY DEAD. I'm working on a psychological thriller called THE DECADENTS. I am divorced, with sons, and live in Bel Air.

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