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messy and publicized


"I am now," I told my boyfriend over coffee today, " that woman in a 'messy and publicized'* divorce."

This is not something that you plan or expect to become. It's not like you go to your parents when you're a kid and say, "Mom, Dad, I want to be that woman in a messy and publicized divorce." (What I said was, "I want to be a vet", which would have struck them as equally ludicrous.)

Someone mentioned in the comments section that my last post seemed "defensive" and I have to admit that, yeah, it came from a wounded place. Because the default cultural narrative for a woman in my position goes like this: You're a crazy golddigging bitch out to steal what doesn't belong to you from an innocent and hardworking man. And sometimes this is true. Whether it's true in my case is not up to me to decide; people have the right to make up their own minds (assuming they bother to care).

But what that narrative doesn't seem to consider is the extreme power imbalance that often exists between the men and women in this social milieu (not just in terms of wealth, but business and financial savvy). These men do not walk into marriage with a naive, "happily ever after" kind of attitude (and if they do, others will work to disabuse them of it). The law is in place to protect both partners from such an imbalance: prenuptials and postnuptials must be drafted according to rules and procedures. If those procedures aren't followed correctly, that protection is no longer in place, and you have a problem.

I'm a writer right down to my bones; it's how I process. In my writing workshop we talk about the ability to go there: a place that is deep and raw and honest, that doesn't respect taboo. When you go there, you leave yourself exposed, which is why aspiring writers have to work through so many layers of resistance. But what I've discovered -- and this has shaped some of my views about storytelling and the role that it plays in our culture -- is how healing it can be. You're not as alone as you think.


Speaking of the ex:

A nanny said to me, "Did you know that Elon is in Ironman2?"

I said, "Do you think, for one minute, that Elon would not let me know he's in Ironman2?"

I saw the movie Sunday night and enjoyed it. I got so absorbed in RDJ's performance that it shocked me when he calls out, "Mr Musk!" There's a brief encounter between the two men, and Elon in a white jacket ad-libs a couple of lines. I knew what they were (because he told me).

When we came out of the theatre, a friend said, "Was he talking about electric chairs?"

"That's what I heard," said another. "Something about electric chairs."

"No no no," said I, sagely, "he was talking about electric jets."

They contemplated this.

Somebody said, "Yeah, that makes more sense."

(Edited to add, maybe it was electric PLANES. So it's a mystery to me too.)

* yes, I know, it's my own damn fault for continuing to blog about it. but I had to say that for dramatic effect.
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May. 16th, 2010 01:45 am (UTC)
Re: your divorce
Justine: You go girl. Don't let that lousy whack job down you. You tell the truth of your life and never give it up. That what's it take to be a woman. Nothing like what he say. When I read you blog I fill up with pride of woman everywhere. Much love and appreciation, Aydeloof
May. 17th, 2010 10:41 pm (UTC)
Re: your divorce
Thank you Aydeloof! I send you love and appreciation right back!
May. 18th, 2010 04:50 am (UTC)
Re: your divorce
I love you! Keep you up the fighting. - A

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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