The Canadian Club











I was in India!

With a long stretch of stressful physiognomy research and my subsequent travels to one of the oldest and most hallowed civilizations, I had neglected the pleasures of professional football (where people don’t do crazy stunts with unloaded firearms in team locker rooms) for what must be over a month.  Yikes!  So, it was good today to squeeze in at least one game before my girlfriend, who is Indian, returns tomorrow.

Watching the Saints demolish Jesus-freak sore-loser Kurt Warner, I was at first alarmed.  Something had happened to the NFL.  Why were they talking about the earthquake in Haiti?  What’s up with that?  Not only did they offer advice on donating to rescue efforts, but they even interviewed a Haitian player on the Saints sidelines, asking him about his family.  Lost in all this, was the real message of football: support for our troops!  Seriously, this is the first time I’ve seen football announcers shirk their responsibility to remind us that the real reason we watch football is to remind ourselves of the freedoms being protected by our amazing young men (and some chicks) on Iraqi and Afghan soil.

Oh, and the other reason we watch football is to be reminded of how tough it is to be a white man in a world full of chicks who get on our case and people of color who are just weird.  Although this sometimes plays itself out on the field, most of this message is conveyed through advertising.  For example, it had been over a month since I saw this awesome ad about how much it would be awesome if women were potato-heads, so you could just dismember their faces and make them finally shut up.

I think only today, after a long time away from the U.S. boob tube, did I actually figure out that this is selling tires and not the trailer for the next Almodovar film.

It is always comforting to turn off the TV at the end of a football game secure with the knowledge that chicks are stupid and annoying. But football also goes hand-in-hand with race-anxiety, even where this concerns model minorities, such as your usually technically adept, funny-talking South Asians.  This superbowl ad from 2008 is the perfect demonstration:

Usually, you have to wait for the Simpsons later to a couple of hours later to find Indians this hilarious!

Of course, Ramesh, satisfyingly, is still working to meet the exacting expectations of a comfortably white middle manager.  But look what happens when you let these guys run the show.

OMFG!  Any frakin’ day and Indians are still adorably hilarious — but kind of dumb, too.  I mean, don’t they realize that they can’t dance?  Clearly, not amongst the more graceful, football-lovin’ people of this nation.  Thanks, Metro PCS!  It’s good to know that — since blacks always play the race card and never get the joke — we can still get good, innocent chuckles from Indians!

Speaking of which, I would just like to point out, now that I’ve been to India — so you can’t accuse me of making this a race thing, Dave — that more Indians look like Naveen Andrews than do Iraqis.  Yet television keeps on trying to cast Indians as some kind of undefined Middle Easterners!  I mean, are actual Arabs/Persians just not swarthy enough to represent shiftiness and inscrutability?  Or do they only want to cast Arabs in unambiguous terrorist roles, reserving good guy Middle Eastern roles for good guy, non-Muslim Indians?  What’s up with that?

Meanwhile, there are actually Indians who can pass for Iraqi:  those hunky, brooding Muslim Bollywood superstars of whom I’ve now grown quite fond!  Did you know that so many Indians now want to look Iraqi, that it is actually perceived as a precondition to being cast?  See for yourself:

Thankfully, those of us who watch football can just grab a beer, relax, and thank G_d for other people’s insecurities.

By the way, did I mention I was in India for the past two weeks?

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Well, Dave, someone heard my earlier plea about obtaining a free ticket to the Deli.  I mean, except for the free part.  And so it is that I am headed off to Hindustan today to see my Hindustani girlfriend!

But, I wouldn’t leave without throwing some questions your way, Dave… And so here are some things I was thinking about:

So, sifting through this compilation, I noticed this press release for something that calls itself  “Bezi Bra Discs,” basically subtle pasties.  This apparently resolves an age-old predicament

“With so many air-conditioned rooms, women wearing sleek bridal wear are seeing more than just wedding cake. They are seeing they outline of their nipples through their dresses,” says Anne Zuckerman, owner of Edith’s Inc. “This is not they way most brides — and their bridal party — want to stand out on such an important day as a wedding.”

Now, I have to admit to finding it a really bad sign that our contemporaries are horrified of this.  And yet, don’t you have some old acquaintance that “invented” and sold the same thing?  What were they called? Who has a patent on this?  And how could several people have the same bad idea at once? In essence, this invokes the Almodovar paradox, where what is presented as particularly sensitive to women, strikes me, rather, as sneering misogyny.

And, to answer your question, Dave, yes, I have seen three Almodovar films.  They basically have a drag queen‘s portrayal of the feminine mystique.  Perhaps it is in those grand gesticulations of mocking hyperbole that modern criticism reads feminism.  Or maybe I have it all wrong, and there is some confusion and distinction that I’m not making between movies that are feminist by nature, and those that are sensitive portrayals of women.

Moving along, I’m very curious about this thing called Momofuku.  Why is it extremely popular as a subject of Facebook status updates?  What is it?  Is its appeal related in some way to the popularity of those French Connection UK T-shirts?  Help me out here, Dave.

Finally, you have a kid, right?  Well, can you ask him what the deal is with all these poopyheads?

Well, that’s about enough out of me.  I best be shining my shoes and sliding my passport in its protective sleeve.  See ya on the other side of 2009!



{November 11, 2009}   Barf me out
boucher

Hercules and Omphale, Francois Boucher

OK, Russ, given how much I’ve been hounding you, I guess I owe you a prompt reply.

But not before I say, how ’bout that Mad Men?  I loved the wacky corporate caper plot.  And boy oh boy, I’m so over feeling sympathy for Betty.  This is a case where Dan Savage’s advice might have been useful:  just have the affair, Betty, get it out of your system, and don’t ruin your kids’ lives.  Because, eek, is that guy really going to be poor Sally’s stepdad?  You don’t even know him!  It’s just too awful to contemplate, although he’s probably going to deserve what he gets from that kid, who has gotten so. awesome. this season.

OK.  Now on to your questions about Facebook PDA.  You’re right that I am, perhaps unfairly and irrationally, suspicious of excessive displays of affection — at least among non-brand-spanking-new couples (I’m putting you on notice, Russ).  It’s a bit like those meta-conversations you and I discussed recently:  when two people have recently gotten together, they can be delightful; if you’re having a talk with your spouse of 20 years about the state of your relationship, though, chances are things aren’t going too well.  Now, I don’t require that couples restrict their public interactions to incessant bickering and mockery (I guess it’s more of a recommendation?) but I do admit that I raise an eyebrow over too-frequent “I sure love my awesome hubby” posts.  Because, like, shouldn’t that go without saying?  It’s like men who always introduce their wives as “my beautiful wife.”  I know, I know, every couple is different, but let’s just say that in my marriage, that might be cause for a meta-conversation.

So what should you and — uh oh, I don’t feel right about coming up with a nickname for your new lady love — do, Russ?  Be exactly like me.  I mean, you could do worse, right?  Because, darn it, I just love my handsome hubby.

Or, you know, better yet, be like this.



{November 10, 2009}   Modern Love

Andy Capp

I don’t know about you, but I think Andy Capp herein provides conclusive evidence that technology is ruining modern love.  Indeed how can you not hate your wife, if you can’t escape her for a few moments at the local pub?

Well, Dave, I’ve gotta hand it to ya:  Your last post provides much food for thought.

To coin a rhetorical flourish to which I was first introduced at our old intellectual stomping grounds, since MY GIRLFRIEND and I both approach physiognomy through a Language and Literacy frame of reference, we spend most of our time thinking about the authenticity of technology-mediated languages and their potential contribution to developing literacy and L2 proficiency.

weird_science

Russ's first girlfriend... finally.

As a result, we pretty obsessively experiment with Facebook and texting as forms of flirtation and PDA.  So far, these experiments have yielded a fairly significant amount of second-hand barf and neglect for basic responsibilities: in other words, quite an old-fashioned courtship that may not have been possible without written and multimedia supports.  So, yes, I agree with you, Dave, and further feel the need to mention that David Brooks gets much more credit for being interesting than he merits.

I don’t think we can leave this issue there, however, and I would further like to use this occasion of my shamefaced and overdue return to the blog, to raise the question of Facebook PDA.  I know you have an interesting theory on this somehow being — at least, in established couples — in inverse relationship to connubial bliss.  But, more generally, when, if ever, is Facebook PDA acceptable?  And what limits would you set on such a new practice?  We need your advice on this, Dave.

NDLR:  I have no idea what’s going on in this video, but, I frackin’ love this joint.



{November 7, 2009}   Here I go again on my own…

I can’t embed the original video, but I feel like the unplugged version captures my mood a little better today, anyway.  Subdued but optimistic, I guess.  Sluggish but determined.  Guarded, but friendly.  How’s my weird chest-wall muscle injury?  Thank you for asking, Russ.  I’m feeling a lot better today.

So there’s been a lot of hullabaloo lately about love and texting, hasn’t there?  What do you think about the New York Magazine article?  Is that actually something?  Because it really just seems like a big, stupid nothing — I don’t see how you can extrapolate anything meaningful about Our Culture Today from those examples.  As for David Brooks’s piece, well, he just sounds weird and off target in his op-ed — but then again, he is reliably wrong about everything, albeit in varying degrees.  Much as Ta-Nehisi Coates is reliably on target.

So at the risk of boring you all (hi Mom, hi Ty) with a return to a subject I touched on a while ago, this has all got me thinking again about electronic text as a primary means of communication between people, and about how that changes the quality of our relationships.  (By text, I’m not just referring to text messages on phones, but also to IM and email and social networking stuff.)  I’ve heard it argued that it’s a distancing or protective device, and also that it facilitates intimacy.  Then there’s that ongoing question about whether it’s making us more, or less, slutty.  As you know, I’ve been in the “courtly love” camp, but then again, it’s not like I know a lot of people who are into hookups, so my view is probably skewed.

As you know, Russ, I love me some IM.  My first experiences with it were way back in Olden Tymes, when I used some primitive version of the technology to stay in touch with my then-boyfriend, who was on a fellowship in another country.  I remember it being sort of nice but also making me feel really sad, because it seemed like such a weird and artificial way to communicate.  I bet, though, that I felt that way just because it was so new and so different from anything that I’d done before.  If I were in the same circumstances now, I think I’d find it a lot less depressing.

I don’t think that it’s just romantic relationships that have been changed by a renewed emphasis on text, though.  I definitely have friends with whom I “click” better through written language.  Perhaps it’s because these media make introvert + introvert friendships easier to nurture…?  There was some dumb thing that I heard on Dan Savage’s podcast recently about how the Pill might be Screwing Up Human Evolution because women on hormonal birth control don’t ovulate, and during the time when women are ovulating they prefer big Neanderthal guys, so maybe women are winding up with wimpier guys than they would otherwise and it’s going to destroy the gene pool or whatever.  That argument seems really questionable to me for a lot of reasons, but I do wonder whether these text-based technologies are facilitating connections between people who might otherwise be too shy or nerdy to get things going on their own.  So do you think that if I suggest that Facebook is altering the course of human evolution, I can get my dumb theory on the news, too?



Luann

Check out Luann and Tiffany.  Does Luann have a hate crush on Tiffany?  Probably. Does Luann hate herself? Go figure. Is this hilarious? Yes.

Are hate crushes for reals? Whatever!

Whoever is selling the hate crush meme should go stick her head out the nearest window and vomit. That’s what she makes me want to do.  But I didn’t make it that far…  Blech.

Oops!

Oops!

Not for the first time and definitely not for the last, I’m totally with you on this one, Dave.  Do these people have any clue what they’re talking about?  The hate crush marketeers have the emotional finesse of “I love my fiancee, but I’m not in love with him.”  To quote again what you brought up:

If a crush is about seeing the best version of yourself as you envision it, a “hate crush” is about the worst.

Two things.  One, I have not heard that BS about you hate in others what you don’t like about yourself since — like — fourth frickin’ grade!  Two, must we explain everything through the prism of narcissism?  I think we’ve spoken before about the odd and subtle generational disconnect between us and the Jezebel crowd, namely manifested in matters of sentiment — where there is, on the part of a latter, a certain tendency to take themselves waaaaaay too seriously and to, in general, dismiss nuance and casuistic. Is it because they have been brought up on wonky non-fiction and the Internet?  I won’t speculate.  All I can say is — again — if these chicks read anything like Stendhal we would not be having this conversation. I mean, not only did they get the hate part wrong — put they even fracked up the much more traditional concept of the crush.

Yeah, I give up, folks:  I really hate the fact that I’m a wannabe fetish model.  I’m extremely insecure about how I look in leather.  I fear, at times, that my love of hip radical European Marxists militias who kill people combined with my healthy, thoughtful skepticism of affirmative action, may not necessarily express a coherent weltanschauung.  You’re right. It’s all about me.

Look at Luann.  Yeah.  Up there.  At the top of this post.  Does she hate Tiffany because she hates the superficial broad in herself?  No, she hates Tiffany, because she’s a stuck-up, preening, lousy lady who is acting all possessive of the Australian exchange student and — worse than that, she looks enough like Luann, that this latter worries that people will associate blond cartoon characters with a fracked up sense of community service.  Her position, then, is two-fold:  1) It is a proud, confident disassociation with the superficial similarities shared with Tiffany, while at the same time 2) a strict sense of moral censure best expressed with the word “scoff.”

Like, a lot of the people I hate are people who resemble me — say, picture a slightly shorter Peter O’Toole (when young, of course) with a nose for fresh bread and fine truffles and a certain ability to speak French and other languages, not least while talking about the weather in fine metaphoric terms that beget dreamy expressions in the eyes of the ladies.  Well, so, you take that kind of person: Lovable, right?  But then, say he learned his French in Quebec, drinks fine wine instead of manhattans, thinks Arcade Fire rocks, and thinks that Obama compromised liberal ideals when he let Van Jones go.  And throw in a few carrots and chicks in the mix.  This, my friends, is the perfect recipe for a hate crush:  Again, not the incarnation of your worst faults but, rather, everything ersatz and pretentious that one fears could potentially be associated to your charming person and everything morally wrong that occurs in your vicinity.

Now it would be nice to pathologize and to remedy our capacity for moral censure.  But then who would be there to do such a tough job?  Do we just let these stupid poseurs hang around with a bunch of carrots and chicks without pointing and laughing?

Hate is fun!  Hate is cathartic.  And it keeps giving.

Oh, and a couple more points, Dave.  There was no like, and, thus, no dry-heave-inducing epiphany.  Just another joke gone too far.  That’s my official version, and I’m sticking to it.  Also, I think there is something odd about the fact that I don’t Google stalk my friends.  I thing you’re right that that should be the exception, not the rule.  Whatever.



{October 22, 2009}   No, it’s not safe.

palin

Talk about dying the heat death!



Kudos where kudos are due, Russ.  The Pixie Princess Post has really got me thinking, although I haven’t yet put together a coherent response.

While we’re speaking of coherence (or the lack thereof)…  I’m a little behind on this one, but I’ve been thinking about both letter-writing and Betty Draper’s fainting couch this week.

betty

Why, do you ask?  Well, being dense, I hadn’t given enough thought to the relationship between its antiquity and her interest in Henry Francis.  And, no, this isn’t just about his being So Old (daddy issues, obvs).  I’ve been thinking about the way that her relationship with him seems very pre-mid-20th century, in the sense that she’s really thrilled by the idea of an epistolary romance/affair of the heart, but ultimately disgusted by the tawdriness of working out the details of a physical affair.  Of course, you, Russ, are really the expert here, what with all your book-learning and whatnot.

Love in the digital age is not exactly a fresh topic, lord knows, but doesn’t it seem like Betty’s fainting-couch fantasies of romantic love are another way in which Mad Men is Really All About Us Right Now? Is this moment of the blog crush and the Facebook stalker a little bit about people just wanting a chance to enjoy a crack at unconsummated romance in the grand old-fashioned tradition without feeling like weirdos?

Even if, uh, that doesn’t always work out the way it’s supposed to?

I’m asking you because you know about these things.

And finally:  Yes.  All Hail The English Beat.



{October 18, 2009}  

First off, props to “cheezburger” for the subtle yet heady commentary.  Keep ’em coming, buddy.

rad

Now, for today’s questions.  I’d like to try something a little different.  For the first part of our assignment, we will watch a short video.

OK, got that, everyone?  Now, I think we can all agree that this is the single greatest pop single of the 80’s — and possibly of all time.  Today’s questions have to do with the song’s content.

I don’t know when to start or when to stop
My luck’s like a button
I can’t stop pushing it
My head feels light
But I’m still in the dark
Seems like without tenderness there’s something missing
Tenderness
Where is the
Tenderness
Where is it?

I don’t know where I am but I know I don’t like it
I open my mouth and out pops something spiteful
Words are so cheap, but they can turn out expensive
Words like conviction can turn into a sentence

I held your hands
Rings but none on that finger
We danced and danced
But I was scared to go much further with it
Just half a chance
Make sure that one night you’re here,
But next night you’re not
It always leaves me searching for a little

Tenderness
Where is the
Tenderness
Where is the
Tenderness?

Whistling in the graveyard
Calling up your girlfriend
Just trying to make her understand
You’re squeezing the telephone like it was her hand
No question (so many questions)
She’s going to catch you out boy
It all seems so underhand
Now she’s the only thing that ever made you feel like a man, man
Madman, madman

Tenderness
Where is the
Tenderness
Tenderness
Tenderness
Where is it?

I held your hands
Rings but none on that finger
We danced and danced
But I was scared to go much further with it
Just half a chance
Make sure that one night you’re here,
But next night you’re not
It always leaves me searching for a little

Tenderness
Where is the
Tenderness?

I’m just sick to death of second best, pet
Why should the morning always find you unimpressed?
Is your love like a button?
You can’t stop pushing it?
Oh this all night longing can be such a long time

What is this song about?  Is this a guy who’s thinking about cheating on his lady friend?  Let me know.  Because if that’s what we think it’s about, I should probably change my Facebook profile, right?



{October 18, 2009}   My Pixie, My Jaded Princess

princess-protection-program

Let’s just say, Dave, that Garden State was so fine a film that they had to remake it twice!

Once for WASPs:

And once more for history buffs:

Appearing in theaters between 2004 and 2005, these three movies were not original in their portrayal of the now-famed Manic Pixie Dream Girl (MPDG) trope, but did articulate within a unique cultural moment a single shared structure that endows the MPDG with a unique capacity to evacuate the Oedipus complex — just as the Oedipal President par excellence had subjugated the country to his blind whims.

Why not, at the time, wish for magic?  Why not enact a romance of denial rather than a drama of confrontation and reconciliation?  Yes, Dave, you’re right, by gum!  We needed to be more About a Boy and less enabling of the Natalie Portmans in our lives.  And, yet, time and again, we have seen privilege and ersatz sentimentality forge ahead and have married our fates to the lie of felicity owed. Or, as Pete Campbell says, “Why does it have to be like this? Why can’t I get anything good all at once?”

And therein lies the irony of the quote that you so aptly brought to light, and that bears repeating:

I was a jaded and cynical 27-year-old who came of age in the swinging ’90s of dot-com-boom Manhattan.

Really? Jaded and cynical?  Based on several face-to-face encounters with this utterance, it seems to translate for the layperson as “I went to [liberal arts college or Ivy League school here], and I should either be making more money or have sold the right to my screenplay/novel by now.”  It seems to be this same unquestioned acceptance of a kind of skewed meritocracy myth that likewise blinds one to the leeks beside the baguette.  The same people think that Natalie Portman is smart because she goes to Harvard.

People think that Natalie Portman is smart.

It is hard to blame the gatekeepers for such a failure of imagination.  For one thing, I don’t believe they are just shaping content for what they think will please — they have been nurtured on the same mythology.  Yes, the writers themselves should know better — but how do we account for such a massive number of them not knowing better?  If you were to poll every bohemian New Yorker about Vienna, I am sure that we’d get a monotonous collage of Opera, Sachertorte and Gustav Klimt (who never, mind you, was one to turn down monotonous collages).  Personally, I would like to single out high school French teachers for vilification — however, I have too much respect for my own teachers to tolerate grouping them in with the lot. I would also like to blame the Chicago Art Institute for its massive collection of Impressionism — but that is neither here nor there.

I have some other ideas, that I’d like to hash out over time… but, I think for now, given that Mad Men is on tonight — and I think we love that program so, precisely because it tackles the root of this problem — we can really blame Conrad Hilton.

By the way, would you say “Any Vow-bag” is a good summative acronym for your excellent formulation Autumn-in-New-York/Vows-Column/French-ladies-carrying-baguettes-on-bicycles worldview?



I think we can blame the same collective failure of romantic imagination for this:

and this:

I was a jaded and cynical 27-year-old who came of age in the swinging ’90s of dot-com-boom Manhattan.

So the real question is, who do we hate the most here (besides your ex-wife, obvs)?  You know, for the Autumn-in-New-York/Vows-Column/French-ladies-carrying-baguettes-on-bicycles worldview (Why bread, btw?  Why not these, or these?).  The people who write this stuff should know better, shouldn’t they?  I mean, most of them have actually visited or lived in dazzling world capitals, right?  So why do they talk about opera and baguettes?  Is it the fault of the entitled authors with their long-nurtured-but-vague dreams of “doing some kind of writing,” or do the gatekeepers bear most of the responsibilty for shaping the content — because, you know, people like that sort of thing?

On a related subject, why do rom-coms so often make artsy types the dream girls?  Because, the fact is, they make exceptionally poor spouses.



chicks suck

I don’t know if you’ve seen this piece over at Double X. I have to admit to finding it deeply disturbing.  At first, I enjoyed the Double X site, precisely because it avoided these vicious, more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger testimonials, choosing instead to post revealing rebuttals to similar stories published over and over with limited editorial fact-checking under the TimesModern Love rubric.  Thus, Double X appeared to be devoted to correcting the record of these facile, self-promoting smears while at the same time attacking the very sleazy and voyeuristic practice of having ambitious NYC writers caricature their love lives for a byline and 5 C-notes.

This essay, in particular, struck a nerve because my ex-wife had her first marriage announced in the Times and spoke about its break-up (as she has written about ours) with the same nauseating mélange of breathless entitlement and bad faith.  What’s worse is that the clear motive for producing such a written account of her failed marriage is the imperative to promote her new book — a heart-warming and empowering account of equally failed marriages and snatching triumph from divorce (as if there is not a significant amount already covering this base).

What I love best about this particular essay — and herein lies the entitlement that oozes through every sentence — is its simple premise:  You would never believe that someone who has her wedding written up by the Times could actually have a failed marriage!  frenchman

On my honeymoon, I called my sister from a phone booth in Burgundy, cows grazing across the narrow road, so she could read it to me. I pumped francs into the slot as an old plump woman bicycled past, the morning’s fresh baguettes in her basket.

Put aside that she didn’t have a Télécarte to use for the phone, I do indeed loves me a paragraph that includes the words “Burgundy” “cows” “francs” “bicycled” and “fresh baguettes in her basket.” Signs of a highly original thinker.  I’m not sure what happens to second-rate NYC writers that they all love France, manage to find money to travel there, and return with the exact same imagery — but this is clearly a sub-species of the larger pool of NYC chick writers.

I’m sure after reading that last paragraph, you’re half near swooning and wondering — “Why couldn’t I have had a honeymoon like that?  How such a fairy tale go wrong?”

Well, the marriage’s failure can all be attributed to another common trope:  My husband was a wonderful charming guy “98 percent of the time, but the lava of his volcanic anger, when it erupted, left ash and scorched earth all over our marital landscape.”  (Double take — this is a published writer.) Similarly, there seems to be this very bizarre and tightly held precept of marriage among this particular entitled set of matrimonial mythogynists that “a couple should never go to bed angry.”  This was, in fact, one of my ex-wife’s rationales for all kinds of torture and abuse.  Ms. Walsh’s response is equally troubling:

The first time he went to sleep mid-argument I poured a cup of water on his head. He staggered to his feet, swearing. For a moment, I thought that he might kill me. He was lost, wet, and exhausted. I was desperate, grieving, lovelorn. He didn’t kill me, we did go to bed mad, and it was not the last time. I had to let go of that rule.

Seriously, what kind of person 1) pours water on her husband’s head because he goes to sleep while you are fighting; and 2) describes it in such an odd and hyperbolic manner, that would shift so drastically the burden of the action?  Well, at least she didn’t tear out and burn pages of the wedding album over the bed in order to wake him up — that’s all I can say.  The surprising fact is, I think, that most people do get exhausted while arguing. Moreover, often one discovers, after a good night sleep, that one doesn’t really care about the cause of the previous night’s argument.

Another construct of this narrative of bad-faith and entitlement is always the recruitment of outsiders to use as foils, and upon whom one can impose one’s own heavy-handed subtext:

Most of the people who asked, “How are you?” were told, “We’re living in two different houses now.” They reacted as if I had said that I’d found a lump. “But it’s fine!” I’d hasten to add. “It’s a good thing.”

I’m quite sure she’s either using a generous interpretation of the word “Most” or she has never had to tell someone that she had found a lump.  It is necessary, though, to her personal voyage of redemption — one that returns her to the Times — that onlookers had no idea of the trouble in her story-book marriage (after all, it was written up in Vows!) or tut-tut the idea of divorce as an acceptable solution.

And where is her ex-husband after all this?  If you can stand watching the video linked above and again here for your convenience, you will see that he is right by her side, supportive of her re-writing their relationship, and helping her raise her web profile in advance of the book’s publication.  Ah, that brings me back!  When I read his description in the initial write-up of the wedding:

He is clean cut, friendly and bohemian, yet refined in his tastes. When he drives cross-country his car blares Beethoven. ”Peter loves wine and old cars and ideas,” said Tobias Lanz, a friend, ”Practical things are not his forte.”

and

he knows opera; he knows how to bake bread, French bread

I realized that this is exactly the person my ex-wife thought she was marrying — absurdly different from myself — and that triteness must merely be a pathology of the extremely entitled.  Unfortunately, being published is an all too common symptom of that pathology.

Oh — there’s one more thing:



et cetera