Monday, June 23, 2008

do not pass Go

I've been reading a very interesting book called Split: A Memoir of Divorce, by Suzanne Finnamore. It's the story of a Marin wife, mom and writer who has it all until her husband comes home one day and out of the blue tells her he wants a divorce. And while it wouldn't be the divorce memoir that I would write, she has a really funny way of looking at things that makes you laugh out loud while at the same time putting your lawyer on speed dial.

One piece has her creating a divorce board game (a la Monopoly) with her mother. In this game you must navigate the various steps of marriage and divorce. As you pass each "milestone" you get to cross it off. Here are all of the passages:







Weekends away



Conflict over childcare

Neglect of wife




Beginnings of the I'm Not Happy speech


Trying to save marriage



Gaslight torture time: Husband denies everything

Ineffectual marriage counseling

More panic

The walkout


Single parenthood


Trying to make it okay

The outing of the mistress




Financial chaos






She describes the game like this: you can play as many times as you like, but nobody ever wins.

I ran down the list checking off all the things that have already been done and putting little mental marks next to the ones I know are coming. Some are pending, and oddly enough it's those that carry me through. I like board games. As a kid, I played Monopoly for hours with my best friend, even having all weekend marathons that always involved stashed money and temper tantrums.

But as an adult, the game lost its appeal. Who needs a board game to go around in circles and never have enough money for rent? I can do that just fine on my own.

I think that could be a major problem in marketing the Divorce board game. Too many of us are already playing on our own.


Rose said...

I feel you. Actually, I saw that book the other day and started to browse through it, then thought, nah, I've been there already. And the thing is, while there are certainly themes we all share, no one goes through the exact same thing; just like the marriage that preceded it. I've said it before though, the other side will be better than you thought it would. After all the grieving for what might have been, for the picture you had, you'll find the good stuff.

Maggie May said...

The book might be a help, making you feel that others have been there & got through it. However, it might be better to get one that doesn't just dwell on the hurts but the life that is new........ That must surely be different for everybody.

Frances said...

Yes - been there-ish.
I agree with rose and maggie may, no point picking the scabs - but hard not to when they are itching....
All I really remember is that I was just crazy for a while. I only got balance back when I really let go of the hurts.
Your past is known to you - the future could be anything, the sooner it starts....

Can Bass 1 said...

You miss the square where your erstwhile spouse runs away with a bookmaker, taking all your possessions and the cat!

laurie said...

ah, divorce memoir.

reminds me of a few years ago when i read every cancer memoir i could.

always helpful to see how someone else coped.

Kaycie said...

I have one to add:

Wife tells husband to grow up and be a father. Wife wakes up in Podunk, Missouri and finds husband has disappeared along with a couple of pricey belongings. Husband fails to call in to work and loses his job. Wife finds him three days later in Florida. Playing pool, losing money they don't have with no way to earn more.

Pamela said...

I was so young when I divorced that I didn't experience so many of those emotions.

Nora said...

You hang in there, RC, you will get to contentment and joy also, mark my words, it's around the bend, I promise you. You will be such a satisfied woman!

Rudee said...

There is light at the end of this incredibly long tunnel. There is love too-and it starts with love of self again.

Gaslighting is an artform. My ex had that down pat. He did make my whole family think I was the crazy one when all the time, it was him. I could write a book but then all that crap he did would surface to torture me anew. He wouldn't be worth the time or effort. Cruel bastard. I hope he rots on his bar stool. There. I feel better now.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Big hugs RC, you will get some good stuff soon I'm sure. I'm on catch up as usual. The dead bunnies, bleurghhh, the girls night out, fabulous, the car, niiiiice. :D