November 12, 2005

For my readers who can't get enough of my conflicts with my ex-husband.

You want to go here. (You have to read the comments!)

ADDED: If you've arrived at this post looking for information about why I am marrying the commenter Meade (with whom I squabble in these comments), you'll find more information here.

AND: Here's the text of the email I sent to Andrew Sullivan (who wrote this):
Andrew, I don't think you've understood the time line here. And why link to the nasty Pandagon on this one? Your post is really disrespectful to me. If you'd watched the Bloggingheads you linked to, you'd know that my fiancé is someone who has interacted with me in writing on my blog for more than 4 years. We decided to meet in person after an exchange of email in December. We met in January and then, after a some additional email, decided to meet again in mid-February, and then we fell in love. We decided to get married after 2 more weekends and a 10-day spring break.

Why is this something that you choose to mock? Is there something ridiculous about a blogger coming to love someone who she first knew through writing in the comments and developed an affection for over a period of years? Or is it just that we decided to marry within 2 months of meeting each other in person? My parents met in the Army and got married 2 weeks later and loved each other until they died many decades later. I'd really like to know what part of my experience deserves "OMFG."

39 comments:

Charlie (Colorado) said...

Ann, honey, I don't think Richard said anything about you at all ... just that he's not feeling satisfied with himself right now.

You want to talk about it?

Ann Althouse said...

Charlie, you have to read the comments!

Icepick said...

Yes, Charlie, you really do need to read the comments! Ann threatens to get medieval on RLC's ass! And why did reading that comment thread seem like a conversation my wife and I would have?

Robert said...

That was a very wifeish set of comments.

Pat Patterson said...

That was fun, sort of like looking at x-rays for dark spots.

XWL said...

That exchange probably gives hints as to who the Althouse Man is NOT

(the Althouse Man is not indecisive, nor overly introspective, nor overly self-congratulatory for behaviors that should be expected)

(and this isn't meant as a direct criticism of RLC as I don't know the whole story, just a reflection of my observations of this small slice of a view of an exchange between a man and a woman with some history together)

Ron said...

Richard put a bee in your bonnet as it seems, only ex's can! It was refreshing to read!

JSU said...

The Althouse Man finishes what he starts.

James d. said...

I'd love to be more eloquent, but that comment exchange is just awesome.

Icepick said...

Ann Althouse - Putting the WIFE back into ex-wife!

Icepick said...

And my wife says she appreciates and understands the ass-kicking comment. I need to stand up now.

JohnF said...

How long have you not been married to this guy?

If the answer is "longer than a week or so," then you seem to be INSANE.

Let it go for God's sake.

Meade said...

Okay. I've had enough.

Charles Chapman said...

Your conflicts with your ex-husband are yours, not his.

If I wrote two unpublished novels, much less four, my self-esteem would be in the toilet. If I had written four unpublished novels in a row, the last thing I would need would be for a former lover, a former wife, to chastise me in public for failing to risk what little self-esteem I had left by writing a fifth.

If you had said what you did at a small gathering in front of other people, it would have been rude and insensitive. Instead, you said it in front of the entire world. From now on, when people Google his name they get to see his ex-wife threatening to kick his ass. Nice.

Finally, as for him thanking you for a "deserved kick in the ass," I'm (almost) speechless. The ironic thing is that if he became the man you so obviously want him to become, he wouldn't put up with your crap.

Finn Kristiansen said...

Oh Charles, pullease!!!!

Ann has been more than kind in throwing him readership and putting him on her blogroll (hmm, must be nice being on someone's blogroll), which, in the end, should help him with his own writerly goals.

Further, he put his musings "out there" for consumption and should hardly expect them to go unremarked upon.

He is probably well aware that she will give her two cents regarding their shared history. If he didn't want her to comment, he could do something about it, like divulge her bed habits or true hair color or something (hint to Cohen) when commenting on her site.

Her words were funny and Darth Vaderesque. I liked them. It's the type of thing I need said to me, for I wax philosophical on stuff too, while doing largely nothing about the issue at hand.

How these two ever ended up married baffles me--it had to be the 1970's, when people lacked insight and practical taste (except for in music).

Christopher Althouse said...

Does "Althouse Man" refer to Richard? If so, I don't think "Althouse Man"'s current wife will enjoy the nickname very much.

Charles Chapman said...

Finn, you may very well be right. At the very least, I was guilty of what I accused Ann of -- i.e., being unkind. For that, I apologize. Obviously, I don't know the history.

However, you observe that Richard "put his musings musings 'out there' for consumption and should hardly expect them to go unremarked upon." The same thing is true for Ann.

Ann Althouse said...

Chris: "Althouse Man" is something that came up in another thread -- that a commenter made up. It collects various attributes that I seem to have approved of. Here. It's clearly not about Richard. My participation in the comments over there is totally what it appears to be there, not the joke in the title here: a plea to take art seriously, which I know he does, and not to rationalize away his dedication to it. I could see that the other commenters were buying the rationalization, and I commented over there because I could see that was happening. This isn't wifish, by the way. A wife would feel the need to comfort, which I don't have or want. And a wife would probably appreciate the primacy given to family, feelings, and spiritual peace, which permeate his blog posts. I'm writing there in the fellow artist/old acquaintance mode, and using the fact of our very old ex-itude as a teaser to send you over.

Meade said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ann Althouse said...

Lmeade: Clearly, we don't have the same sense of humor on this one. I suspect your inability to perceive the real character of the interchange between me and Richard has more to do with you than us. But of course, you of all people should read this subjectively. You were the first commenter on Richard's post, so my criticism of him should have been felt as a criticism of you. I called you sentimental, albeit indirectly. I consider my take on Richard's post much more accurate than yours. That makes me mean? That makes you think about Maureen Dowd? I stand by what I wrote!

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

Hi, Ann, thanks for the link. Some eye-opening breakfast reading here, I'll say.

Chris, thanks for a perceptive comment based on actual knowledge of me. I hereby give you a virtual hug.

Meade, thanks as always.

XWL, thanks for admitting you don't know what you're talking about.

Charles Chapman: Thanks for the degree to which you show understanding. As for my thanks to Ann for the kick in the ass -- one should always thank one's critics, one can learn from them.

Finn Kristiansen: Actually I'm on many blogrolls of people who recognize good writing and understand what they read. As for Ann's original hair color, why we got together, why we split up, etc. etc. - you'll never know.

Meade said...

No, Ann, it doesn't make me think about Maureen Dowd, it makes me think about the validity of something she said.

The criticism by men of women for being "sentimental," i.e., extravagantly emotional rather than reasonable or realistic, has enjoyed a long history in our culture, used to patronize women and to discount and dismiss the legitimacy of their respective points-of-view. It is no less mean nor boorish of women to do the same to men in 2005 and I, for one, reject it in either case.

But you're right - mine was a subjective take. His was a subjective post. And the value of your own objectivity on this one may not be all that it's cracked up to be.

"I consider my take on Richard's post much more accurate than yours. That makes me mean?"

No, that doesn't make you mean but however accurate your take may be, a quick review of your own commenters' opinions here, will reveal that I of all people am not at all alone in my "subjective sentimental" take.

Ann Althouse said...

Meade: I'm kind of surprised you even read the Althouse blog. What's the point?

Meade said...

Ah! so now you're questioning my patriotism? ;-)

Finn Kristiansen said...

RLC says:

As for Ann's original hair color, why we got together, why we split up, etc. etc. - you'll never know.

So, it's not her original hair color? Hmmmmm.

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark Daniels said...

Ann:
I confess that as I read the comments you've left on Richard's site, I'm a bit mystified.

Your initial comment might have been readily interpreted as a friendly, if barbed, bit of prompting or encouragement. That interpretation could hold water even for the subsequent comments you've made there.

But your decision to call attention to your increasingly nasty statements by linking to it on Althouse paints you as more of a Maury Povich- or Jerry Springer-wannabe: "I pick a fight with my ex. Check it out!"

You're bright, intelligent, insightful, and usually, fun to read. But in this instance, you seem more than a little narcissistic and intent on being provocative simply for the nuts of it.

Mark Daniels

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, Ruth Anne. Mark: You're not seeing the spirit of the thing. It's a literary device, clearly too edgy for some readers, though.

James d. said...

As a child of divorced parents and a guy who had a roommate in college who practically needed a restraining order against his ex-gf, the Althouse-RLC "argument" is nothing of the sort. Which is why I laughed instead of cringed.

Art said...

I think I can put together a deal for a sit-com.
Have your guy call my guy. We'll do lunch.
Is Helen Hunt available?

amba said...

Yeah, I had the sitcom reaction, too. It's sort of a twist on "You've Got Mail," in which, needless to say, they do NOT get back together.

Finn: she posted a bunch of old photos, if you really care about her original (or at least, earlier) hair color.

Here's how I read the comments:

1) She still cares! About him as an artist, that is -- which is about all they had in common.

2) What on earth were these two people doing married to each other?? Can you think of any two people you'd be LESS likely to fix up?

(Of course, when you're young, what do you know? About who you are, much less who anybody else is.)

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, Amba.

As to natural hair color, I've linked to this photograph before, for anyone who wants to know. Actually, I already had a fair number of white hairs then, when I was 30.

By the way, the new podcast has a lot on this thread.

As to why R and I were ever together, keep in mind that we got together 35 years ago and have gone our separate ways for 20 years. If we still seemed like a match, that would be pretty bizarre.

jeff said...

Someone got snarky over there at the end... recommending you get some exercise!

Come to think of it, that's what I need...

Christopher Althouse said...

Amba: It seems to me that by the time two people break up they're pretty well versed in the things they don't have in common. There wouldn't be much point in blogging about all the similarities you share with your ex. In any case, I doubt most exes seem like perfect matches for each other when they discuss these matters after having broken up. It seems like a stretch to use that kind of 20-years-later talk as the basis for saying that they had nothing in common apart from being artists. It's a little funny seeing all these commenters proporting to know fairly deep, personal levels of their characters when neither or them reveal nearly enough information on their blogs to support this.

amba said...

Christopher: very true, the observation "they have nothing in common" is an exaggeration, intended to be comic, based on a superficial reading of the way they present themselves. None of this should be taken seriously. We're all just shooting the bull, really. Both Ann and Richard gave us permission, or even invited us to.

The one statement I dare say is true is "She still cares about him as an artist." Artists do periodically need their asses kicked, BTW -- I understand why he thanked her.

When I think about it, long-married couples don't have any more or less in common than divorced ones. Just some combinations of fit and misfit are more inspired or tolerable than others. When you fall in love you tend to think you have a great deal in common. From then on, whether you stay together or not, it's a long process of finding out how much you don't. You do come to have your common history in common.

Patm said...

Ann, ignore Sullivan. He suffers from an utter lack of generosity of spirit; Bush destroyed his humanity when he came out against gay marriage and Sullivan hasn't managed a day of sanity since then.

You shouldn't even respond to that ungracious, adolescent garbage.

t.a.m.s.y. said...

My subjective feeling on this is that anytime a blogger and a commenter become engaged, it justifies an "OMFG," regardless of the people involved or the context. I say it every time. Or I will say it. Presuming it happens again. Hopefully to me.

Brendan Conway said...

Right on, Ann. Isn't it just completely ironic that Sullivan would mock you. Congratulations on your great news.