July 10, 2014

"Once I made my husband take a photo of me lying on the bed with a snot-wet tissue squeezed in my fist, my eyes red as a rabbit’s."

"'This is what a honeymoon is really like,' I imagined saying to anyone who asked to see the photos."

44 comments:

Saint Croix said...

I nominate him for sainthood.

John Borell said...

I didn't realize Ann had tagged so many posts with 'bodily fluids'.

mishu said...

Love is something Patrick does rather than he feels. I admire his ability but don't envy his situation. While he has the patience of Job, I hope he doesn't have his life.

Rob McLean said...

"On our honeymoon in Paris..."

And that was where I stopped reading.

Unknown said...

pathetic

MadisonMan said...

What is the plural of café au lait? Certainly you don't put then 's' at the end of the milk! Unless you're getting the coffee equivalent of Tres Leches cake.

What a neurotic woman.

Big Mike said...

I nominate Patrick for sainthood.

But I really did enjoy this remark: “Your marriage will be great,” my mom tried to assure me. “At least you’re not marrying someone like your father.”

Simon Kenton said...

O vomit! What a truly great person not to be married to.

When we lived in CA we were up the street from the Hells Angels house. The girls had professional jobs to support them and the guys lounged around with hairy guts bulging herniacally through the gap between sagging jeans and upriding greasy Ts, applying Snap-ons to Hogs. On Fridays the girls shrugged out of their business suits and appliquéd their their colors (they had dank jean-jackets smeared with menstrual blood, just like the guys), they all got drunk, and then you'd hear, "Oh yeah? Oh yeah, well your friend Cal is a lot better man than you!" And there'd be a sodden impact, audible clear down the street: fist on face. "Oh yeah, Cletus. Big man! Go ahead! Slug me. But it won't change nothing. Cal is a lot better man than you are." Smack. Melony thwap of head on tarmac. Sobbing. "Go ahead! Beat me! But it won't...." I'd call the police.

So. There's somebody for everybody. You don't need to despair, despite being an oleaginous violent slob. You can get somebody, and she may well have a good enough job to keep your chopper in parts and be pretty too. AND enjoy fucking your friend and being beaten for it.

So. I'd still rather be on the street where the Hell's Angels lived, than be married to the writer here. Snotrags damp with mucosal co-dependence. There's somebody for everybody, and she's got hers and he's got his. What makes me sad is the poor little electrons that got used to publish this. They coulda been contenders.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

NYT. All the news that's fit to print.

And some that aint.

Ann Althouse said...

"I nominate him for sainthood."

I guarantee he loves her writing. And this is the writing of a novelist. I bet he's a big fan and consents to this presentation of their life and is fully supportive.

He worked in some call center while she pursued her "graduate degree" in "the Midwest." She was in the Iowa Writers' Workshop! She writes herself small and pathetic, but clearly she is not, and he too is a character, her saint. He's doing fine. Don't worry.

"In Iowa we lived in an apartment with low ceilings and a wasp infestation." Yes, and in Iowa, she was exactly where young writers feel extremely privileged to learn their craft. And she learned well. It's an excellent essay, which I'm sure many NYT readers are getting off on.

Anonymous said...

The husband should have realized it wasn't too late to get the mess annulled.

smokeandashes said...

Smart move Rob. What self indulgent, claptrap that woman is selling. I also marvel at a man that would put up with that kind of immature behavior. If this is what a man wants wants in a woman, I will take my singlehood and wear it with pride.

Ann Althouse said...

"I didn't realize Ann had tagged so many posts with 'bodily fluids'."

There are 137 posts.

What if all of the fluid referred to in all of the 137 posts were contained in a single vessel? What would be the size of that vessel?

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

From the article:

Words are just words, but if they don’t leave your mind, they can feel like truth.

Profound, and exactly the point I tried making for the benefit of Crack M C, on the other-day suicide thread.

Do you suppose he understood?

T J Sawyer said...

After about a half dozen paragraphs I was sure she would commit suicide. -- Oops, that can't be right, she wrote the article.

At the end, I thought, "how in the hell did I get into this article?"

But, I agree that Patrick is a saint. And, I always like to read about memorable orgasms.

Farmer said...

What a repulsive woman. Even as she acknowledges what a shitty thing it is to insult her husband, it's still all about her and her feelings. What kind of lunatic enjoys and relates to this stuff?

There are plenty of woman who really behave this way. And they're invariably married to complete pussies.

Tank said...

It takes a certain kind of guy to marry a high maintenance woman like this. I'm not that guy. The guy himself probably loves this shit. If not, he would have been gone before they married. What are his pathologies?

damikesc said...

Only one who seems to have a valid "did I make mistake?" Question here is him.

Mark O said...

For their sakes, I hope this was fiction.

Drago said...

I'll bet it was WHITE tissue!

Why Ta-Nehisi Coates just wrote an eleventy-thousand word tome on the white tissue subject and none of you racists even read it!!

Back on topic, I have to say that this gal is pretty typical of the subset of East Coast, urban, educated women with whom I've interacted over the years.

Plus, writer, so perhaps even more drama is inevitable.

Double plus, they are ALL in therapy. At a couple hundred bucks (minimum) per hour.

That marriage sounds exhausting.

ALP said...

RE: Iowa Writer's Workshop

The Atlantic recently ran an article by Nancy Andreasen, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist who studies creativity. She used writers attending this workshop as her study subjects:


"For many of my subjects from that first study—all writers associated with the Iowa Writers’ Workshop—mental illness and creativity went hand in hand."

The author must be getting started on her life of writing and mental illness.

From:

http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/06/secrets-of-the-creative-brain/372299/

BDNYC said...

I winced at the orgasm line. Maybe I'm a prude, but I find this sort of oversharing to be extremely offputting.

Michael K said...

I thought at first this would be a photo of you and didn't click. The women is an idiot and the husband is not much better for marrying this wet tissue of a wife. What is she good at ? Something not for a family blog ?

I got sucked in that way once.

rhhardin said...

The entire story is here

“Your marriage will be great,” my mom tried to assure me. “At least you’re not marrying someone like your father.”

Or it may be proof that it's humor.

The difference is hard to tell.

Anonymous said...

People are nominating him for sainthood but they have come to an agreement that they have a series of one-year marriages. She sees this as a romantic way of reaffirming her vows every year. I wonder how he sees it?

St. George said...

Boy, ALP, I also read that Atlantic article....What a snoozer that was...It said absolutely nothing new.

All writers are nuts, perhaps it just the ones who think they need to go to a college workshop to improve.

And, Professor, as for the husband loving his wife's writing....just remember what she is doing is harvesting their relationship and his privacy to make money. It's creepy.

"Young writers feeling privileged to earn their craft."

Please. Ugh.

What are you going to learn to write about in some cute little college class? What it's like to sip tea?

Ya gotta live something, like maybe being a riverboat captain, a WWI ambulance driver, or, better, paste labels on bottles of shoe polish all day long when you are 12. That will give you something to write about!

How she suffered learning how to cook mussels and drink red wine in, omg, an apartment! Oh, the low ceilings. And there was a wasp.

CatherineM said...

All of this self pitying anguish reminds me of that show Thirty-something. This is very Hope and Michael where they constantly whine about their feelings. Exhausting.

MadisonMan said...

I got sucked in that way once.

A beautiful sentence that can be read in two different ways, and each one works.

Freeman Hunt said...

Different people, different marriages. The guy obviously digs her.

Ann Althouse said...

"What is the plural of café au lait? Certainly you don't put then 's' at the end of the milk! Unless you're getting the coffee equivalent of Tres Leches cake."

That bothered me too, but I'm sure it's intentional. I'm going to guess that it's written that way because in her colloquial voice, that's what she would say, as in: "We'd like two caffay oh lays."

Freeman Hunt said...

I bet there really is a lot of crying on honeymoons. I would guess that over 50% of arguments in marriage happen within the first two years. The fighting is good. That's how two naturally self-interested, stubborn people become one flesh.

Ann Althouse said...

But in French, you wouldn't pronounce an "s" on "laits," so what's the point?

In English, would you say "We'd like two coffee with milks" or "We'd like two coffees with milk?"

Ann Althouse said...

"And, Professor, as for the husband loving his wife's writing....just remember what she is doing is harvesting their relationship and his privacy to make money. It's creepy."

Do you know the Althouse backstory? That's my life in the 1970s and 80s.

Freeman Hunt said...

Do you know the Althouse backstory? That's my life in the 1970s and 80s.

That book is enraging to anyone who likes you, by the way. Enraging enough that someone might read it and not mention it for a year because it made the person so angry on your behalf.

Ann Althouse said...

@Freeman Don't be too angry. The raw material is highly processed and full of fictional elements.

Freeman Hunt said...

No, I already figured that. It was the whole approach, the whole point of view of the narrator.

mrs whatsit said...

Saint Croix: we agree on something!

MadisonMan said...

In English, would you say "We'd like two coffee with milks" or "We'd like two coffees with milk?"

If you order (in English) coffee with milk, you're not getting a pitcher of steamed milk and a cup of espresso. Café au lait -- in my limited experience in France -- is a very specific product. When I ordered deux cafés au lait, the plural s in cafe was pronounced. Maybe even correctly: M. le propriéteur did not give me a haughty look -- and this was in Paris!

rhhardin said...

Cafe au laits. It's like attorney generals.

Once it's a linguistic unit, the s goes on the last word.

Martha said...

"And, Professor, as for the husband loving his wife's writing....just remember what she is doing is harvesting their relationship and his privacy to make money. It's creepy."


I am working my way through Adam Begley's recently released biography about John Updike entitled UPDIKE.
Updike's short stories and novels sprang so much from what was going on in his own life --including his numerous extramarital liaisons-- that some of the stories were put on ice until the real life situation cooled down. As I read the bio I read the short stories or novels written during that time.

It is an amazing way to read the biography of an author.

Ann Althouse said...

"No, I already figured that. It was the whole approach, the whole point of view of the narrator."

Okay, then. I'm very interested in what you think about that.

St. George said...

Tom Wolfe had a legendary beef with Updike and his ilk, chastizing precious suburban/academic writers who never left their cozy little dens to do any...reporting...or living.

You want to be a great writer?

Go stab a whale.

sydney said...

After reading the comments here, I was prepared to dislike the narrator, but surprisingly I felt sympathy for her. It isn't surprising that someone whose parents went through an acrimonious divorce when she was five and still do not speak to each other would have severe anxiety issues around long term commitment. I give them joy and wish them a long and happy marriage.

TMink said...

Thank God she went to therapy. And he is a good man, I hope she is a wonderful wife to him.

Trey