Friday, April 07, 2006

Divorce envy

From Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood by Koren Zailckas

"Billie lives with her divorced mother, a position that fills me with envy. I know that is stupid, that I should be grateful that my parents are still happily wed, both of them tuned into my every ballet recital or parent-teacher conference like it's Super Bowl Sunday. And I am. But our nuclear nest also makes divorce look exotic, like the stuff that art is made of. After all, this is shortly after Newsweek declared, 'Grunge is what happens when children of divorce get their hands on guitars.' Divorce seems like a beautiful truth, a stark contrast to my own two-parent household, which at times feels stickier, more deceptive.
"What's more, divorce creates the possibility of independence, for which I am desperate. The dissolution means train rides and plane rides alone, en route to Mommy's house or Daddy's condo. And keys. I long for house keys; I want to wear them on a satin string around my neck. After school, I want to unlock the door to a quiet house and, consequently, a quiet mind...
"As much as I love Mrs. Jankoff, I know Billie spars with her, too. She fights with her mom the way I fight with my mom, but for opposite reasons. I want to be independent from my mom, and Billie wants to be dependent on hers. Billie loves my mother's involvement, while I love Mrs. Jankoff's detachment. We both have magnetic properties that attract us to each other's mothers, and repel us from our own. I want to drive my mother away from me by being deceptive; Billie tries to lure her mother home by proving she's trustworthy."

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