Elsa is getting a divorce. Ephaba of Wicked also. Two fabulous power females. Actually, I am talking about Idina Menzel, the voice of those two characters, the voice of Let It Go. She and Taye Diggs are splitting.
I know this because I went to the Korean women’s spa tonight and Redbook was the only magazine free. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t read it. “Too '40 ways to please your man',” as my friend put it.
I have a very strange reaction when I see or hear news of divorce these days. I feel so happy for the woman. I know this sounds gruesome, and it’s surely a broad brush to paint with, and it puts me at risk. I will be called an enemy of marriage, a dangerous thing for a woman to be. Not for a man, I don’t think. But for a woman.
I feel like marriage took a generation of determined, independent, smart, working women, tricked us into becoming wives and carved our faces with worry about getting it all done in time.
I remember hearing on a morning show in the early 00’s that when ranked in order from most happy to least happy, the numbers say:
1. Married men
2. Single women
3. Unmarried men
4. Married women
I do not blame this on men!! Who said “happy wife, happy life?” having an unhappy spouse sucks so hard. But this is what patriarchy looks like in our world. If you want to see what kicking patriarchy’s ass at Hogwarts looks like, check out Hermione as Boss Witch.
Either I am humorless tonight, or I am really taking Task 2 to heart. “Exposing the Crude Shadow.” Possibly both.
But wait! I’ve been watching “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, “ a new series on Bravo and it’s good. Everyone is rich and beautiful, of course, but it gets a lot right and there’s this one episode where the main character writes an article for the Huff Post called “Why Aren’t You Divorced Yet?” She is not widely loved for this at her kids’ school. But I get it, I do! I now know five women who are getting divorced and all feel as if they are being reborn from ashes that they had come to believe were the only world.
One of them said to me “ I hate the face. You know, when I tell someone. They make the face and then they say ‘I’m sooo sorry.’”
I remember that. Sometimes that’s the right thing to say. I remember and once in a while I still feel the earth-shaking grief that the love I thought I had was not to be. And that my life would not look like the picture I had prepared. It’s sad. But that’s nothing compared to how sad it was to pretend to be, to force and fake and try to look happy.
Also, last weekend for Valentines Day, my ex-husband came over with our son and hung out for an hour and it was so easy and good and he even gave me some parenting advice, which I wanted, and asked for my advice about a work thing. It was, actually, amazing. We were never a great fit as spouses but we are now very good as friends and co-parents. As soon as we left the cage that was so wrong for us.
I told my friend the thing that I wish someone had told me, about the face. “You have to help them with that,” I said. “They don’t know they can be happy for you. Tell them, ‘I am about to tell you something, and when I’m done, you say: Congratuations!;"
I wonder what people say to the voice of “I’m not that Girl” and “Let It Go” when she tells them.