Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Should have behaved better

We have noticed that our kindly and congenial next door neighbor hasn't been around much. Saw his wife tonight, and learned that he's moved out.

After 42 years of marriage.

And turns out, as sometimes is revealed in the suburbs, that more was happening over there than met the eye.

Remember when I asked a writer I know about writing about other people? And she said "If grown ups are ashamed of what you write about them, they should have behaved better." ?

There are things I am ashamed of, and I have to say if people wrote about them, I would have wished they wouldn't. But they are mostly private and really not all that interesting. Like, being pleased that my new (so-called) sophisticated hair-do was noticed, and right after that having to pick a big smear of dried banana off my purse. Or blah blah blah spending so much time on facebook. Or making a child cry for the seven hundred and twenty eighth time by saying, "no, we are not stopping for ice cream on the way home." Or maybe for being the kind of mother who has a child who cries over a thing like that.

Anyway, those are all small and silly. But I think next door it started small too. And I wonder at what point the small things would start to add up, start to create a whole secret life that was so shameful that in the end all a guy could do was run away from it. At what point could "shouldnt" become "shouldnt have"?

Wish I had a snappy ending here, but dont. There are no answers, and this is not nearly the end. It's the middle of a sad mess and I'm watching, and wishing grownups would behave better.

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