I’m getting divorced. My husband was having an affair with a very uptight and earnest colleague who wanted, I think, to save him from the domesticity of two kids, a dog, and a house in the suburbs. They are academics, you see. And domesticity is the death knell of academic mystique. Then the dog died. Really. He was a one year old daschund who apparently died of fright during a particularly loud storm. He was outside at the time, and by the time the thunder had woken me and I had gone to call him, it was clearly to late because he didn’t come. He was outside because I hadn’t had the time to train him and he had become undisciplined. Also because it was a warm summer night when I went to sleep and he hadn’t cried to come in. It storms in summer where I live. And then I got a new boss. A very blonde, very young boss. Did I mention I have my Phd? I got it when I was an academic at the same University as my husband. The same one I had to leave so that I could get a real job and we could afford to keep the children. And then I turned forty.
And really, the only thing I could think of doing in response to all of this was to start this blog. Because it gets really exhausting putting an upbeat spin on everything so that people wont feel so sorry for me. Its hard work providing friends and colleagues with narrative ‘outs’. It was easier with the cheating husband – he doesn’t deserve me, I will look back and be grateful I got out when I did, I’m his third wife, you know. Not so easy with the daschund puppy. He was outside, you say? Warm summer night huh? Well I’m sure he is in a better place. When I told my friend we were getting two new puppies, his only response was “Don’t leave these ones outside. I don’t think the kids could take it again”. By the time I got to the blonde boss all I could do was plaster a smile on my face and talk fondly of my graduation night and how air hostesses confuse me for the other kind of doctor.
So this is the place I can be a deserted, puppy-killing, forty year old corporate under dog. Without apology. Without any spin. Woohoo. Free at last.