Sunday, June 28, 2009


After the Little Taste of Jasmine event yesterday, I took a quick spin through Kroger. As you can imagine, the issue of People pictured at left wasn't something that I was going to be able to walk on by. The magazine quickly joined the prosciutto and vine ripened tomatoes already on the express line check-out counter.

I must report, however, juicy as it looked, it was basically a rehashing of the details we who watch the show are already privy to. In the article Kate says,

"Jon has been asking for this [divorce] for a long time. He does not want to be married to me anymore. No questions asked, he went and hired a lawyer and said, 'You'd better get one.' So I did. I never would've made that step; I never would have done it. But I did, because he told me to do it."

I was immediately queasified with sympathy at the thought of a husband and father of eight minor children advising his wife to "get a lawyer". There's something so heartless and brutal about that, to my mind. For the life of me, I (obviously) cannot stop sympathizing with Kate Gosselin. I have to ask myself if it's normal and the answer comes back: probably not. I am a woman with nothing at all in common with Kate Gosselin.

The situation pushes all my buttons, though: the mother being expected, in the end, to shoulder the most difficult share of the parental burden, the man zipping around in a sports car with freshly pierced ears choosing the strange stuff over the obvious option of keeping his family whole. The fact that the scale is multiplied by an unimaginable factor of eight young children just makes it all the more compelling. And, lastly, following this story, as I've written before, has the totally unexpected effect of causing me to hearken back to my own divorce. I can't stop comparing the two in my mind though there are, literally, no similarities.

And I feel compelled to write about it all in my blog, for heaven's sake.

I have the handy ability to look at things from a completely objective point of view. If I have to. It is an ability that serves me well in many life situations. And it is that ability that I utilized during the dark days of the split from the Yankee Clipper. When I added up the facts of that situation it came up, each time, every single time, that the marriage was at an end. I leaned on the comforting logic of this knowledge. The sadness, regret, heartache, etc. I (whenever possible) packed up in a box, labeled it "divorce" and shoved it under a bed in the in a dusty guest room in the farthest reaches of my psyche.

Jon and Kate's split has had the unexpected and almost bizarre effect of propelling me back to that dark guest room. First leaning against the doorway. Then sitting on the bed. Lifting the box lid with a toe. Peering in. It is a necessary, if painful, process. I've learned through study and experience the body must feel grief and loss, must go through the motions, whether at the time or later. Nature will protect us from the full realization of loss when it is more than we can bear. But has to do the work. Sooner or later.

The good news is that my split technically compares oh-so-favorably to JK8. While my marriage was a bit of a WWF smackdown of used stuffed swordfish stabbing me in the foot, insultingly clean and shiny hair, stolen vehicles (from each other), and threats of hurling underwear off the balcony and into the center of 6th Street, the divorce was more akin to a tea party. "No, you take that, I insist..." "Oh! I wouldn't hear of it, you have it, please..." "Would you mind buying me a replacement TV?" "Why, certainly..." etc.

There may be hope for Jon and Kate as well. The article winds up this way. Kate says:

"I was very encouraged when we did our schedules the other day, because Jon pointed to the July 4 holiday and said, "What are we going to do about that?'" Kate says. "I absolutely cannot imagine not spending every single holiday with my kids. I don't care what it takes. I will be there. So I said, 'I don't know,' and he looked at me and said, 'Together'?" Kate mimics her reaction, raising her eyebrows in shock. I said, 'Yeah? We can have a cookout and fireworks?'" she recalls. For the first time, her voice has a note of giddy, if cautious, enthusiasm. "He said, 'Sure." That's something. We'll see."

I'm keeping my fingers crossed. For all of us.


Donna Maria said...

For her, it's all about the show, not the kids, in my opinion. Remember the end of last season when he expressed how miserable he was and she just shrugged her shoulder and said how extremely happy she is? She likes to say, "we can't go back," but she can stop it (the show). Poor kiddos. I just don't buy the victim role she's portraying...or the warrior role either. Ugh. Glad I'm not them. That's all I know! Good post, Bizzywoman!

Brenda said...

Although I seldom watch the show, it's easy to see that Kate will come in on the losing end. She will be left with the kids, the worries, and most of the responsibility. Jon? I suspect he will go through a slew of twenty-somethings before marrying one and starting another family. (And somewhere down the line, he will probably go running to Kate and beg her to take him back.)

Great post!

Sandi said...

My situation is somewhat similar (although divided by 4!)and I feel heartbroken for Kate. Yes, she was always hard on Jon and a bit rigid, but she has been in survival mode for 5 years (maybe 8). But Jon did seem to check out, with no attempt to make any improvements in their marriage before throwing in the towel. I also was grocery shopping (buying Nikki Half an Half) and could not pass up the People magazine. Jon said he is excited and optimistic about the future, oh and also sad (yeah right!)

Suzanne said...

Yes, Sandi, it seems to me that Jon was either silently taking it or gone. A bit extreme. I read an "In Touch" or some such other magazine on the sly in Wal Mart. It reported Jon has taken to wearing sweat suits with flames and such of the sort that twentysomethings are fond of and hastaken up smoking (there were photos). Brilliant!

Anonymous said...

It's difficult to blow the dust off the box and lift the lid to see what's really inside...whether it's good, bad, or (like most find, I think) a combination of both.