When Milo and Kirsten decided on a divorce, we all expected it to go smoothly. After all they had high-powered professional lives, were independently wealthy and blessed with good genes in the looks department. No kids. Milo was the son of globe trotting diplomats (tact flowed in his veins in place of blood) and Kirsten had the hallmark of good breeding – a profound disregard for matters of personal finance. Money was never an issue.
So we never saw it coming.
“Okay you can have that set of records we bought on our honeymoon” and “your grandma’s armoire is yours of-course. I wouldn’t dream of keeping it even though it has my clothes.” That’s how they were.
But it all broke down when it came to the very last thing they shared – our book club.
Yup! No more Bread, Book and Candle. That’s what we called our potluck-food oriented book-club. We had reading every 4 weeks, always at their house.
Having amicably settled all else, the question came up “How do we divide the book club?”
Kirsten said “I started the club – I will call everyone to my place – okay sweetie?”
Milo said “There would be no book club membership if I hadn’t created the current format with the food and the camaraderie. I will continue with this one – why don’t you start another?”
I can only imagine what Kirsten’s response would have been to that because we were never told.
What we know is that the first time Milo called the book club together and said Kirsten had to leave town we suspected something fishy. The second time Kirsten had the book club meet Milo was missing and we knew.
“What’s wrong?” we asked.
For 11 years our group of 16 professionals, over-educated and under-romanced found much escape in classics – from Austen to Dickens to Fitzgerald to Emile Zola- our club helped us survive marriages, birthings, teenage-angst-kids and in one case a drug overdose.
But our club couldn’t survive the Milo-Kirsten split up. Soon it got really uncomfortable, the food started to taste like shit and one time when somebody quoted Little Women “blessings become a burden when not shared” about Mrs March’s big house, Sally actually burst into tears. Big sobs and somebody had to go get her Evian.
After that every week a couple would call Milo or Kirsten and say ” we love you both. We don’t want to take sides so we hope you understand if we stop coming to the club.”
Initially both Milo and Kirsten were pretty civilized but later they took to begging – “please stay- it will be fine. time heals,” etc. I heard through the grapevine that Milo had called Kirsten and asked for the records back. Kirsten wanted her armoire back. They were even going after one anther’s trust funds.
I admit I was the last one to call them. But what could they have done? Sometimes you just have to let go. Maybe then they would have parted friends. And the worst part is, don’t think me callous please, our group cannot get together as a book club anymore either – like ghosts they just pop in uninvited.
Writing 101: Your Voice Will Find You
You’re told that an event that’s dear to your heart — an annual fair, festival, or conference — will be cancelled forever (or taken over by an evil organization). Write about it. For your twist, read your piece aloud, multiple times. Hone that voice of yours!