Sunday, December 13, 2009

Your Children Will be Reading This Someday

The Wall Street Journal's De Gustibus column laments the rise of the wife-at-the-expense-of-the-husband tell-all memoir.  In particular, he complains about Cleaving, the new memoir out by the author of the very charming memoir Julie and Julia, Elizabeth Weil writing for the New York Times, and Tsing Loh's Mother on Fire.  I haven't read any of them, and I don't see why anyone would want to.  They appear to be the literary equivalent of reality television, which I also don't watch because it bores me to tears.

What I really don't understand, though, is why the women with children (in this case Ms. Loh and Ms. Weil) would do this to them.  The internet preserves everything for eternity, so in a few years Ms. Loh's children (and all their classmates) will be able to read that she "would not be able to replace the romantic memory of my fellow transgressor [with whom she committed adultery] with the more suitable image of my husband" because of his sub par sexual ability.  Ms. Weil's daughters can read that she "never quite shook the feeling that my role in [her husband's] life was to be the steady, vanilla lay. We never discussed this. We just had a strenuously normal sex, year after year after year."  I know that children have to accept that their parents are sexual beings nowadays, but this just seems over the top. 

I don't have any children myself - I am basing this entirely on how I would have felt had I (and my peers) read such things about my parents in my teenage years, and what it would have done to my psyche.  Am I overreacting?

1 comment:

  1. I can't speak for anyone else but I heard a breath, a hint of something of that nature between my parents some years ago and I've never wanted to Clorox my brain so badly. So no, I would never ever think that kind of thing would be appropriate to put out in public for all to see. But I'm also intensely private about that sort of thing to begin with. I know people who don't really hesitate to discuss what I call "squicky" things with their parents.