My current husband appears for less than 1000 words in the epilogue of my memoir. He is my “happily ever after,” but really any story can have a happily ever after if you stop it at the right point.
“Comedy,” in its Shakespearan-era usage, had a very different meaning from modern comedy. A Shakespearean comedy is one that has a happy ending, usually involving a marriage. There could be horrifically tragic components, but as long as it ended with a marriage, it was a comedy.
My memoir is not a comedy, but it has comic aspects and for my sake (and my readers’) it seemed fitting to end with my remarriage. We all crave happy endings. This maybe stems from our desire for things to have purpose.
In the space of just nine months, my marriage was shattered. I discovered that my husband of six years and father of my one-year old twins, had secretly been abusing drugs. I chose to stay with him and immediately got pregnant. I miscarried. He ran up purchases on a credit card just in his name and then embezzled from his employer. The day after I discovered his embezzlement, I filed for divorce. The day I told him I had filed, I found out I was pregnant again. The divorce was put on hold, and I miscarried a few months later, followed by an ambiguous period of “were we or were we not going to stay together?” followed by an emotional affair that gave me the courage to finally leave.
It was an annihilating time of my life. Everything that had once felt stable — my home, my marriage, my conception of my self — was no longer so.
But I survived and then thrived and then found love again. I am whole and I found a partner who is also whole and we are making a shared life together. Oscar Wilde said, “A second marriage is a triumph of hope over experience.” This is me being hopeful.
My mentor suggested I write my memoir as a film script and maybe go along the whole process backwards: sell the script and then the book.
As soon as I told my husband, he said, “Can the Rock play me? And can Danny Devito play your ex-husband?”
“Who would play me?” I asked.
“You think I should play myself in my own movie? So I could make out with the Rock?”
“Well, get a stunt double for the kissing part.”
That’s always the question: who would play you in a movie?
You obviously want them to be better-looking, right? Or would you rather them be not as good looking as you, so no one is disappointed when they see a photo of the real you? Julia Roberts played Elizabeth Gilbert in the movie version of her memoir Eat Pray Love.
If Julia Roberts played me in a movie, I imagine the first thing anyone would think when they saw who she was supposed to play was, “Oh.”
Here is my short list of celebrities I would allow to play me:
1. Natalie Portman
She looks great with short and long hair as do I.
2. Anne Hathaway
Same as above.
3. Emily Blunt
Not only is she lovely and fantastic, I also really really hope she would bring her husband John Krasinski (who played Jim Halpert on The Office) on set.
4. Vera Farmiga
Because a celebrity look-alike generator pegged her for my dead ringer.
5. Rachel McAdams
My husband used to have a thing for her, and her smile, like mine, is one of her best features. She also would only be allowed to have supervised visits with my husband.
6. Kristen Bell
Like above, her smile is her best feature, but she’d need to dye her hair dark brown, which I think would look terrible on her.
7. Anna Kendrick
Because maybe she’ll be my best friend. I’d even accept a frenemy.
As for my ex-husband, it would be more generous for a younger Matt Damon to play him than Danny Devito. When I was still angry at him, yes, but this is progress.
Who would play you and why?