Women, talking about being women
March 19, 2019 9:21 AM   Subscribe

About 15 years ago or more, my mother quoted one of those middle-class white lady writers at me (Nora Ephron or Joan Didion or someone whose name I can't conjure, maybe) saying something along the lines of "any woman widowed after 50 years of marriage to the same man has been divorced several times". It was much better expressed, but it's the sort of thing that Google can't help me with. Anyone recall one of those white middle class writer ladies of a certain time and place writing something along those lines?
posted by crush to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Oh gosh, that sounds so familiar. If you want to say more about what the meaning is, that might keep jogging my memory. I want to say Erica Jong but nothing is coming up when I search, so I could be wrong.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:33 AM on March 19, 2019

I agree, could you explain a bit more about what the quote meant, or in what context your mother quoted it to you?

Does it mean that given the ups-and-downs of marriage, a 50-year stint would have had many different phases, including experiences akin to divorce? Or that a death is several times more impactful than a divorce, after 50 years together? Or something else?
posted by cranberrymonger at 10:47 AM on March 19, 2019

Nope. That's all I got. It was one of those American white women writers, born before the mid-40's and she wrote something about long marriages containing their own divorces. It was not particularly comical, just observational. My mom mentioned it to me 15ish years ago and I've never been able to track it down.
posted by crush at 10:55 AM on March 19, 2019

There's a line in Mary Doria Russell's novel The Sparrow in which an older woman says to a friend something like "I have been married at least four times, to at least four different men. They've all been named George [lastnameIcan'tremember]...", describing her long marriage (to just one man, that is). A little bit off base from your description but close?
posted by huimangm at 8:24 PM on March 19, 2019

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