Tuesday, March 9, 2010

From the Desk of Jennifer Belle's Husband

Dear Reader:

My heart soars with pride—my darling wife, Jennifer Belle, has done it again: written a hit and given it a funny, selling title, The Seven Year Bitch. I only ask you to understand that it’s FICTION. Although she has given the character of the husband a name disturbingly similar to my own--he's "Russell Trent," and my last name is Krents—I bear no resemblance to the fool depicted in these pages. I am not a third Collyer brother; I do not cry when I get stung by a wasp; I do not burp in couple’s therapy. All I’ve done in our wonderful but thankless marriage is continue to do my best to remain human

In this new novel, my wife puts forth a theory about modern marriage and motherhood: namely, that after seven years of it, even the sweetest, most well-meaning wives are forced to become—thanks to their biologically inept husbands—dour, nightgown-wearing MOTHERS. It’s unavoidable. It isn’t their fault. And as spot-on as Jenny's skewering of inattentive, ineffectual husbands might be, I must remind you that it is in no way based on ourown marriage For example, I did not run her over with our car. I barely tapped her. And while I did drive over the stroller on another occasion, I wasn’t the one who left it in the middle of the driveway, and it wasn’t as if our child was in it at the time.

I am very grateful for the part you have played in Jenny’s success, and so is she. In fact, in the hope that you’ll invite her to visit your book club, I’ve packed her bags and put them by the door.

Of course the current recession is a very difficult environment in which to sell books. But Jennifer agrees with Estee Lauder, who, when asked about her views on advertising, said, “I don’t believe in television, I believe in Tell-a-Woman.” Marriage is hard, especially when you throw a kid or two into the mix, but in these pages, I think, my wife has really put her finger on something. Jenny is not a bitch, even when she feels like one. She’s a beautiful, loving wife and mother who has her hands full working and taking care of our boys. While she may very well believe her own theory about becoming a bitch, what she may not understand is that to me and the men I know, our wives will always remain the beautiful, sexy creatures we fell in love with. I think women will read this book and feel relieved to know that someone sees motherhood the way they do, and they will also laugh a lot. They will tell their friends and the word of this book will spread.

Besides, this book has to sell, because after what she’s done to the “character” of my mother, I will not be receiving an inheritance.

Her faithful servant,

Andrew Eliot Krents

Friday, October 12, 2007

Near Death Experience

Being married and having a baby has made it impossible for me to be a writer anymore. I used to draw from my experiences, sordid sexual humiliations, desperate attempts at finding love that were hilarious and relatable and mortifying, crazy and complex friendships, a little work, a little alcohol, a little travel. Today I just found myself almost writing a scene that takes place in Ikea for my new novel. Ikea. Swedish meatballs and big boy beds and plastic bins. The conflict: the big plastic bins come in blue, the medium in red, and the little ones in white, and while I want two big, two medium, and two little, I don’t want a patriotic theme for my son’s room. The conflict: I have no life anymore and these bins have become the most important thing in the world to me. I have never even said or written the word “bin” one time in my life until now. In the past, filmmakers have called my books cinematic, my imagery and great locations. Now I am through.

At first I thought it was going to Ikea itself and not being married that ended it for me as a writer. Clearly it’s dangerous for a writer, or anyone really, to walk into a place like Ikea. But now I remember that I had been to Ikea one other time in my life and came out unscathed. Years ago, I went in someone’s van with my then-friend Sandra and some beautiful Italian men who had just moved in next door to her and we laughed and made out on the beds and bought nothing, vowing obviously never to go back. I went on to write three novels and never once did Ikea creep into the margins. So I can only reason that it’s marriage that’s ruined me. Or, it is possible that a person can survive Ikea once, but not twice.

When we got home from Ikea, my exhausted two year old son sat crying on the stairs in my apartment. He pounded the top step over and over again and screamed, “Damnit, damnit, damnit, damnit, damnit.” And I thought, look what I've done to us.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Crack Whore

Last night I dreamt that my husband was seeing a young, beautiful black crack whore. We were having dinner in a restaurant and she approached our table and he looked caught and started to walk away. She gave me a stack of Hallmark cards he had written to her as proof of their affair. I gave her $50 for crack because I felt guilty that I was thinking how much this would help the new book I was planning to write – I could add a character of a crack whore and the Hallmark cards. I felt bad when I saw her notice I had a lot of hundred dollar bills in my purse.
This morning when I was getting dressed I found my Woody Allen socks and I flashed on the dream. I realized I’d had it because I was angry at my husband for taking the socks last week and wearing them – my favorite Woody Allen socks – that he had given me. The socks are black and the crack whore in my dream was black. And when you’re married, so little is just yours, and your husband wearing your favorite socks is as much a betrayal as any other.
So this is probably what my blog is going to be like…