Posted by: ecrivain | July 9, 2008

Second Chance

So, I’ve been reading Jane Green’s “Second Chance” and I was a little surprised to read her little biography and see that there was now no mention of a husband. Just the four kids.

Don’t ask me why I was so intrigued by this and went to all the trouble of Googling her, only to discover this interview, where she explains the story behind her novel:

…I was forced to finally face the cause of my unhappiness: my marriage. I had married a good man, but entirely the wrong man for me. I had married him not because I loved him, but because I was thirty, because I thought that this was what I was supposed to do at thirty, because I thought time was running out.

I knew he would be a good husband, a good father, and I thought—oh how I prayed—that I would fall in love, that over time I would know I had made a good decision, that although I had never had passion, what we had—friendship, shared aims—was so very much more important.

We separated and I moved back to my old town, to a tiny cottage by the beach, myself and my four children squeezed into a house that was roughly as big as my old kitchen. And I started to find peace again, and I started to remember who I was before I got married, who I was before I turned myself into the wife I thought I was supposed to be.

Oddly enough, I heard from an old friend recently, who was reexamining her marriage and her life — though she’d skirted around the subject before in the last few conversations we’d had, this was the closest that she’d ever come to admitting that she was unhappy with her marriage.

Over a glass of wine, she said that she couldn’t fathom doing the crazy things that some women do in the name of love — and maybe it was because she’d never been in love before.

She wished she’d done this or that before she’d gotten married and had kids — and like Jane Green, she seemed to be struggling to find out who she was.

It was one of those rare instances where I knew that someone was looking at me as the lucky one — still doing things for me and sure of who I was.

To be fair, though, I’ve never had the opportunity to figure out what I’d be like in a “we” as opposed to simply being “me.”

Some stuff from the book that made me pause and think:

  • “I think there are many different kinds of marriages. I think there are some people who are lucky enough to find a soul mate, to find the nperson with whom they are dsetined to be, but I think those are few and far between. I think most of us just make a choice and get on with it.”
  • She read somewhere recently that the key to happiness is not getting what you want but wanting what you get…
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    1. I’m gonna have to check that out! Do you mind if I steal part of her quote for a future blog. I feel she hit the nail on the head with that.

    2. Sure, go ahead…Jane Green is one of those guilty pleasure reads for me. She has this other book out called “Mr. Maybe” which got me hooked.

      Give it a read and let me know what you think.

    3. sometimes i’m not sure if it’s a good thing or not, but i don’t think i could just settle for anything than what i thought was less than best for me. so maybe i won’t be divorced with 4 kids, and maybe i might be doing things for me or whatever, but in everyone else’s eyes i could just be that weird one who was waay too picky…

    4. Is it wrong that I think that every single one of my friends did that? That being-they chose to date a guy and eventually yeah, they started to care for that person, but honestly, I don’t think I could say with confidence that they are soulmates with their significant others.

      None of them seem to have that je ne sais quo (such a cheezy phrase, but how else do you describe it? haha) I actually have told other friends that “so-and-so has no taste, she’d date anyone that was interested in her. I, on the other hand, have “a taste” or “a type.” I know what I want. I think they just want anyone, not someone.”

      Does that make us better people? That we know what we want and won’t settle for less? Yet, all I can think of is that they’re the ones that are in relationships, getting married, settling down…

    5. Is it wrong to think that? No. It’s probably the truth — but nobody wants to say it out loud.

      What’s better, anyway? To hold out for the right person or to settle for someone and then wake up 15 years and realize that you’ve vowed to tie your life to someone else’s…and you don’t really love them?

      But then again…maybe it’s easier for us to judge from the outside. I have no idea what it’s like to be in love and to be able to overlook someone’s asshole-like qualities.

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