Tag Archives: love

Novels about women abandoning their families are the new ‘mommy porn’


Via NY Post: If there is a truth universally held in fiction and by society at large, it’s that grown women aren’t supposed to run away from home. If they do, they risk losing everything — their families, if they have them. Their social standing. Sometimes even their lives.

But in the new novel “Leave Me,” by Gayle Forman, that’s exactly what the protagonist does, albeit not permanently. It’s more of a time-out.

Maribeth Klein is a busy working mom who’s so busy, so put-upon, she doesn’t even realize she’s had a heart attack — on the same night she’s supposed to host a potluck dinner, no less.

“At this very moment twelve 4-year-olds were rampaging around her apartment,” she thinks, after receiving the news about the heart attack. “Someone was going to have to clean up after them, to find the Goldfish crackers in the closet . . . Someone was going to have to make chocolate-chip pancakes for Saturday morning breakfast and to make sure the pantry was stocked with all the ingredients.”

In the days after her heart attack, she isn’t even allowed to recover in peace. Her mother, who is allegedly there to help, keeps hosting guests and leaves Maribeth to clean up coffee cups and dessert plates. Her husband seems incapable of putting together a FreshDirect order without her involvement.


Fed up, she hightails it out of town and goes to Pittsburgh to look for her birth mother. While there, she also meets a man that seems far superior to her husband, holes up in a cozy new apartment where she’s able to cook for herself, make new friends and spend some much-needed time focusing on herself.

It’s an escapist fantasy where the fantasy doesn’t even involve sex, just a few kisses. Time, attention and the ability to focus are the real fantasy.

Call it the Runaway Mom genre.

Today, while only half of all marriages have a chance of lasting 20 years or more, that number goes up dramatically among college-educated women (who tend to buy and write fiction): 8 in 10 of these women will still be married after 20 years, according to a 2015 report by the Pew Research Institute.

The 35- to 55-year-old demographic came of age during the high divorce rate of the 1970s and ’80s, after all; they don’t have any illusions about the impact divorce can have on families. Divorce wouldn’t offer an escape from the minutiae — it just creates new logistical problems.

“Being able to drop everything is a luxury most of us don’t have,” says author Forman, who conceived of the book originally as a revenge fantasy after she experienced chest pains during a family vacation.

All she kept thinking about was how the family would manage if she had to have some sort of surgery. The year before, she had had a sinus procedure; the recuperation had not gone well. “When I was writing the book, it was the runup to the ‘50 Shades’ movie and I would tell people, ‘[My book] is the real mommy porn!” says Forman. “People would confess that they had the same fantasy. Every single woman had felt the same way.


It’s a different take on other female escapist books that we’ve seen in the past, among them the hugely successful book “I Don’t Know How She Does It” by Allison Pearson (2003), which features an overwhelmed working mother who alternately wants to escape to and from the high-powered job that she loves (plus, a handsome colleague in the New York office).

Then there’s “Eat Pray Love” (2006) about a woman trying to find herself post-divorce as she travels from Italy to Bali to India, but it’s no coincidence that protagonist Elizabeth Gilbert is child-free. Can you imagine a mother embarking on this trip? Forget the spiritual journey; the child-care arrangements alone would have stopped her at the airport. Maribeth Klein’s trip to Pittsburgh seems much more manageable. When mothers escape, the location is incidental; it’s the ability to exist outside of domestic minutiae that counts. (“I feel like I could rule an empire,” a frustrated mom friend once e-mailed me, “If I didn’t have to worry about things like new toddler snow boots.”)


The Australian author Liane Moriarty also nails wifely desperation. In “Big Little Lies,” (soon-to-be an HBO series with Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon), she explores what can lie behind the façade of a happy marriage, and in “The Husband’s Secret,” she examines just how much compromise and forgiveness might exist to keep a marriage on track.

If things are so gloomy, husbands so incompetent and bumbling, why don’t these women just leave for good? Some do pass a point of no return. For the most part, though, this isn’t “Madame Bovary” or “Anna Karenina,” where women who step outside the bounds of marriage and convention pay for it with their lives (although the 2015 novel/cautionary tale “Hausfrau” by Jill Alexander Essbaum did end with a bored adulterous mother jumping in front of a punctual Swiss train.) “Madame Bovary” and “Anna Karenina” were written by men, after all, who wanted to make sure their female characters paid dearly for ignoring the status quo.

In 2016, female readers tend to be more practical, less punitive. Fans of these books enjoy a dalliance or a brief escape — as long as it’s consequence-free. The fantasy of freedom involves being able to return home at will. It isn’t that they want to run away forever — just for long enough to catch their breaths.

“We have the fantasy,” says Forman, but “it doesn’t mean we don’t love our children or our husbands. It’s not just about running away physically, it’s about getting away mentally for a little while.


Letter From Jesus About Christmas

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don’t care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that let Me go on.

If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn’t allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn’t be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1 – 8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don’t have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of writing the President complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don’t you write and tell him that you’ll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up with your prayer. It will be nice hearing from you again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can’t afford and they don’t need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.

5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don’t know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile. It could make the difference between life or death.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren’t allowed to wish you a “Merry Christmas,” that doesn’t keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn’t make so much money on that day, they’d close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary — especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.

9. Here’s a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no Christmas tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don’t know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, or some other charity that believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.

10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don’t do things in secret that you wouldn’t do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.

Don’t forget: I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I’ll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I’ll help you, but the ball is now in your court.

And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love.

I love you,


Best friends

H/t FOTM’s beloved Miss May (Maziel)


Grab a hankie…

Til death do they part

Gordon and Norma Yeager, Iowa couple married 72 years, die holding hands

From CBS NewsAn Iowa couple who was married for 72 years died one hour apart last week in the hospital as they held hands.  Family said the story of Gordon, 94, and Norma Yeager, 90, is a real-life love story.

On the day she graduated from high school, Norma Stock said yes to Gordon Yeager’s marriage proposal. The couple got married on May 26, 1939 in State Center.

“They’re very old-fashioned. They believed in marriage ’til death do you part,” said son Dennis Yeager.  Dennis Yeager was the youngest of four children born to the couple. His sister Donna was first born.  “Staying together for 72 years is good, I’d say that’s exceptional,” said daughter Donna Sheets. 

The way the kids tell it, dad was the life of the party while mom kept everything together.  “Anybody come over — she was the hostess with the mostest. She just seriously — the more she did — the more she smiled,” said Dennis Yeager. “Dad would be the center of attention, like, ‘Wheee look at me,’ and mom was like ‘get him away from me!’ You know we even got a picture like that.”

Norma didn’t really want the distance, and family said she hardly left Gordon’s side for 72 years.  “They just loved being together. Everybody argues once in awhile, but they still, he said ‘I have to stick around. I can’t go until she does because I have to stay here for her and she would say the same thing,'” said Dennis Yeager.

Dennis Yeager said the couple left home last Wednesday to go into town, but they didn’t make it.  At the intersection of Highway 30 and Jessup Avenue just west of Marshalltown, state troopers said Gordon pulled in front of an oncoming car. The Iowa State Patrol crash report said the other driver attempted to avoid the crash but was unable to stop in time.

“I rushed from Des Moines where I was working and saw them in the hospital,” said Dennis Yeager.  In the intensive care unit of Marshalltown’s hospital, nurses knew not to separate Gordon and Norma.  “They brought them in the same room in intensive care and put them together — and they were holding hands in ICU. They were not really responsive,” said Dennis Yeager.

Gordon died at 3:38 p.m. holding hands with his wife as the family they built surrounded them.  “It was really strange, they were holding hands, and dad stopped breathing but I couldn’t figure out what was going on because the heart monitor was still going,” said Dennis Yeager. “But we were like, he isn’t breathing. How does he still have a heart beat? The nurse checked and said that’s because they were holding hands and it’s going through them. Her heart was beating through him and picking it up.”  “They were still getting her heartbeat through him,” said Donna Sheets.

At 4:38 p.m., exactly one hour after Gordon died, Norma passed too.  “Neither one of them would’ve wanted to be without each other. I couldn’t figure out how it was going to work,” said Donna Sheets. “We were very blessed, honestly, that they went this way.”  “They just loved being together,” said Dennis Yeager.

At their funeral on Tuesday, Norma and Gordon held hands in their casket. Family said they will be cremated and their ashes mixed together.


Ode to Dog

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you; or birds of the air and they will tell you; or speak to the earth and it will teach you; or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the lord has done this. In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” -Job 12:7-10

St. Bonaventure called them “creatures without sin.” God sends them to us as a reminder of His unconditional love.

Woe to those who abuse and mistreat His creation. (Warning: this video is hard to watch):


Siegfried Has a Panda

Siegfried is a regular commenter and occasional contributor to Fellowship of the Minds.

Here’s her darling Brazilian feline, Panda.

Panda definitely looks loved, doesn’t she?

If you’d like your pet’s pics published on FOTM, send them to me at FellowshipTips@aol.com.😀


You Took My Place!


One day, a man went to visit a church. 

He got there early, parked his car and got out. Another car pulled up near the driver got out and said, “I always park there! You took my place!”

The visitor went inside for Sunday School, found an empty seat and sat down. A young lady from the church approached him and stated, “That’s my seat! You took my place!” The visitor was somewhat distressed by this rude welcome, but said nothing.

After Sunday School, the visitor went into the sanctuary and sat down. Another member walked up to him and said, ” That’s where I always sit! You took my place!” The visitor was even more troubled by this treatment, but still he said nothing.

Later as the congregation was praying for Christ to dwell among them, the visitor stood up, and his appearance began to change….

Horrible scars became visible on his hands and on his sandaled feet.

Someone from the congregation noticed him and called out, “What happened to you?”

The visitor replied, as his hat became a crown of thorns, and a tear fell from his eye, “I took your place.”

A big h/t to beloved fellow Doc’s Wife.