Buffy Holt who is one of the best writer/bloggers I know, sister will be walking the Susan Komen Walk to stop breast cancer. Please read Buffy’s post. It’s very moving and very needed.
There will be a new Courting shortly. It will be way different yet similar. This is my last post until the new blog. I am so out of here–it’s 65 degrees.
There’s a less depressing one below this. I had consumed the better part of a bottle of wine when I wrote the post below. I actually still like it. This is me hung over.
She was lonely. When he left he had told her that she was both a pity f–k and a pity friend.
She had come to New York for him. Helped him get established. He had thought that as soon as he arrived in New York, his star would shine and he would be discovered.
They never lounged around. She went from gallery to gallery with photos of his work. She bought the loft that they lived in and he worked in. Of course she put it in his name. It was the 1950’s. The bank told her that she needed him to cosign though she put down the deposit and mortgage payments. The bank strongly advised that they keep it in his name. She put the money in the bank, and he signed the checks.
She was a temp, going from law firm to law firm, wherever they needed legal secretaries to work the graveyard shift.
She trusted him to use her money wisely. In her heart she knew that the investments were foolish. Legal secretaries made good money, but he could spend money so quickly. He told her that he was spending for success. He told her that one day they would live in riches and glory.
In high school and college people had raved about his canvases. She knew one day he would make it.
After two decades she was tired. Her legs would be swollen from making the rounds during the day. Her eyes were tired from pouring over legal documents at night, and writing the press releases he demanded of her.
She was tired of cooking for his ever expanding group of friends. She was just tired. So tired of trying. But they had come to New York for his career and he was confident that tomorrow he would be discovered.
One day in the mid 1970’s, a reviewer from The New York Times came, and just like that his career took off.
He found a younger version of her, and kicked her out of the loft. She had never thought to have a bank account in her own name. When she tried to access it, all the money was gone.
She had no family, no real friends to advise or help her. Just a furnished room at the Y. She felt too old and too ugly to begin again.
The Judge awarded him almost everything. The Judge explained that their assets had been comingled for too long. Since he signed the checks and the loft was in his name, the judge would only give her a small slice.
One day she looked at the bare light bulb on the ceiling of her room and wondered if the rope would stay hung and the knot in place.
Later her life and court hearing would be taught in womens studies classes in universities, and in law schools. Later was too late.
I should explain that women really didn’t have many rights in the 70’s and prior to that.
Women who were getting divorced and comingled assets with their husbands usually couldn’t afford a good enough lawyer to prove that the assets were hers–or that she contributed to the upkeep–and I’m not talking housework etc
There’s an All in the family where Edith tried to get a loan to buy Archie a present and had to have him cosign it.
We owe women who paved the way for our “freedoms” that we take for granted, much. I did get married in the early 70’s–was very young. Didn’t take my husband’s name and to get a joint checking account–for household expenses–had to show the license. To get a good apartment–had to show the license
But that was nothing compared to woman who worked themselves frazzled to help their husbands achieve and were tossed out for a younger model.