The other night my husband and I were watching a documentary about the poet Charles Bukowski, someone whose writing we both admire. We both came away from the film going “My God that guy was an asshole.” To the point which my husband thinks it might have ruined the poetry for him.
I don’t know. I think I’m a bit more compartmentalized about these things (yeah, me, Chump Lady). I can admire the poetry without admiring the man.
My takeaway was — being a great artist does not give you license to treat the people around you like shit.
In the film you see everyone giving the guy a pass for being an abusive, alcoholic asswipe. In one particularly revolting scene he’s telling his wife to leave him. “I’m done with you! You disgust me! Why don’t you get some high-priced Jew lawyer and divorce me!” (A recreational anti-Semite too, delightful.)
But she doesn’t. She sticks with him to the end and says nice things about him in his documentary.
Why? Because she was willing to pay the price of admission to be The Wife of Charles Bukowski.
It made me wonder how many people pay the price of admission to be married to their cheaters? Well, I can’t divorce him, he’s a surgeon. She’s hot. He’s the mayor. She’s fabulously successful.
We’ll never do as well again! Bring on the buffet of shit sandwiches for the privilege of being in the Great One’s orbit!
This is a more understandable (if superficial) chumpdom. These cheaters really DO have game. There is substance to their sparkle. It would give me pause to divorce Bill Clinton, once leader of the free world. (Why it gave me pause to divorce the once third-rate federal employee I was married to, I have no idea.)
There are people standing in line to be as “lucky” as you! Why wouldn’t you want to be Mrs. Charles Bukowski?
(I dunno. Maybe because his face looked as if it had been spattered with buckshot and he probably smelled like rancid meat?)
Most of our cheaters are underachievers, never living up to their full potential. And yet, others do. They really have gifts.
Of course, I still think you should dump anyone that requires you to be their abused sock puppet sidekick to their Great Persona. (I’m talking to YOU, Mrs. Charles Bukowski.)
Admire the poetry, divorce the man.