Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I promised myself that this blog wouldn't be all about La Moustache. He doesn't deserve to be the subject of my blog, and I hope to move on soon and write about more worthy subjects. Next week I'll be hanging out with a litter of kittens in my new apartment in a new city, Moustache will be off on his voyage, and it will be easier to pretend he doesn't exist. But right now it is awfully hard to think about anything else. Somehow the fact that a school I was supposed to work at is threatening to sue me and is (falsely) accusing me of taking computer equipment is like a punch from a baby mouse compared to the painful public demise of my relationship.

I announced to La Moustache yesterday that I am going to be on Oprah. In my fantasy Oprah will thoughtfully ask me about the horrors that have happened to me recently, beginning with the injustices that I lived through as a first grade teacher in a nightmarish Brooklyn public school last year. In an outraged tone, she will question me about the end of this traumatic year, when I was offered a series of dream jobs that fell through one after another. How as this difficult period dragged on my boyfriend became depressed and gradually transformed from supportive and comforting to an empty shell, and how the situation culminated when my final job offer fell through and he was so emotionally absent that he lied via text message and told me he couldn't call me because he was in a meeting. How I decided I needed to go away to Europe to convalesce, and how upon my return my boyfriend asked me if I would travel the world with him, then abruptly changed his mind and announced that he would be doing the trip alone. Finally, she will ask me about the effects of the media circus surrounding my now-ex-boyfriend's voyage.

Following this moving conversation about my suffering, Oprah will open her arms to me and hug me to her. Oprah's hug will be heartfelt and comforting, and I will tear up a bit. Oprah will pull back, offer me a tissue, and then resume the hug as the crowd claps compassionately. Finally, toward the end of my time on her show, she will hand me the keys to a new car. No, not a Land Cruiser, a Prius. Oprah knows that I don't have the slightest interest in owning a Land Cruiser. The audience will roar their approval.

I spoke recently with a Wise Woman who helps me navigate the intricacies of life, and she gave me some advice: I need to hitch up my britches and start protecting myself. That means not Googling articles about La Moustache in the news, and not reading comments people post about how cool his trip sounds. Not perusing lists of people who have donated money to help him pay for gasoline. Not checking his blog or his Twitter, and not glancing out the window at his Monster. I am good at protecting myself, and I know how to do it. Most of the time, I have great powers of self-control.

I did really well with this the day after our conversation. Not a single click on his website or a peek out at the driveway. However, over the weekend it has felt that I would need to be buried under a glacier in the Antarctic to avoid mention of the Great Adventure. Three days after Moustache's article came out, I thought the media was ready to move on, but it turns out that the weekend is when newspaper travel sections come out, and things were just beginning to heat up. Mutual friends are posting it on Facebook (and then immediately getting blocked by me). My friends' parents are calling them to report having spotted it. Moustache is spending his days talking on the phone to television producers and literary agents and answering e-mails from adoring fans.

Dutifully trying to follow my Wise Woman's advice, I asked La Moustache kindly not to mention any news about his trip to me. However, I later amended my request: If there was some news that I likely would hear elsewhere, like if Moustache were to be the subject of a reality TV show, it would be easier to hear about it first from him. As an afterthought to emphasize my seriousness, I threw a block of Gruyere forcefully on the kitchen floor.

But recently some of the media frenzy has taken a subtle turn and honed in on our relationship, briefly mentioned in Moustache's article and leaving much to the imagination. One website put the piece on its homepage and for a time (I've been told) attached the description, “Man leaves girlfriend and job to travel around the world.” How many comments did it receive? 902 and counting. How many did I read? I didn't count, but probably in the neighborhood of 830. I know, not very good in the self-control department. Many of these comments were about me, and a handful were actually insightful. Naturally, others were offensive. Today Moustache met with a TV producer who is interested in doing a show on the trip, and is interested in our relationship. He envisions a scene of us Skyping on Christmas day. Let me tell you, if a television station ever gives me airtime, I will have a thing or two to say about La Moustache, and I seriously doubt that the words “Merry Christmas, darling” will be involved.

(In an ironic little twist, this same producer suggested that La Moustache could make a killing through corporate sponsors, and specifically told him that the outdoor clothing company where my father is a vice president would surely be happy to give him tens of thousands of dollars if Moustache would don some of their outerwear. Little does he know that the chances of this happening are even less than his happy Christmas scenario. As my father said, “Over my dead body.”)

It feels very strange to have people I don't know speculating about me, and particularly strange that my self-involved ex is controlling the discourse. I am thankful that this is all anonymous. I'm looking forward to cozying up with the kittens in Boston, and thinking that a vacation to Antarctica may also be in order. If Oprah tries to reach me, let her know she can find me there.

1 comment:

  1. Um, so where *specifically* should we send Oprah? Where are the new digs? Exciting!