I found this in my drafts folder from August of 2012.
I got suckered into reading this. It's bullshit. It's so obviously bullshit that I can't believe it was printed, much less spread throughout the innertubes as some kind of wistful, nostalgic look back at the fun we had in our twenties and thirties. First, let me be absolutely clear, I'm sure this woman's husband did stop drinking. Do I think that they spent hundreds of dollars on bottles of imported absinthe? No. Do I think they were Boho squatters in East Fucking Germany? No. Do I think they spent years in Portugal? Maybe a vacation or two, max. Do I think they wore linen and sipped G and T's while barefoot at their "wedding shower"? What the FUCK is a wedding shower? Most importantly, who in the name of god decides to become a bicycle racer, quits drinking, and only rides twenty miles a day? Twenty miles? He rides half an hour a day and is competitive? Does he have one leg? Is it a unicycle race? Let's fix this pile of bullshit to look less like someone's rejected late 80's college novella: "My husband and I used to have a great party every year until we had kids. We'd drink too much when we went out, and we'd fight when we got drunk. He decided to start up a health routine and quit drinking. I didn't. He doesn't care that I still drink. He was more fun when he wasn't a fucking health nut". Everything else in this "story" is bullshit. It's a goddamn shame that instead of writing "novels" and "stories", everything nowadays has to be a "memoir". It's even more of a shame that after so many "memoirs' have turned out to be total bullshit; "A Million Little Pieces", "Broken Glass", "Angela's Ashes", "Dreams of My Father" etc... we are still stuck with this shit at the top of the charts. It's time to dial back on the misery and romanticism of said misery. I blame the high school English curriculum. Everyone read Fitzgerald when they were 14. He was a very romantic guy. He had a great story. He was a FANTASTIC writer. But when Fitzgerald was taught to us back in the early eighties, it was his story that was taught, not his writing. I can sum up my Sophomore year American Lit class: Early novels, Hawthorne and Melville, Impenetrable slush. Later came Wharton and James, over done, Dickensian, and booooring. After WW1 comes the good stuff, Dos Passos, Hemingway, Steinbeck, Fitzgerald and Faulkner. Books you might actually want to read, some of them are entertaining, some heavy-handed propagandist bullshit, all well-written. The best written are also the most entertaining, Fitzgerald, Faulkner and Hemingway. Fitzgerald, is by far the most entertaining. His books are the John Hughes movies of their day. Politics are backgrounded and the books themselves are deeply personal. His stories aren't memoirs, but they are taught as if they are. That's a problem. High school kids are insufferable romantics. The ones that decide to become writers almost always do it during the "Great American Novel" section of the syllabus. They all want to be the romantic dissolute, running around the left bank, moaning about lost loves, good times past, and bad choices. The problem was that they don't seem to realize the difference between WHAT Fitzgerald wrote and WHY Fitzgerald wrote. Fitzgerald wrote his romantic stories for MONEY. He wrote stories that SOLD. He was a PROFESSIONAL WRITER. He wrote for magazines, radio, novels, movie studios... he wrote commercial. Fitzgerald was also a real-life alcoholic, married to a bi-polar mess. He was a celebrity for a bit, then a has-been. Nothing really romantic about the way he ended up. His books may have been romantic, but they always had an ending. He died of his alcoholism in late middle age, his characters died young, or stared off wistfully into the fog of the great depression waiting on their inheritance. He spent years begging for money from his friends, denying he was still drinking and getting fired for producing unreadable dreck. My point is, only an asshole would want to model his or her life on this train wreck, and only a bigger asshole would lie about it. Most of the shit on the best seller lists are attempts to turn the author's life into some version of "The Beautiful and the Damned", only that book wasn't a romanticism of the type of characters the modern "memoirist" pretends to be, it was a fucking indictment. It was also FICTION! Just like the modern memoir. If you want to have a good time with a pretend drunk, head to a frat party and watch the freshman girls. If you want to write a good story, write a story about people who DO something. And for God's sake, stop bullshitting everyone.