I finished a book a couple days ago, The Paris Wife. I may or may not do a review on it, as I wasn’t intending to read it for this blog, but it was all about love, so I might as well. I read it because I watched Midnight in Paris and almost died, so now I am obsessed with “the Lost Generation” and want to read MORE! Every time I fly somewhere, I go to the Powell’s (bookstore) in the airport, and pretty much always buy books. So I was browsing the sale section and found the book, and it is about Hemingway’s first wife, or rather, her story of their relationship, but as imagined by Paula McLain. It’s as based upon fact as she could do it, so I guess it’s historically pretty accurate. I am supposed to be reading a psychology book right now for this blog, but I LOVE fiction or at least an interesting story, fiction or non, so I read The Paris Wife.
So if I do the review, I will tell you a little more about the plot, but if you Google “Hemingway” (or you already know), he did not marry only one woman. So, Hadley and Hemingway got divorced. I knew it was coming, so I was always worrying about how it would happen. Luckily I didn’t know anything about his personal life, so when the character entered the plot that became his second wife, I had no idea, although I suspected her. BUT…what I am writing this about is that I WAS DEVASTATED. I sobbed my eyes out for the last half an hour or maybe more of reading it. Supposedly Hemingway loved Hadley the most, but…he cheated on her and divorced her. McLain tried to make it sound like they were meant for each other, even after all the years, they were the best, truest pair, and maybe she didn’t embellish anything there, maybe Hemingway did call Hadley and say the things he said in the book.
However, after thinking about it for a while (that night, the next morning, and throughout the day), I decided that I think it is BS. If you really, truly love someone, you don’t fall for someone else. You don’t cheat on them and leave them. Granted, he wanted to just have 2 wives and be one big happy family, but when she made him choose, he chose girl number two. I realize that I am new at this, and people get divorced all the time, and they say things like they still love the person, they’re just not right for each other, it just didn’t work out,…I don’t even know, whatever else they say. Sure there are other reasons, and many divorces that end badly (I’m sure a lot, possibly most, divorces end because the people are pretty mad at each other and don’t have any kind thoughts), but I’m referring to the ones where they say that they still love the person, and they ended it on good terms. I don’t believe this. I mean, I’m sure they love each other. But I think that you can love someone and that is not a person that you are truly, deeply in love with, that you would give the whole world just for them, and you would do ANYTHING to be with them and stay with them. I’m sure there can also be situations where one person feels that way and the other doesn’t, in which case the person that feels that way doesn’t get to choose to be with that person forever.
What I’m trying to say, I think, is that I believe there are levels of love. I have had lesser levels of love before; I dated before, and it didn’t work out. I’m sure the vast majority of people do not plan to get divorced when they get married, but I promise I will do everything in my power to stay with my man. I love him more than I can even begin to express, and there is NOTHING that could make me ever want to give him up. I mean unless he turned into a monster and did some terrible things, but we’re not going there. I know that it isn’t always easy, I know sometimes you don’t feel it and you have to work really hard. But I know that is what I want to do, because I can’t ever lose him. So this story where their love was supposed to be true love, and she always loved him (I believe her) and he always loved her (BS), as sad as it is, I just can’t believe that he loved her as much as he said he did. I would probably still sob if I read it again, because they DID love each other, but I just don’t believe it was as true and selfless as a love as I believe it is possible to have. I think the selfless vs selfish part is probably a main component there, but that’s another post for another day.
I’m calling out the stories where they don’t end up together. If someone dies, fine, maybe it really was an epic love. But if they end up with other people, for whatever reason, and they say “oh, but I never forgot this other person,” NO. If you REALLY loved that person as much as you claim to, you would be with them. You would have done everything in your power not to hurt them. You would never have stopped trying, never let go, never let anything get in the way. Maybe it’s still the hopeless romantic in me, but my love story is going to be one of those happily ever afters. Not always easy, but amazing for the rest of my life. I’m disowning the sad endings. Unless one of the characters died. But even so, I don’t think that was the only way to have their love remain perfect. I will still love those movies/books though, and still sob my eyes out.
I’m still really upset for Hadley.