“Wife Goes On” by Leslie Lehr is a witty, sexy novel about what it feels like to get divorced. Four characters, each woman going through a divorce in a completely different way, connect with each others’ lives and find out that they have something very important in common–the overwhelming emotional burdens that come with losing your status as part of a couple. One of the main characters talks about the great mystery of the divorce process. She realizes after a long struggle to find her way that the process has an incredibly steep learning curve. And once you “get” what’s it’s all about, you have a vast store of information that’s now useless for you and only of interest to someone else just starting.
A quote begins to express some of the book’s sharp observations about what it means to be single in our society. An exchange between two waitresses in a restaurant:
‘The four in the corner’s clearing, but the server just got stiffed and there’s a VIP party due. We need a loser table.’, ‘I beg your pardon?’ Diane said. The waitress turned around ‘Oh, I’m sorry, that’s just an expression. It means table for one.’
The expression shows unthinking prejudice that’s not unlike the accepted use of racist language that was so common about African Americans in our country for generations.
If we change the language, we can start changing the thinking. We’re working on it…