Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Penelopiad

Margaret Atwood writes a haunting retelling of Odysseus's travels through the eyes of his long-suffering wife Penelope. While this re-telling would have been richer if I had read The Odyssey within the last 10 years, since I did read it several times in high school and college, I remembered the basics of the story (and I also play Age of Mythology, which helps). While Atwood writes about their families and their marriage, most of the book is dedicated to the question most women ask after reading The Odyssey. Why did Penelope stay faithful all those years? Atwood answers and yet doesn't answer that question. This poignant retelling should be read in women's studies courses and also with the reading of The Odyssey in literature courses. Unlike other retellings that I've read, Atwood stays faithful to the myth yet opens up new possibilities to an old story.


My husband is coming home soon. (And I stayed faithful because he wasn't gone for 20 years and having sex with various goddesses.) I've been e-mailing his x and trying to arrange for us to have the kids as much as possible when he returns. She sent me an e-mail the other day in which she made me so angry, she was lucky we weren't having a conversation. I know that she was trying to say, "gee I really wish Wes could spend more time with the kids and therefore I will let you have as much as possible", but it came out as "I'm so sad that Wes chose the navy over the kids and therefore doesn't get to see them often, which is bad for the kids." And I know that's what she meant. How do I know that? Because the kids have asked why daddy chose the navy over them. They are also convinced that Wes has to pay to work in the navy (yes, I am being serious). I know that someday the kids will grow up and know the truth, but until then I hate the fact that this is what they think. Especially when the truth is "the kids don't get to see their dad because you decided you wanted some other man's dick in your twat and so left your husband for some guy you met on the web and had only seen in person twice. You're such a great mom that you got on a plane and flew all the way across the country to move in with this guy, even though you had only met him twice in person. So don't tell me it's my husband's fault that the kids will only be able to count the time spent with their dad in weeks and months. If you had honored your wedding vows, they would be able to count that time in years."

Ok, I've been lazy and my house is a mess. I must get to that. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

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