Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Cranky Divorcee Addresses the Plight of the Irish-American Heroine

Iris Murdoch said it best: “I think being a woman is like being Irish. Everyone says you're important and nice, but you take second place all the same.”

In a belated tribute to Saint Patrick’s Day, our peculiarly Irish-American holiday that encapsulates the duality of the Irish in its revolting signature dish of corned beef and cabbage and its gloriously enabling obligation to drink, the Cranky Divorcee will address the romantic plight of television’s most beleaguered Irish-American heroine: Fiona Gallagher.

Sometimes one must break from form a little. The heroine in question would never write to ask for help for an advice columnist. Call her too proud, despite the title of her show. She’s not the type to whine, unlike some who write to the Cranky Divorcee. This advice is unsolicited, but perhaps even more necessary for being so.

Fiona. You keep hoping that they’re going to change—your family, your boyfriends—even though you know they won’t. But that hope is very hard to let go of. So you muddle along, negotiating a return to a relationship with a sociopathic asshole who isn’t even attractive. Now he’s married and fucking up even more ambitiously. So why do you let him into your life? Because he’s a fuck up, and that feels familiar.

You know how to do fucked up. But there's more to life! There’s a middle ground between rich douche bags who treat you like a hooker and assholes who vault the line between stalker and admirer, never looking back. Go find some middle ground! The way you live now is heart breaking. It's even cracked mine a bit.

A visit to the world of the British version of your show may be in order. You won’t believe how short shrifted you’ve been when you meet the other Steve. Played by James McAvoy—well, I could just stop right there, couldn’t I? British Fiona runs away with him and leaves her family behind. She lives happily ever after with a sweetly reformed felon who no longer indulges in grand theft auto. Take a cue. St. Patrick would approve. More importantly, so would I.

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