Skip to comments.51st Way to Leave Your Lover
Posted on 11/25/2005 10:42:22 AM PST by Congressman Billybob
My wife, Kemberly, has left. Thats ordinary enough. It happens a few million times a year, assuming that half of all American divorces are the wifes idea. But this is about the why, not the what, of that decision.
The why is unique, and extraordinary. If I were she, and she were I, I would do the same thing. (Work on it. That sentence is grammatically correct.)
My wife has been offered the job of Head Chef of a new restaurant out of town, to be built and run to her specifications. To that you say, well, some commuter marriages work. Not this time. The restaurant is a few miles outside Pago Pago in American Samoa. And that is 8,000 miles from my home in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Our situation raises an interesting philosophical question. Would you, should you, leave your husband/wife if the chance of a lifetime the chance of several lifetimes came along?
Heres our story. The Internet recounted its beginning, so its appropriate it should recount its end. We began with serendipity, a Newsweek recommendation of my column that brought me together with a lady from Indiana who read it. We end with serendipity, also.
Anyone with skills as a chef, and manager, and caterer, would jump at the opportunity to run a brand-new, four-star restaurant, if such an opening came to his/her attention. A fair number of you are closet chefs. You watch the Food Network. You think maybe you could chuck your humdrum day job and build a satisfying future with a special food product, or a brand-new restaurant. You know who you are. I saw you smile.
But opportunities like that arent advertised in the paper. Like much else which appears in the newspapers, things arent what they claim. You can rest assured that a help wanted ad that says it offers the Opportunity of a Lifetime, doesnt.
Heres the story behind this story. Back in June, Kem made a business trip to American Samoa. The population is about 67,000, but of those the ones who come from mainland US or other nations are a smaller group and everyone knows everybody. When anyone new shows up, the residents get to know him/her promptly. Its the equivalent of waiting for the stage in the American West a century ago.
Anyway, it turns out that a group of businessmen were interested in creating a new, four-star restaurant near Pago Pago. They knew what they wanted, but not who would do it. Enter a talented woman from North Carolina. Everybody invites each other in that group home for dinner. (There aint a lot of nighttime entertainment in Samoa.)
So, the folks on the island found out that Kem is a fine cook. They also found out that she knows her way around commercial equipment and management for kitchens, and multiple styles of cooking from many nations. To make a long story short, she had an opportunity to become Head Chef, and partner, with full creative control.
She looked at three possible locations for the restaurant, two for new construction and one a mansion with wrap-around porches overlooking the Pacific. Think of the architecture and environment described in Somerset Maughams famous short story, Rain. He was living on Samoa when he wrote that.
Kem has not described to me how long it took her to consider this offer that came out of the blue. Maybe she didnt want to hurt my feelings worse by telling me that her delay was measured in nanoseconds rather than days or weeks. In any event, she returned to North Carolina, and immediately told me the good news (or bad news, depending on your viewpoint).
I understood right away how incredible this opportunity was for her, and why she wanted to accept it. So, instead of getting hysterical, Ive worked with her on such details as getting a long-term, no-cut contract, and possible copyright issues with the name of the restaurant. So there you have it; probably the most extraordinary reason for the end of a marriage that youve ever heard.
Will I miss Kem? You bet. Do I wish her well? Absolutely. Since many readers of my columns are friends of both of us, drop her a line care of my address and Ill get it to her. And if youre in Pago Pago in about 14 months, look her up at the club, have a Thanksgiving dinner that cant be beat, and say hello.
About the Author: John Armor is a First Amendment attorney and author who lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. John_Armor@aya.yale.edu
John / Billybob
Sorry to hear it Billybob.
Good luck to you both.
Certainly hope the financing of the place is on the up-and-up.
Well, women come and women go, but a good chef...
Anyways, best of luck to you both.
You're a better man than me, Billybob.
I wish you both well.
It all depends on what is most valued by the individual. For me, my wife and children are the chance of several lifetimes!
It must not have been love anyhow. Come easy, go easy.
Just a question, though: why aren't you in Samoa?
My husband is the chance of a lifetime the chance of several lifetimes.
The answer is a resounding no.
Good luck to both of you.
That's so sad.
Pago Pago Billybob?
I can understand writing something to work though difficult issues. But divorces are hard enough, and putting it out there in public while it's happening - even in such a civilized, rational post as yours - can't make it any easier.
I hope you can find a way to keep your marriage together. It is too important a thing to let a job or distance destroy it - even an incredible distance. Good luck.
That's a terrific point of view!
Aw, she'll get to missing your rapier wit, subtle charm and Adonis-like features and come running back.....
And if she doesn't, I'm sure there's plenty out there willing to call themselves Mrs Billybob
If you made a list of the reasons why any couple got married, and another list of the reasons for their divorce, you'd have a hell of a lot of overlapping. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
Sorry to hear this Billybob. No fret man, there will be more ladies than you can shake a stick at in the future, but I know you won't want to hear that now. In years to come, you also are likely to find out there was more to this whole thing than you now might think.
So take a good dose of skeptical scotch and keep it on hand brother, and hang in there, the best is yet to come
in finding THE woman!
I really enjoy reading all of your postings and I hope to keep seeing them here as you go through this transition!
You both have my prayers. May God bless you and keep you!
Why would ANYONE post their personal business online????
How many ways can you cook a Yam or roast a pig?
Happens all the time in the military...people work with it...
Agreed. That anyone would cheapens marriage. It becomes a business venture rather than a building block of society.
Best of luck to you.
Best of luck to you. May God comfort you.
Simple answer - No, I wouldn't leave nor would I expect my wife to leave for the "chance of a lifetime." Our marriage is our "chance of a lifetime". My wife gave up a tremendous career to follow me overseas and if she had said she didn't want to move, I would have stayed, no questions asked.
If a DUmmie had written this article, FReepers would be ripping the author a new a#&hole! Complaining about lack of commitment to marriage in general, etc, etc, etc. And you would be justified in your criticisms.
What part of, "For better or worse, 'til death do us part." do you not understand? Or is it "til a great job opportunity do us part"?
Nothing easy about it. I've been through a divorce that I didn't want, and it was one of the worst things a human being can go through. In hindsight, the divorce enabled all the really wonderful things that have happened since, but I had no way of knowing that, then. So, it is with the voice of painful experience that I wish them both well.
Hold on a second - that's sort of a non-sequitur. You are leaving something out: are you getting divorced because you don't want go to Samoa with her or because she doesn't want you to come?
Are you the one putting your career in North Carolina ahead of the marriage?
Your priorities are whacked, dude.
Like a couple others here, I don't think it was true love if you're both allowing it to end like this. It's nonsensical.
Hmmm.. If she could leave(for good) for a better opportunity and did then she is better off and so are you.. Cause the marraige was just a convenience.. and merely got inconvenient..
It gets better than that(marriage).. A gold plated bidet is just a portal to a sewer.. sitting on one can fool some people into thinking they have finally arrived.. and the question arrived where?.. never seems to cross their minds at the time..
On the otherhand working there for a year or two could add to her credentials immensely.. then she could quit and get a good job AT HOME..
"..for better, for worse..."
Nothing in there about chefs et al... (And I am a closet chef....)
Sorry, for her. Sorrow, for him.
Why end the marriage? Only you two know if it's strong enough to withstand the distance. You both sound like conscientious adults; give it a chance.
UGH! Losing a wife and a chef at the same time! That's awful!
Now the important question: Tomato based BBQ sauce or mustard, brown sugar and vinegar? Inquiring minds want to know.
Sorry for your loss.
"Serves 40-60 perhaps?"
SAD BUMP :^(
So many questions, so little time.
Where you invited to join her?
Instead of jumping to divorce, why didn't you try a "long distance" marriage? I bet the homecomings would be great.
This would be the start of something wonderful for you both.
Why the defeatist attitude?