When Eat Pray Love came out, it appeared that Elizabeth Gilbert had successfully navigated her way through steps 1-8 of having it all. But to succeed in this game of serial monogamy a woman needs to stick the landing. In truth this detail was missing from the beginning as the hunky Latin stud Gilbert claimed to have traded her boring loyal dude for turned out to be a short bald elderly man who married her for a visa*. But so long as Gilbert was willing to keep up the charade, so were most women in the west. They wanted to believe the lie because they desperately wanted to have it all as well.
But now it has all unraveled very publicly, first with Gilbert announcing that she is divorcing her second husband, and then with her announcing that she has become a lesbian**.
Now I’ve just left another marriage, it’s starting to look irresponsible and people are saying I’m having a midlife crisis, and ‘What is she doing?’
The truth is Gilbert’s romantic life has always been a disaster, but so long as it appeared that she had stuck the landing her tale could be spun as one of triumph, as a sort of sexual rags to riches story. Gilbert’s best move here would be to keep a low profile and allow the women who want to follow her path pretend it didn’t really morph into dark comedy. But more than anything Gilbert craves attention, so even though this would be the pragmatic approach, she simply can’t help herself.
I need to live my life in truth and transparency, even more than I need privacy, or good publicity, or prudence, or other people’s approval or understanding, or just about anything else.
*It could be worse. He could also have been gay.