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Alice Brooks

Alice Brooks turned 33 in November and wonders when she'll feel like a grown up.

When Alice was little, her athletic and college-basketball-playing father sent her to sports camp every summer, which she hated. Instead of participating, she spent her time with the littlest campers — helping the counselors and telling stories. In elementary school, Alice didn't have many friends, so she spent her time with the littlest kids — helping the teachers and telling stories. Whether Alice became a teacher because she was meant to or whether she just got in the habit because she was unpopular and un-athletic isn't known. After graduating from college, Alice moved to San Francisco with Jake, the boyfriend she'd had since her sophomore year of high school. Over the next several years, they opened a joint bank account, got married, and moved to a fancy apartment. Alice taught a variety of grade levels, got a masters degree, and wondered why she wasn't happier. After ignoring the inevitable for several years, Alice and Jake finally admitted the demise of their 10 year marriage in the summer of 2006. Jake moved out that November.

A year and several months later, we find Alice here: wondering why the divorce process is so long and tedious; living with two cats she loves in a distressing, cat-lady way; teaching high school drama to hostile, inner-city teenagers; writing picture books that are rejected with lovely personal notes from publishing houses; contemplating a PhD; piling rolls of film into the freezer while swearing she'll get into the darkroom next week; and wondering why she can't keep a plant alive.

In addition, Alice is currently, unexpectedly, in a relationship — a real one, with feelings and everything. This means that she has endless fodder for worry and overanalysis: regular dating/relationship fodder + "I haven't really dated since I was 15 and I have no idea what I'm doing" fodder + all the scars and neuroses left from ending a 10 year marriage. The practical upshot of which is that she's filled two journals in the last two months and spends a silly amount of time in her colleague/close friend's classroom hyperventilating.

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Alice Brooks

Most Recent Articles

Alice’s Adventures in Vienna

Thursday, 17 April 2008 13:01
Turns out, when traveling, I'm astonishingly antisocial.My solitude was premeditated in Wales, as I was determined to learn how to be alone. I figured I'd feel differently in Vienna. It's a city, after all. It doesn't grind to a halt at 5 pm. I…

Stray Cats And Kisses

Saturday, 19 April 2008 17:00
I was re-reading Ursula Hegi's Stones From the River and came across this: "She thought about him when she was not with him. Sometimes too much, she worried. What if he turned away from her greed for his love?"It's comforting to know that's common…

Throw Me Down

Tuesday, 22 April 2008 09:56
There's a lot to be said for lust.Jake and I were never that sexual a couple. Sex was good, sometimes great. There's definitely something to be said about having one long-term partner, everything being the first for both of you. Learning about sex…

Is the Loneliness Finally Gone?

Wednesday, 23 April 2008 16:00
I just had a very odd moment.Sometimes I get lonely. I'm never quite sure what it is what I want when this happens, I just get knocked a little flat by the reality of my solo flight.I'm up too late. When I finally tear myself away from the computer, …

Divorce: A Large Part Of My Identity

Sunday, 27 April 2008 15:00
Counting "divorced" as one of my personal adjectives is a bizarre thing. Like it or not, this is now a huge part of who I am. I don't like this as an identifier, but there's no getting around how much this has shaped me. You don't spend 15 years…


Wednesday, 30 April 2008 13:00
While I like solitude, I have issues with silence. I like to have the TV on when I work. I play books on tape when I cook or clean or do dishes. I can do without, but there's an awful lot that goes on in my head and I prefer something else in the…

Counting Blessings

Friday, 02 May 2008 13:00
Once, in college, my friend Danielle and I were having a bad couple of days, so we decided to count our blessings. We wrote down everything from "We have legs" to "We know how to say ‘Where is Stresa?' in Italian." It helped. I still have the…
Lindsay knows exactly what to do when a friend is getting divorced. She doesn't press. She doesn't pester with questions. She doesn't fill the space with reassurances or aspersions - she allows silence. She allows time. She knows that what's needed…

Song Analysis with Alice

Monday, 05 May 2008 16:00
I've been listening to Ingrid Michaelson all week. One particular CD — it's like she's crawled into my head and is digging about it in, only in a catchy/lovely/song lyrical kind of way. My past two years are there in their entirety, neatly,…

Settlements and Shackles

Wednesday, 07 May 2008 16:00
Getting a settlement is handy. Since Jake owns a company, since the company is lucrative, since we were married for 10 years, and since he's not an asshole, mine is a decent one. More than decent, really. Because giving me what we determined is "my…

Alice Continues To Ponder Finances

Sunday, 11 May 2008 11:00
Money, the image that money brings, meant a lot to Jake. I couldn't get a bookshelf or a pair of shoes without checking in first - I would have gotten a look, a comment, a day of silence. A plane ticket to see a friend for the weekend, that was out…

Notebooks And Post-Its

Saturday, 17 May 2008 11:00
I carry a notebook around with me. When I read a sentence I find particularly beautiful ("her heart a red cup of fierceness tucked among ordinary things") or when someone says something particularly hilarious ("I didn't hear you because when I walk…

Ingrid Says It Better

Monday, 26 May 2008 13:12
How strange it is, to have someone who was closer to you than anyone, someone who knew everything about you, and have them suddenly a stranger.I barely talk to Jake, and when I do, it's all business — irritating business at that. He doesn't…

Appreciating the Mush

Tuesday, 27 May 2008 13:33
When I started dating Mike, I was taking an acting class. The class was through one of the more prestigious theater companies in the city, the professor was a lovely and talented man, and the class was the most God-awful, boring thing ever.For those …

Proverbs With Alice

Wednesday, 28 May 2008 13:18
Being in a relationship again has been rather difficult. Those of you who have read this from the beginning will have noted my general inability to just let things be, my worries, my attempts at self-sabotage.It's gotten easier as it's gone on…

Larry Love Update

Friday, 30 May 2008 08:24
It's official: Larry the Cat has given up his vendetta against Mike.The last time Mike was in town Larry made it clear that he was displeased. This was odd, since Larry is a cat-whore. He loves everyone, boys especially. His normal reaction on…


Saturday, 31 May 2008 16:00
Over the past year and a half or so, I've gotten very comfortable being alone, doing things alone. Some things, I've found, are better by myself. I've come to like my own company. I've found that I prefer the quiet, prefer solitude.Traveling, for&

Things Alice Doesn't Want You To Know

Sunday, 01 June 2008 17:00
When you start dating, you realize there are a number of things you don't necessarily want the other party to know about — at least, not at first. Habits, tendencies, things you're mildly embarrassed about, things you're not sure will go over…

Vacation Anxiety

Tuesday, 03 June 2008 10:26
Traveling together. This opens up all kinds of possibilities for discovery. You're really together when traveling. Proximity and the logistics of this trip means that Certain Things will come up.We'll be hiking. I have no stamina. At all. This was…

Pondering Divorce? Get Some Single Friends

Wednesday, 04 June 2008 10:43
You've learned to ask for help. You've leaned you don't need to do this alone. You know you don't have to sit there on your miserable little island trying to cope all by yourself.But then you realize you don't actually know anyone you can call and…
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