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Stephanie
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The Family Man: Glenn's Funeral

Say what you will about Denise, but who among us does not have a friend who knows how to dig herself into such a hole?  (Or perhaps we can relate firsthand?)

 

Share your thoughts about Denise's Disaster here. 

Stephanie
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KathyS
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Re: The Family Man: Glenn's Funeral

[ Edited ]

Stephanie wrote:

Say what you will about Denise, but who among us does not have a friend who knows how to dig herself into such a hole?  (Or perhaps we can relate firsthand?)

 

Share your thoughts about Denise's Disaster here. 


Holes being dug, is my forte....not in real time...in real life...only in writing, and on these boards!  Two different animals.  But, yes... I've painted a room out of anger, frustation, diversion.  I can be eccentric, at times.  Although, never painting a room 'black'.

 

First, we must look at Denise....I mean, how can you ignore someone so big and bold as this character?  I actually hate calling her a character, even though she gives the impression of being one, doesn't she?   She became a magnet to me... I was drawn to her...

 

I tossed and turned all night, trying to put my finger on this "character".... It hurt at times, because I saw some of her, as I've acted out some of these parts of her, myself.  I honestly have no friends like her...she'd drive me nuts!  Of course, not everything about her I can identify with!  Thank goodness! 

 

Her thinking, at the beginning of this novel, is shallow.  She thinks:  Denise!  Center stage, she becomes!  But, strangely enough, I saw her reasoning.... I thought of Bea Arthur playing this character, if only Bea Arthur were still living!  Denise:  Brash, bold, deliberate.  The three B's.  I think Elinor described her as "loud"!  Bigger than life!

 

There was much more than that going on with this character.  An incredible amount of insecurity existed in all of her conversation...  She searched for love.  She searched for the perfect relationship.  She search for family she felt was out of her reach.  I honestly felt pangs of sorrow for her.  She created her world, according to Denise, but was apparent in wanting to discover change in herself; to get to the point of having her dreams come true...that illusive family.  I don't think she could define the word, love.

 

Yes, she could lie to herself, and others.  Yes, she could manipulate the circumstances of a situation.  Yes, her neediness was bigger than life, but I saw something down deep within her soul, that really and truly wanted what was best for everyone....not excluding Denise, of course.

 

I saw her as a marble on a roulette wheel....spun, and bouncing around until she landed on either red or black.  I saw her as pinking shears, with hard edges to cut out her world.  I saw her as bigger than life, looking for comfort and love from anyone who could give it to her.  Henry was Denise's catalyist.

 

Kathy

Message Edited by KathyS on 06-10-2009 10:05 PM
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KathyS
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Re: The Family Man: Glenn's Funeral

We're four, and one fourth pages into the book, and the questions that come up during these pages are almost too many to think about!

 

Why did Henry decide to phone Denise?  He had to have known her well enough to know what he was in for.  He set himself up.  If he did, for what reason?

 

Is it right that an "X" of the deceased should show up at the wake?  Where the reasons simply to support her children?

 

Should Denise throw a hissy, or be congenial, after Glenn Jr. has "pulled his mother into the receiving line"?  What would you do?

 

Why are Denise and her daughter on the outs?....Denise casually says to Henry:  "Who knows why daughters do these things?  I can't keep track of my maternal shortcommings....."  And she drops the subject. 

 

I get the feeling she recognizes she has shortcommings, but doesn't allow herself the time to self-examine/incriminate, let alone incriminate herself in front of anyone; that's including Henry.  She rationalizes the whole thing with Henry.  She's less than honest, it seems, with a lot of people....now starting over with Henry with the 'poor me' scenarios.  But, Henry's no dummy with his retorts....mentioning her extra marital affairs.  [See, Denise, you're not always the victim....]

 

How does Denise's rationale bring it to the point of bringing up Henry's "sexual orientation"  As if it shouldn't matter to him if she had an affair while THEY were still married?  And why did she marry him?  I'm wondering what the problems where between them that caused her to stray...I use that word loosely.

 

This raises some interesting "fidelity" thoughts.  And some thoughts as to WHY Henry married Denise in the first place, knowing he was gay.  Was he "not at peace", as Denise brings up,  with his sexuality when they married?  I'm not sure how to frame this question:  Mixed sexual orientated marriages aren't always monogamous.  What brought them to their divorce...was it her affair, or his realization that he was actually attracted to men, rather than women?

 

I can't buy that he married her, just to be a father to her daughter, Thalia.  He didn't follow through on that obligation.

 

And, that's just the first four and one fourth pages!

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mairwill
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Re: The Family Man: Glenn's Funeral

All--

 

When I think of Denise I think of the Megan Mullally character, Karen Walker, on Will & Grace.  Spoiled, affairs, stylish, over-the-top are a few of the adjectives that come to mind.  I thought of that scene in Will & Grace in which they have the funeral for one of Karen's husband's and things just don't go right. 

 

Same for Glenn's funeral--Denise just couldn't keep her mouth shut and alienated everyone. 

 

I also found it interesting that Denise is the full-color gal and her and Glenn's apartment was very dull and blah. 

 

Later--

 

Mair

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KathyS
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Re: The Family Man: Glenn's Funeral


mairwill wrote:

All--

 

When I think of Denise I think of the Megan Mullally character, Karen Walker, on Will & Grace.  Spoiled, affairs, stylish, over-the-top are a few of the adjectives that come to mind.  I thought of that scene in Will & Grace in which they have the funeral for one of Karen's husband's and things just don't go right. 

 

Same for Glenn's funeral--Denise just couldn't keep her mouth shut and alienated everyone. 

 

I also found it interesting that Denise is the full-color gal and her and Glenn's apartment was very dull and blah. 

 

Later--

 

Mair


 

Yes!  Karen on Will and Grace!....(the throwing of the ashes is imbeded in my memory! :smileyvery-happy:)

 

-----only Denise is penniless...and almost homeless!  :smileysad:

 

I wondered about the apartment...mono-beige....and it seemed that Denise didn't have much influence over her husband's tastes, or if she tried, maybe he just didn't pay much attention to her....or....she gave in to what he wanted, not wanting confrontation...but I can't picture Denise as being selfless.  Or....maybe she was loud enough to cover the basis in the house decor department!  He wanted calm, maybe? LOL

 

Kathy

 

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Stephanie
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Re: The Family Man: Glenn's Funeral

Kathy,

 

I looked at the color of the apartment as a symbol of their marriage- dull and boring, neutral even.  The cigars smoking inside would have been the end of him for me, no matter how much money he had.

 

 

Stephanie
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mairwill
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Re: The Family Man: Glenn's Funeral

All--

 

I loved it when Denise painted at least parts of the apartment.  You go, girl!

 

Later--

 

Mair

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Stephanie
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Re: The Family Man: Glenn's Funeral

Mair,

 

I loved that too  -- and then all I could think about was the repainting! I once rented a house where some lunatics had painted a bedroom red with black trim on the mouldings... needless to say, I wanted to strangle them.

 

 

Stephanie
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mairwill
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Re: The Family Man: Glenn's Funeral

Steph--

 

How many coats did it take?  LOL!

 

Later--

 

Mair

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Stephanie
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Re: The Family Man: Glenn's Funeral

Mair,

 

You know, it was 25 or so years ago, and I still remember. Four to cover the red, six to cover the black.  I was pretty fast though, because I was so furious!  (I'm that person who cleans the whole house in an hour when I'm truly angry.)

 

 

Stephanie
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ElinorLipman
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Re: The Family Man: Glenn's Funeral

How did I miss this whole Denise discussion?!  She is definitely the character who gets the most feedback, and I'm sure that's because she's hardly what one would find sympathetic at first, second or third glance.  I did mean her to be something close to comic relief.  In the original draft (which I thought was the finished and final one), there was no more Denise after the Eddie Pelletier chapter.  Henry figuratively slams the door on her after she wonders aloud if she should have tried to get money from the sons in addition to the apartment.  My editor asked me if I could "bring Denise back and give her a grace note at the end."  She added with a sly smile, "Because I think you actually love Denise."  Hmmm, I thought...she could be right.  It was then I wrote the chapter called "A Little Mea Culpa," and then inserted her and Eddie (at least his cradle) into the Epilogue.  Now I wonder how I could have done without them. 
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KathyS
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Re: The Family Man: Denise

[ Edited ]

ElinorLipman wrote:
How did I miss this whole Denise discussion?!  She is definitely the character who gets the most feedback, and I'm sure that's because she's hardly what one would find sympathetic at first, second or third glance.  I did mean her to be something close to comic relief.  In the original draft (which I thought was the finished and final one), there was no more Denise after the Eddie Pelletier chapter.  Henry figuratively slams the door on her after she wonders aloud if she should have tried to get money from the sons in addition to the apartment.  My editor asked me if I could "bring Denise back and give her a grace note at the end."  She added with a sly smile, "Because I think you actually love Denise."  Hmmm, I thought...she could be right.  It was then I wrote the chapter called "A Little Mea Culpa," and then inserted her and Eddie (at least his cradle) into the Epilogue.  Now I wonder how I could have done without them. 

 

Elinor, I think your editor advised you correctly.  Denise is just a bigger than life version of a lot of us....yes, at times, the comic relief.....but, we laugh at her, we also laugh at ourselves.  There is something in Denise, I'm sure, that we all can identify with.  We've all done and said stupid things;  we all have regrets;  we all want to make good and right on something that went wrong....and the list goes on.  I challenge anyone to deny this!  

 

Denise is a strong character, and the one I was rooting for to turn things around in her life.  I wanted her to be liked.  Without her, the "Family" package ending wouldn't happen.  As far as Eddie, he came along for the ride, to hold her hand....Denise will always need someone to hold her hand.

Message Edited by KathyS on 06-27-2009 09:21 AM
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Stephanie
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Re: The Family Man: Glenn's Funeral

I almost hate to say it, but I liked Eddie!  I know, I shouldn't like the home-wrecker type (there were a few of those here, hm?), but perhaps the cradle was what endeared him to me. 

 

It was Thalia's feelings that kept me from letting Denise get too close, although for the life of me I still can't figure out how that girl turned out so well with the childhood I imagine she must have had.

 

 

Stephanie
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KathyS
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Re: The Family Man: Glenn's Funeral


Stephanie wrote:

I almost hate to say it, but I liked Eddie!  I know, I shouldn't like the home-wrecker type (there were a few of those here, hm?), but perhaps the cradle was what endeared him to me. 

 

It was Thalia's feelings that kept me from letting Denise get too close, although for the life of me I still can't figure out how that girl turned out so well with the childhood I imagine she must have had.

 

 


 

Stephanie, I liked Eddie, too....yes, it was the cradle....and don't worry about the "home-wrecker"....that home was already a wreck!  There was so much "neediness"....kind of like looking for that pot of gold, and in reality, it doesn't really exist, so you settle for the next best thing.

 

Since I come from a different generation...being a "little" older than you, I saw Thalia as my daughter...I connected with Denise because of the years of misplaced...I don't know what to call it...she was flawed.  She, herself, was misplaced.....I guess I connect with flawed/misplaced people...at least of my generation.  Thalia, like my own daughters, seemed to 'survive'....and turn out beautiful..No fault of mine! LOL