big divorce energy 2: divorce xxl

this isn’t an essay, it’s just a small silly thing. after last week’s Big Divorce Energy post, a couple friends and I started making a list of things that have big divorce energy, and I figured I’d share with everybody. Divorce Energy of course has several sub-categories -- Golf Dad, Expensive Caftans, Art Teacher who is Going Through It, Reply Guy, Steely Dan, etc -- and I was going to create an Approval Matrix-style chart, but then realized that would be way more work than I bargained for (huge props to every editor who makes those) and also couldn’t quite figure out what the different divisions of that chart would be (if you think of it, please share!). So, for this list I’ve just kind of shoved everything together with notes here and there. Please feel free to add/respond with your own items for the list, tell me what you think some larger categories might be, tell me I’m wrong, etc. normally letters for the whole subscriber list will be a once-a-month thing, but since I sent the first part of this to everybody, I figured I should do the same with this small follow-up. there’ll be a real essay, for subscribers, later this week.

An Incomplete List of Things That Have Big Divorce Energy

Andie MacDowell in MMXXL (the actual largest divorce energy, more than The National/Matt Berninger)

Steely Dan (so much divorce energy that they’re both an individual item and a whole category)


Hawaiian Shirts


California (some parts of California (Laurel Canyon, Hollywood, The Bay Area) have larger divorce energy than others but the whole state has big divorce energy)

Burning Man

Record stores

Record collecting

All vinyl records and also the phrase “on vinyl”

Acid Jazz

Honestly, pretty much all jazz

Cher and also everything Cher has ever touched

Prestige television

Karl Ove Knausgaard and anyone reading Knausgaard for the duration of the time they are reading the book(s), especially if reading them in public.

Any pre-GM era Saab


The Mazda Miata (the Most Divorced Car)

BMWs, all BMWs, every single BMW has divorce energy

The Democratic Party

Photography (probably the art form with the largest divorce energy)

Any salad at a sit-down restaurant that has meat or cheese as one ingredient and costs more than $15

The American Novel from Edith Wharton on (early American literature didn’t have divorce energy because of Calvinism, since then it’s had many different kinds of divorce energy, but has remained Very Divorced)

All high school english or drama teachers always but rarely any high school science or history teachers. High school math teachers are a solid 50/50. High school teachers, as a monolithic concept, are very divorced.

Justin Bieber


Those expensive natural fiber loofahs

Literally everything made out of salt that doesn’t go on your food: Salt crystal lamps, salt scrubs, salt crystal deodorant

The word “sensual”


Wine (all wine has big divorce energy, and if I knew more about wine I would rank different grapes in terms of divorce energy, if someone who really knows wine wants to do this, I would love so much to read it. Obviously Chardonnay, though.)

Monica Lewinsky (my queen, my love, the angel of my heart, I wish real life Monica Lewinsky could be friends with Andie MacDowell’s Magic Mike XXL character)

Patsy Cline

Most female country musicians, whether or not actually divorced

NOT Bruce Springsteen (a man who is divorced)

The only cats who have divorce energy are those fluffy expensive-looking smushed-face ones

The one hundred square foot radius around Bob Dylan within which Bob Dylan radiates Divorce Energy like a dying sun

The New York Times’ Vows section

Pottery (there’s an interesting thing right now where a whole bunch of very Divorced things have also become Cool Brooklyn Girl things - pottery, succulents, crystals, tarot, caftans, lots of large indoor plants, gigantic right-hand rings, leopard print, etc)

Scotch (obviously Lagavulin is the most divorced scotch, at the crossroads of Fancy and Only Heard of It Because of Ron Swanson, but all scotch is divorced)



The word “spiritual”

Red Rocks 

Really all the tourist parts of the Southwest

Every hotel spa  

Basically all of my friends except the ones who have actually been divorced

 - compiled with help from Emily Hughes, Jess Zimmerman, and Thomas Strickland.