Sunday, January 22, 2006

Grounds For Divorce

While our right-to-privacy continues to vanish, one need only peruse the news stories of yesteryear to see how little privacy our recent forefathers enjoyed.

Community newspapers found even mundane items worthy of front page coverage. Divorces, injuries, surgeries all landed on the front page. Often, a slip on January ice prompted a front page mention.

In a story examining Coshocton divorce petitions, a laundry list of causes implored the courts for divorce. Some reasons are humorous, others tragic. Alas, divorce has always been a nasty business. But in 1917, you needn't be a celebrity to have your divorce case become a front page story.

Here are a few of listed reasons for divorce:

  • "...he chased me out of the house in my nightgown in the middle of winter..." Hide and seek gone awry?"
  • "...he pulled the hat off my head and stamped it to pieces on the street..." Hats and forks seem to a common flashpoint for divorce.
  • "...he tried to put my eye out with a fork..." See.
  • "...he has not spoken a kind word to me for seven years..."
  • "...all the clothing he gave me in 3 years was a cheap hat and he didn't pay for that..." A free hat...grounds for divorce? No wonder people don't wear hats anymore.
  • "...she made me board with strangers..." Could it have been for a tax write off?
  • "...he stuck a table fork in my neck..." What's with the community fork fetish?
  • "...everytime he speaks, he says a "cussword..."She must have married a relative of Lenny Bruce or Richard Pryor.
  • "...when I ask him for money, he says, "go to the Salvation Army where they keep tramps..." Thank heaven for the Salvation Army.
  • "...he beat me when I asked him to go to work..." Domestic violence should land you in divorce court...or jail.
  • "...he often brings home a quart of whiskey when there is not a loaf of bread in the house for the children..." A case of Marie Antoinette syndrome?


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