Media people

Journalist explains young Filipino wife is not what you think

haldane+wife.jpgDavid Haldane, a former reporter for the Los Angeles Times, has a personal piece in the new Orange Coast explaining that he met his wife on the Internet and she's about half his age — he's 63 — "I know what you’re thinking. Can’t say I blame you." Then the story gets interesting. It's a talker, especially among the magazine's female staffers, I'm told. Here's a sample; whole thing is here: My Imported Bride.

I haven’t always raised the eyebrows of my neighbors. Once upon a time, I too fell well within the cultural norms of America and Orange County. Married to a woman roughly my own age with a similar ethnic background, we had two children—a boy and a girl—whose presence in our household hardly warranted dramatic attention. About the most exotic island we ever visited was Santa Catalina. And, like most couples living the suburban dream, we assumed it all would last forever.

Then everything fell apart.

To be honest, it was my fault. I’m not proud of this, but one day I awoke to the realization that I had become the embodiment of an American stereotype: the middle-aged husband who imagines something better over the next ridge. Unfortunately, it was not a passing fancy but, increasingly, the dominant preoccupation of my life, ultimately leading me into the bottomless pit of an extramarital affair. Gradually, of course, my marriage unraveled until the ignominious afternoon when my wife, overhearing a hushed telephone conversation between me and my paramour, rightly sent me packing.

My last day in the house is etched into memory as if it had happened this morning: Me standing forlornly in the front yard as she screeched off in her car. Later I sat in a nearby park feeling a whole new kind of emptiness as I contemplated what was to come. By evening I’d been exiled to the spare bedroom of my brother’s home in La Palma.

Also in the issue, Orange Coast columnist Shawn Hubler goes first-person too in a piece that looks back on the 1992 riots and their aftermath. She describes being at Florence and Normandie as a white staff writer for the Los Angeles Times:

I was a young mother; I was also a newspaper reporter. I was alternately worrying about children and deadlines when a teenager stepped into my peripheral vision and hurled a hunk of loose pavement at my company car.

The air smelled of smoke. The crowd turned toward us. I remember thinking, with annoyance, that I didn’t have time for my life to be altered. I remember imagining my 7-month-old beating the tray of her highchair, and my 9-year-old stepdaughter toiling over homework. I remember clutching the wheel with one hand as I held up my press pass, realizing as I made eye contact that things had gone way past the point of credentials. I remember voices rising and the photographer’s camera clicking as he leaned out the window, and objects starting to hit the Pontiac, hard.

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