An Open Letter to Gatsby, Daisy, Tom, and Of Course Tobey Maguire.

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Hello ladies and gents,

I figured it was about time to address the marital quagmire you find yourselves in. Despite having had the benefit of thousands of literary critics and moviegoers pick apart your lives over the years, none of you, for reasons we can only speculate, has ever sought the practical advice of a divorce lawyer. Enter me.

We all know your story: Daisy and Tom married young; Gatsby was in love with Daisy all along, stalked her for years and moved into the house across the pond so he could stalk her more easily (Gatsby I’ll say it: you creepy); Tom was, shall we say, a bit of a ladies’ man; Gatsby, seeing the marriage wasn’t so good, made a move on Daisy, and then stuff really hit the fan. Since then, your social engagements have been nothing but awkward, and I’m guessing you’d all really prefer to just get on with your lives.

I mean, it’s not like we haven’t seen this chain of events play out before (give or take a few champagne-drenched flapper parties). It’s more or less the oldest story in the book. And I want to make it clear up front, I’m not blaming any of you. Well, except Tom, obviously you’re a swag-bellied canker blossom, but otherwise you’re all fantastic people. The issue here is not to apportion blame, but really to just give you some tips for handling this situation in a way that’s going to allow you all to escape this doomed marriage with the least amount of headache. I’ve outlined a simple plan below.

Daisy, read up on Pope Francis. Being Catholic, I know you have your issues with divorce, which seems to be the reason you’ve stuck it out with Tom for as long as you have. But, in a brilliant plot twist, the Pope has let us know with a slight chuckle that remarrying is actually fine! They were just kidding before.

Daisy and Gatsby, stop sleeping together. Just for a while. Since Tom was having affairs long before you were, Daisy, and you’ve got the utility receipts from his Fornication Condo to prove it, you’ll probably be all right–but just to be extra careful during the divorce, keep it in your pants until the papers are signed.

Daisy, get character witnesses. That is, if you want custody of your daughter, who is fortunately still young enough that she won’t remember any of this if you act now, have a list of people lined up who can vouch for you being the primary caregiver (and for Tom being, well, Tom).

Tom, prepare to pay up. You’re filthy rich and I’m inclined to believe no judge is going to find you a sympathetic character. Behold: your wife is embracing the liberté of the Roaring Twenties! And it’s going to cost you a pretty penny.

Gatsby and Daisy, keep my card. I sense you’ll be needing it in five to seven years. To quote your great wisdom, Mr. Gatsby, “Repeat the past? Why of course you can!”

Tobey Maguire, get the hell out of there. Just go. This is a tangled web (get it?!) and these people are crazy.

James J. Sexton

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