If Shirley Partridge Had Been Divorced

The Partridge Family Band

Thanks to  “Lipstick &  Playdates”  for –A Tribute To Shirley Partridge: The Coolest Single Mom Of All Time  — for the great post. I started a comment, got a notification on my iPhone and couldn’t find it again.  So I wrote a little post.

Mrs. Partridge

I completely agree, Shirley Partridge was the coolest single mom.   But, had Shirley Partridge been a  current day divorced single mom rather than a widow it would have been completely different.

There’s simply no way she could fit rehearsals and gigs in around the kids’ school work and visitations with Daddy.   No way.

You want us for a great gig next month?  Oh sorry, no, the kids have to visit their father that day, any other dates?  I can see if I can switch.   Can I get back to you?   No? “

Mr. Partridge would have the final say-so.  If he won’t switch dates, no gig.   Gotta work around “the schedule.”

And what about that cool bus?   Painting that bus would surely have been used as evidence against Shirley, calling into question her sanity and her parenting ability.

I can see it now:

Lawyer:   Mrs. Partridge, how do you and the children expect to travel to these, what do you call  them? 

Mrs. Partridge:  Gigs.

Lawyer:  Gigs?   Ah, yes, gigs.  And again, how do you suppose to arrive at the destination of these gigs.

Mrs. Partridge:   By bus.  

Lawyer:   (Holds up picture of bus)  Is this the bus? 

Mrs. Partridge:   Yes. 

Lawyer:  How did it come to look like this? 

Mrs. Partridge:  The kids  painted it. 

Lawyer:  The children painted an old  bus.    No further questions . . .  except . . .   Tell me, does Danny play football?

Mrs. Partridge:   What?  No. Have you seen Danny?  No.  He has no interest.   Plus, the other kids would probably kill him or he’d convince them to kill each other.

Lawyer’s Summation:  

Mrs. Partridge’s  family time consists of children either spending countless hours in the garage playing rock music or riding for  hours on a psychedelic bus going who knows where to be put on display . . . 

And consider this young boy, Danny — instead of playing football or soccer as young boys should, he’s  painting buses and playing bass in a “family” rock band.  It seems that a lack of male influence is having an unfortunate effect on this boy.    

Then there is a “Manager” —  music business executive — a man — seen coming and going from the house at all hours, and spending time alone with the children, including a teenaged girl. 

This is no kind of family life to model for these impressionable minds.  Clearly, Mr. Partridge is within his rights to  prohibit his children from performing in this “band” and disallow any changes in the visitation schedule to accomodate such a pursuit.   Such rehearsals and performances should not interfere with the time the children are scheduled to spend with Mr. Partridge and his second wife and growing family. 

Mr. Partridge is making a family.  Mrs. Partridge is making a band.

Ouch.

No, no, no.   Had Shirley been going through a divorce she would have been forced into the traditional suburban housewife role.  Ironic, isn’t it?   She’d probably have to take a low paying but steady, boring job,  pay other people to give the children  music lessons and present them, like clockwork and with a smile,  to the court devised visits with their father.  There would simply be no time for a band.  Time can be divided upon divorce, but not created.  And interests that may have been supported within a marriage, can become a battleground after.   Yup, Mrs. Partridge would  pretty much have to walk the straight and narrow and live by schedules forced upon her by somebody else’s system — somebody who has never even thought about playing in a band.

Yeah, I’m guessing divorced Shirley girl would always have open bottle of Xanax or Vodka nearby.   That’s much more acceptable to most:   misery and medication — over music.

Just Me With . . .  no band, no bus, and a drum kit collecting dust in my basement.  

Bitter in Suburbia.

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5 responses

  1. WWwooowwww… EXCELLENT point!! I know far too many tremendously talented musicians who have had to forgo feeding the muse in order to feed the kids and the court’s and ex’s views of who they “should: be. LET’S START A REVOLUTION!!!!!

    * Who helped the people of Titanic tolerate the intolerable? The MUSICIANS!!
    * Who went out first on the battlefields becasue military leaders knew that the troops needed courage and inspiration more than they needed weapons? The (bona fide crayzee) MUSICIANS!
    * Who soothes the soul at funerals and during national tragedies? The MUSICIANS!
    * Who shapes and defines our humanity, speaks our unspoken pains and fears, and marks the times of our lives with poignancy and candor? The MUSCIANS!!!
    * Who gives us the courage to hope and to believe beyond what we can see? The MUSICIANS!!!

    So I contend that we MUST start a revolution to liberate all of the MUSCIANS living in a culturally defined purgatory. I’m in! Who’s with me??

  2. Well said…I did not aspire to clean up after other people, but it pays the bills.

  3. In the 70’s it was UNHEARD of for the father to get majority custody, and dad would almost certainly have been a swinger, with little or no time to fit kids into his busy scotch drinkin’ and gogo boots knockin’ schedule.

  4. Ha you never mentioned that old school buses, hell even current ones have no seatbelts. The lawyer would use that for sure!

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