Posted by: marilynmendoza | October 18, 2011

Love not actually – a true story of a marriage gone wrong because of bad grammar

I knew my last marriage was going wrong when my mate used actually to preface every sentence with the word actually. “Actually I do love you.” he declared. I sensed he was using “actually” in its opposite meaning – to be deceptive, shady and suspicious and think of what lie he was going to “actually” tell. I began to hate the word and him and eventually (another bad word) we broke up.  However, (another needless word) “Actually” followed me like a bad habit. I found it all over my memoir”From Agoraphobia to Zen” and went to work on it weed whacking the word as if my life depended on it. Actually, my memoir depended on it. or did it?

Ding,that’s my ex’s nickname and some time after we broke up, he said “Actually, I’m with another person”  I surmised he was either gay or  attracted to other species in his case jackass.  Person– Who says that?   What an idiot!  My kids knew that and called him “Ding bat and Ding Dong behind his back during our year-long marriage.  He used his sarcasm as a tool and always used “actually” before he spewed his venom. eg. Actually, your stomach looks like Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines.”  “Actually, you shouldn’t be so sensitive about your age, he he.” I was 40.

Twenty years later, I was finding that pesky word all over my memoir. I wondered why. I knew I wrote the truth. I set about to replace all the needless words with beautiful, visual, poetic words that spoke for themselves. It took more work, more editing but in the end my memoir shone with scenes that opened with truth and honesty. I threw out the fake words and fake people in my life and found beautiful souls who honored me and my friendship. I found a man who never used words to hurt and never, ever said the word “Actually” . I almost used the word “eventually I found” but that word is self-evident isn’t it. Memoirs are true so we must not clutter them up with words that don’t belong there. I learned to love myself and finished my memoir without using the hated word once.

 I “eventually” divorced Ding. He had hidden himself so well, I had to divorce him without finding him  It’s  called a “divorce by publication”  I think in Dings case this was “Actually” the best way to get rid of him



  1. This was a good hook — it drove me to read it.

    • Thank you Sharyn,
      I am also intersted in food so I might write a memoir about how food ended a marriage or two lol

  2. Great blog – just like the book.

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