I have never written anyone a fan letter before. I guess I wrote Carrottop a fan letter sometime around 1997, but that was just to keep him out of the Celebrity Death Pool I was betting in. And that doesn’t really count, does it?
Anyway, I am writing to say thank you for your good works. I have been following your career since you were with Destiny’s Child. I have always enjoyed your music, but what really sparked me to write was this…I was sitting in my car the other day feeling terrible, really miserable. I was thinking about totally changing my life somehow, which I haven’t done for a long time. And then the single off your new solo album, “Me, Myself, and I” came on the radio.
For years, Beyonce, I felt like I had no control over my life. I knew something was missing, but I wasn’t sure how to fill the holes. I know you are only twenty-two, but I feel like you have seen a lot as you have traveled around the world on tour. I mean, your mother, who has to be one of the most passive-aggressive control freaks I’ve ever seen, is your stylist. The fact that you can prosper despite her insistence on tearing the ostrich feathers off your Manolos for one lousy performance at the VMAs…well, you must have the patience of a saint.
So maybe you can understand my side of the story. My husband is like your mother in some ways, except without a flair for sequins. He wanted me to stay home and to stay with him, but he didn’t want to pay attention to me while I was around. In November I was considering faking my own death to get out of Christmas with his family, and all he could say was that he would be “embarrassed” if I didn’t show up.
I kept trying to make myself smarter, and prettier, and thinner, in the hopes that he would really notice me, and love me the way I needed to be loved. Have you ever been that stupid, Beyonce? I might as well have given my love to a philodendron. Actually, I probably would have gotten more of a response from a plant. When I came into this eight years ago, I had some inkling of how cool I was. I really lost that after being ignored for so long. I found out I can’t compete with things that loom that much larger that I do, like depression, a sense of failure, and a saxophone that pulls him away for eight hours at a time.
This is where you come in, Beyonce. I was sitting in the car, waiting to get on the freeway. I was so dead that I couldn’t even cry. I had a real wake-up call on Thanksgiving, because I realized that night what a dead person, a sleepwalker, I’d been for so long. I felt all empty and dried up and really fucking old. I felt much older than twenty-six. Right there, at the freeway entrance, I realized I needed to leave my husband, for reals. Then I heard your song.
“I can’t believe I believed/
Everything we had would last/
So young and naive for me to think that/
She was from your past/
Silly of me to dream of/
One day having your kids/
Love is so blind/
It feels right when it’s wrong.”
Okay, so there was no other woman, only his saxophone and a strong tendency to be self-absorbed, but it struck a cord with me anyway. It was a Pop Music Epiphany. Then I heard the chorus:
“Cause I realized I got/
Me, myself, and I/
That’s all I got in the end/
That’s what I found out/
And there ain’t no need to cry/
I took a vow that from now on/
Ima be my own best friend”
I decided to take your advice, Beyonce, and to become my own best friend, indeed. I cut my losses; I worked out a plan with him for splitting custody with Frannie, our little girl. I signed a lease and am moving in on New Year’s Day. I am typing you this letter on the morning of my last day in this house, as my friend has offered to let me housesit for most of the rest of the month.
He said he didn’t want me to go, but so much damage had been done that I didn’t believe him. He said he still feels passion for me. I listened on the night I told him I was leaving as he wrecked shop in the backyard. It’s all right, though, because my new apartment doesn’t have a patio on which to put all the pots he smashed anyhow.
He kept me up until two last night, on my last night, telling me how unfair it was and how angry he was, and how he felt that I was doing this to spite him. I am so beyond spite and malice I can’t even tell you. I had my heart broken so long ago that it’s healed up by now. I am ready for something new. “Where have you been?” he said. “Who have you been fucking?” No one will ever talk to me like this again without getting fucking shivved.
I am so relieved that I can take Frannie and get out of here, and I won’t have to look at the giant dent he made in the wall when he hit it last night. I told him not to hit me, because I would fucking take him down. I think you would say the same thing.
Anyway, Beyonce, I have probably taken up enough of your time. I need to start packing the clothes I am going to take with me to my friend’s house, as well as the bottle of champagne my thesis advisor gave me for Christmas. Frannie is up, and I need to get her some breakfast. Good luck with your fiance, Jay-Z. I hope he is making time for you as he is planning his retirement and working on his novel.
“Independent Woman, Part 2” excerpt by Destiny’s Child:
“How you feel about a girl like this?
Try to control me, boy you’ll get dismissed
Do what I want, live how I wanna live
Buy my own diamonds, and pay my own bills
“How did you feel about this groove I wrote?
Hope you got the message ladies take control
Don’t depend on no man to give you what you want
Keep that in mind next time you hear this song”