DTWOF Archive Episode #7

August 21st, 2007 | Strip Archive

#13 detail

It was twenty years ago today… are you two still together?

[Time for another archive episode. As I announced in May, I’m cutting back to one new episode per month for a while, and in between I’m running strips from 1987.]

39 Responses to “DTWOF Archive Episode #7”

  1. Suzanonymous says:

    So sad, knowing what’s gone on recently.. πŸ™

    but it was a funny strip. πŸ™‚

  2. Scotia says:

    A little sad perhaps, but they had around 16 or 17 mostly good years, which is more than many people manage. The fact that a relationship ends/evolves doesn’t negate what was wonderful about it.

  3. shadocat says:

    …and so relatable to our previous conversations…

  4. Gil in mexico city says:

    They did not have good times. Remember Clarice had a fling with Ginger before Toni started fooling around with what’s her name. Clarice has always had a fot out the door…

  5. K.B. says:

    her name is Gloria? And there were 16 or 17 years in between?
    Hello?

  6. JenK says:

    Relationships are a mix of good and bad. Seems to me that Toni & Clarice loved each other, helped each other build the lives they wanted, were a team — and that, to my mind, makes the relationship a success.

    Successful doesn’t have to mean “neverending”. Growing apart does not have to mean someone is wrong.

  7. Alex K says:

    Coming up on fourteen years together soon, very much aware that neither of us, nor our relationship, is promised tomorrow. Every day brings another problem to be got over.

    (So far, though, the rewards well outweigh the problems. Even the cold-feet-in-bed problems, which is saying a lot.)

    Toni and Clarice will be a team long after, if, they uncouple their housing arrangement. Raffi and memories will ensure that.

  8. JenK says:

    Even the cold-feet-in-bed problems

    I’m lucky – both my partners are usually warmer than I. The one I cohabit with LIKES cold feet on his legs since it cools him off. πŸ™‚

  9. coolmama says:

    This may be apocryphal, but when I was separating from my partner of 16+ years, I came across the following: A journalist asked Margaret Mead about her three failed marriages. Her response: “I have no failed marriages. I had three successful marriages, at three different points in my life.”

    I’m with JenK. Toni & Clarice were fantastic for each other. And now they’re at a different point in their lives. They’d both much rather be where they are now, where they only could have gotten with the other (starting work & career, dealing with parents in early coming-out days, negotiating the lesbian community, having and raising a child) — than where they’d be if they hadn’t had those years together.

  10. bindweed says:

    *sniffle!!!* It’s so beautiful! Toni and Clarice had many wonderful years together and a great son as well-adjusted as anyone is these days. All eternity in one moment of bliss…. People could be married till the day they die and never look at another with lust, and not do as well as Toni and Clarice. Goddess bless them, together or apart, wherever they fare.

  11. Anonny Mouse says:

    Plus at least it was CLARICE who told Toni about her fling with Ginger (which occurred well before C&T got commitment ceremonied, became parents, bought a house, got civil unioned, and got married, whereas Toni’s fling with Gloria occurred after all that, when the C&T relationship, to coin a phrase, “had a lot more riding on it”). Toni didn’t have to find out about it from someone else.

  12. LBK says:

    I still think it’s sad. I wanted them to live happily ever after, and I worry about Raffi as his parents break up. Yes, sometimes it’s worse for kids to see parents in a horrible relationship. But stability is SO important for them.

  13. DeLandDeLakes says:

    Yeah, it is sad, and I’m not even in the “marriage is forever” camp with Clarice and Toni. Break-ups suck, what else can you say about them?

  14. LondonBoy says:

    I’m still of the opinion that they’ll get back together. OK, so I’m a hopeless romantic, but I believe that they’re right for each other, and I’m just waiting for them to realise it.

  15. Wendy says:

    Amazingly,
    We’re still together, since ’83! I remember when we got our joint checking account – it was a big deal. We talked about it for a long time and then finally walked to the bank. The first thing the bank guy asked us was “why do you want a joint checking account?” We just cracked up – it was so funny – there was no way we were going to go into the whole long involved conversation we had leading up to the “big decision” we told the man “we just do”.

  16. Jenna says:

    Alison, when you’re working on a current strip, do you review past history to help inform the current scenarios? It really interests me to see this strip from 1987 when Toni and Clarice are so head over heels in love with each other and then to see where they’ve gone recently. Like real life, when we review our pasts with people, we are sometimes able to re-focus on what’s really important and what our feelings are really about. I don’t believe that Toni and Clarice aren’t in love with each other any more. I think that they’ve lost their way. If they had the chance to really talk about their issues (listen to me — this is a comic strip, for crying out loud!!), they may discover that their love is worth fighting for, that they want to work through their crap and find each other again. Know what I mean? And seein this 1987 strip — which is sort of like reading an old journal or diary — may inspire Toni & Clarice to explore their relationship a bit more honestly than they have recently… which of course would mean that you’d need to explore their relationship more closely, too.

    What do you think?

  17. riotllama says:

    i like cold feet in the bed. masochistic i guess.

  18. Ydnic says:

    Wow, Jenna, that idea’s got my head whirling. Show Toni and Clarice the old comic strip about them? Internally self-referential! It would be like seeing a movie of your own life made twenty years ago; a movie made by some omniscient invisible being that you never knew was there.

    T&C suddenly aware of Alison! It’s giddy with possibilities.

  19. ready2agitate says:

    Isn’t kind of funny how Alison’s humor echos across 20 years? Here she’s jokingly conflating a wedding/commitment ceremony with (the punchline:) let’s get a joint back account! And fast fw 20 years and there’s the last strip, where the Ginger/Samia punchline conflates – Do it! (not screw me silly with ecstatic orgasms but -) call Beth McFarkas-Laughlin and put down the deposit on a house! Heh.

  20. scarelisa says:

    still together after 8+ years – and very happily so. but i would never want to have a joint bank account! being the one who earns less, i am very much in favour of keeping our financial stuff apart so i do not feel dependent.
    loved the margaret mead quote! i had relationships before and some of them were successes (others not …).
    clarice and toni … i remember that strip so well: as one of the few strips where they were unconditionally happy. many times their relationship was just very difficult, and it seemed to me that every time they took the next step of “institutionalizing” their relationship they did it in order to fix it. they have been growing apart for a long time.

  21. jk says:

    Clarice seems so relaxed and happy, her brow is not perpetually furrowed! Sometimes it’s raised and open. Not having read strips prior to the PlanetOut archive, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that. : )

  22. Sir Real says:

    Anonny Mouse – Actually, Clarice only told Toni about her Ginger – fling once Mo made it clear, using her innate tact and finely honed interpersonal skills, πŸ˜‰ that the rumour mill would bring the news `round to Toni anyway…

  23. Alex the Bold says:

    Show Toni and Clarice the old comic strip about them?

    Yes, it would be self-referential. It would also be incredibly cruel.

    Ring, ring. Friend picks up phone.

    Hey, Paul, how are you. Yeah, it’s Alex. I was just going through a shoe box full of stuff and I found a photo of you and Pat. Yeah. God, you look so happy. This must have been about three months before you were gonna ask her to marry you, you remember, when you discovered she was sleeping around with three of your friends and had maxed out two of your credit cards before stealing everything you owned to turn it all into drugs.

    Paul? Paul! What’s wrong? Why are you crying? Did that upset you?

  24. Sir Real says:

    Per the wise words quoted of Margaret Mead, above – yeah. I was noting in the (extended!) polyamory discussion that `long-term’ was generally proferred as a sign of a successful relationship, whether monog- or polyam-. And, I concur, while it can be one factor, it often isn’t!

    I’ve no idea whether my grandparents’ marriages were monogamous or not, but I have heard that both my grandmothers were pretty unhappy. My mother’s mother wed at 16 to get out of her mother’s house… frying pan to fire. And they stayed with their husbands until they died, as, it appears to me, trapped by children and strictures and most of all, lack of viable livelihoods. Dandy.

    To bring it back to A.B… [these may be paraphrased, oop]

    Serial Monogamy – “I had never seen a couple together for more than a year that I had any desire to emulate.”

    Silly Putty Syndrome – “it’s not unusual for lesbians to spend more time breaking up than they were ever together!”

  25. berlina says:

    You’re right, Alex, that was cruel.

  26. Suzanonymous says:

    Ditto what Sir Real said. My grandmother’s marriage lasted until my grandfather died: 54 years long. The entire time, he was constantly wanting to know her every move whenever she’d been out of his sight. They were both staunch Catholics, so divorce was out of the question, not even considered.

    “I never thought he’d live that long, Suzanne..”

    But, thinking about whether it was a net loss for Grandma, things were more complicated for that generation of women. I doubt she’d ever come to America from the backward little village she came from if not for Grandpa.

  27. Ivy says:

    Y’all know, though, that sometimes people -do- stay together their whole lives, or one of the couple’s whole life, and it’s beautiful beginning to end.

    My grandmother died seven years ago, three years before their fiftieth wedding anniversary, and my grandfather cried and kept repeating “She’s so beautiful, she’s so beautiful” — this after months of chemo.

    Fifty or sixty years of abject happiness despite — or perhaps because of — hardships and heartbreaks endured together is in fact possible.

  28. mlk says:

    I’ve had thoughts similar to Jenna’s. the idea can be used without showing T & C the old strip — that’s pretty weird. but they could be going through old photos to divide them up and start talking about, or thinking about, what happened between them. I’m one of those who believes T & C have a deep and abiding love that’s been crusted over pretty badly. I’ve felt that each time they’ve made a commitment to each other it was genuine, not an attempt to fix a failing relationship. Clarice will need to alter her working habits if they’re to reconcile. does she want to continue doing what she’s been doing all these years? maybe it’s time for a midlife self evaluation.

    if lesbians are still having commitment ceremonies of some sort in this age of fighting for legal rights, attending a commitment ceremony for Naomi? or Thea and Maxine? would also present an opening for T&C to reflect on their past, with regret and/or nostalgia.

    nostalgia has two edges — it can inspire a new connection and commitment and also deep regret. it’s incredibly painful to attend a friend or family member’s celebration of togetherness only to reflect on all that is missing in one’s own relationship.

  29. Ydnic says:

    Alex: You’re right, it would hurt. I wasn’t thinking. I got all caught up in the self-referentiality, one of my favorite subjects, and lost sight of the people. Cartoons though they may be, Toni and Clarice *are* real people to me (and obviously many others).

  30. Yossi says:

    Clarice has never been fully “in the relationship.” Toni did so much to keep them together. At the end, for many of us, it was a sad relief to see them part. Could they have worked things out? Perhaps but, given the history of their relationship, Clarice’s “one foot out the door” attitude was impossible to overcome. Was Toni wrong for kanoodling with Gloria? Yes, but this marriage was beginning to hit the skids way before Gloria came into the picture. It would be a hoot if Clarice and Mo got back together (Yes, I know that the idea might be ludicrous). On a bizarrly trivial, selfish note, I would like to know what the hell happened to Emma, Lois’s married paramour.

  31. coolmama says:

    I don’t get the ‘one foot out the door’ thing with Clarice. I think she’s been hugely devoted to Toni (and later Raffi). She’s had some moments of nervousness — about commitment, about *this* commitment, about the responsibilities of joint home ownership & parenthood. But she’s hardly had one foot out the door; even in those moments of nervousness, her reference point has always been Toni. She’s been way more anchored than anyone else in the strip, with the sole exception of Toni herself.

    At least that’s how I see it.

  32. Jaibe says:

    My grandparent’s marriage lasted 62 years, until my grandfather’s death. My grandmother was a youngest child and my grandfather an oldest, and he could be bossy and she petulant, but they really loved each other and she really missed him the two years she lived after he was gone. (Although I was the only one she talked much about this with, since my mom and sister couldn’t stand him much!) She sent my parter and I an anniversary card wishing us 62 years of happiness — I doubt we will live that long, having started a little later, but who knows!

    About the kids — I have read (but I’m not sure where, someone should look this up) that divorce stats are dropping in the US partly because the whole population has started really learning how hard it is for & with kids. A relationship has to be very bad to be worse than divorce. But we’ve talked about this before! But the logistics of joint child rearing with non-partners are very, very difficult.

  33. Josiah says:

    My wife Erin’s grandparents had 63 years together. For their 40th anniversary, their children hosted a dinner for them. At one point Erin’s father toasted his parents, saying “40 years!”, and his father replied, “40 years with the wrong person!”

    I gather that by their 50th they had fallen back in love, though.

    My grandmother, by contrast, had two 25th wedding anniversaries. (She was widowed twice.)

  34. quintazz says:

    Jaibe, thank G-d my parents split after 15 years of marriage – my sisters & I didn’t realize that we’d spent our entire lives walking on eggshells until we didn’t have to anymore. Of course, our dad still got to cram his abuse into our weekend visits…

    I think Clarice and Toni would be saner if they could find a way to afford to live apart – and better parents to Raffi too.

    PS I’ve been a DTWOF fan for 20 years – thanks AB for keeping it real!

  35. mlk says:

    when I was in my 20’s and working thru “family of origin” issues I wondered why my parents stayed together and wished they’d just call it quits. my dad has been devoted to my mother and she constantly harped on his “failings.” they were separated in 1981 when he performed w/a group at the World Fair in Knoxville and I witnessed his re-entry into an atmosphere fraught with constant criticism when he returned. it may have been the first time/only time in his life when he questioned why he stayed with such an ungrateful, judgemental partner.

    they stayed together, though, and I witnessed the wonder of growing old together. my older brother was born within the first year of their marriage, and it may not have been until the children were grown — and they were both retired — that my Mom came to appreciate Dad’s finer qualities. they were pretty well obscured by his foibles. I like to think my responding to her complaints about him as a source of irritation may have helped, too. I basically told her that she had to deal w/him as he is, that he isn’t going to become the person she wants him to be. she’s commented — only once! — that I seem to take after him and she and I get along pretty well. that may have helped, too. he and I certainly share some less-than-endearing characteristics.

  36. the little old me says:

    I haven’t even been alive for twenty years.

  37. mulieribus says:

    I always loved that one. Me and my ex used to imitate it all the time, esopecially when we actually decided to get a joint checking acct. Good times.

  38. Yasmin says:

    I’d like to know what happened to Malika!
    She was HOT!
    Not many Butches in this series, right? There was June, Sparrow’s gf, and some would say Lois is Butch…
    Oh and there was that cool electrician that popped up for 1 strip…
    (I’m sorry guys I know Mo’s a butch bottom but… that just doesn’t do it for me πŸ™‚

  39. ontopeBes says:

    Make peace, not war!