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Jenice Armstrong: Divorce: Why are we so fascinated?

AS FASCINATED as people are about fairly-tale weddings and the inner workings of other people's marriages, the reverse is true when things fall apart.

AS FASCINATED as people are about fairly-tale weddings and the inner workings of other people's marriages, the reverse is true when things fall apart.

You know you shouldn't give a dang about the impending divorce of Miley Cyrus' parents or reality star NeNe Leakes' divorce attorney, but it's hard not to at least pause and think, "What the . . . ?" Same thing with high-profile breakups such as that of Al and Tipper Gore. Inquiring minds, as they say, can't help but wonder what went wrong. Who cheated and with whom? And how do former lovers go from never wanting to be apart to dividing their marital assets?

It's divorce porn and people can't get enough.

That's why the Huffington Post's decision to dedicate an entire section to the subject of splitting up was such a clever idea. Arianna Huffington was in the Hamptons with the New York Times' writer Alessandra Staley and writer-director Nora Ephron discussing all of their failed marriages when the idea hit them.

The section, which debuted last month, features stories on dealing with kids shell-shocked from their parents' split to legal issues. The tagline on Huff Post Divorce is, "Marriage comes and goes but divorce is forever."

Last week, I got a chance to chat with Ephron, a Huffington Post editor at large who penned the tagline, about the site.

In her new book, "I Remember Nothing and Other Reflections" she discusses "The D Word," something she has some experience with, being twice divorced. She is now married to writer Nicholas Pileggi.

"For most of us, there are two dramas in life - falling in love or falling out of love," pointed out Ephron, 69. "Most of us lead otherwise fairly drama-free lives . . . love and its complications just happens to be a completely fascinating subject for us."

"We have over-romanticized the weddings of famous people, where we know the details of the wedding cakes of people we've barely seen in movies. We are also interested when the marriage has ended.

"Divorce has become a kind of spectator sport for us and we are always looking at peoples' divorces as if we can make sense of them. They are a kind of delicious mystery, just as marriage is."

And then there's the other reason why readers keeping clicking on the site.

"I have one friend who reads the Huffington Post divorce section just because it makes her feel so good about her marriage," Ephron said.

Ephron, who'll be speaking and signing copies of her book at the Philadelphia Free Library on Dec. 14, became a boldface name after writing the best-selling book and movie "Heartburn," a fictionalized account of her 1979 divorce from Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein.

"The divorce has lasted way longer than the marriage, but it's finally over," the writer/director of "Julia & Julia" reports in her new book.

"Enough about that. The point is that for a long time, the fact that I was divorced was the most important thing about me. And now it's not.

"Now the most important thing about me is that I'm old."

Writer and director Nora Ephron, whose new book is "I Remember Nothing and Other Reflections," will speak at the Philadelphia Free Library, 1901 Vine St., at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14. Tickets are $15 ($7 for students) and are available at For more information, call 215-567-4341.

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