Couple's Divorce Stuns Tight-Knit Community of Manhattan
The Onion, February 18, 1998
MANHATTAN, NY -- Nestled in the southeast corner of New York State,
Manhattan is an old-fashioned sort of community, the kind of place where
people still live in close proximity to one another and walk to the
corner store to pick up the daily paper.
So when the people of this close-knit burg on the Hudson River found out
that two of their own, Abe and Myra Saunders, were divorcing after 23
years of marriage, disbelief was the prevailing response.
"I was stunned when I heard that somebody in our town was getting
divorced," said David Cutler, 37, who said he doesn't know the
Saunderses but lives just six blocks from their apartment on 77th
Street. "This just isn't the kind of thing that normally goes on
"My first reaction was total denial -- I simply didn't think it was
possible," said Andrea Zimmer, 34, a lifelong resident of the town's
sleepy little Upper West Side neighborhood. "Maybe things like this are
considered commonplace in other towns, but not here in Manhattan."
Even more shocking to local residents were the circumstances surrounding
the couple's breakup. For the past year and a half, Abe, 48, a tax
attorney with the local savings-and-loan Chase Manhattan Bank, has been
having a affair with Lisette Solomon, a 26-year-old co-worker.
Myra, 47, a buyer for Bloomingdale's, a local clothing shop, did not
find out about her husband's infidelity until Jan. 21, when he confessed
and requested a divorce in order to move in with his mistress.
"Abe's scandalous affair with a younger woman is the talk of the town,"
said Elliott Sharperson, a writer for the local paper, The New York
Times. "From the post office to the library to the butcher shop, pretty
much anywhere you go around here, that's all anyone's talking about."
"Can you imagine? A tax attorney secretly sleeping with a woman 22
years his junior?" said Manhattan resident Edna Rudolph. "I don't know
how Abe can ever expect to walk down the street in this town again
without feeling like everyone's staring at him. The shame he must