Saturday 31 December 2022

You All Grow Up and Leave Me

Finished December 31
You All Grow Up and Leave Me: A Memoir of Teenage Obsession by Piper Weiss

This memoir is about Piper's relationship with a tennis coach, Gary Wilensky, who, when she was fourteen, attacked a former student and then later killed himself. As Piper works through her emotions around the man she liked and trusted, she looks at him as well. 
Piper was a private school student, a girl shorter than her peers, who found tennis an activity she could be special in. Gary was a sought after instructor, with a personality that was engaging. He made his teen students feel special, taking them to dinner and buying them presents. He treated them as peers. 
When one of his students felt that something was off and told her mother, she stopped taking lessons from him, and that triggered something in him. He had a plan, but he was also panicking in the moment of action, and that led to mistakes that led to him aborting his plan and finding himself with no way out. 
This is a sad story, a story of questions that don't all have answers. The author also has issues and wonders why this is a story that she still cares about years later. As a journalist, she's done her research, interviewed who she could, and been open about her own story, leaving me sad for her as well. 
The title comes from a conversation she had near the end of her time with Gary when he said this and she promised that she wouldn't, that she'd be there for him, and perhaps this is her way of keeping that promise. 

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