Anna Marie Tendler hasn't had the best year. Between the pandemic, her divorce from comedian John Mulaney and living alone in the Connecticut woodlands, she's had to find a way to keep moving forward. For Tendler, that way has been art, in the form of decorating her house, taking gorgeous photographs... and needlework.
"I feel so lucky that so much of my work is this mundane, detail-oriented handwork. I’m working with a needle and thread, and it’s like, if I’m not on it, I’m going to prick myself with a needle and f*ck something up," Tendler tells Harper's Bazaar in a new interview.
Reflecting on how her heartbreak helped her creativity, she then joked, "Just have your whole life fall apart and then develop a hand skill!"
As a recap, Mulaney and Tendler announced their separation in the spring of 2021. Soon after, word got out that Mulaney was dating actress Olivia Munn. In September, the comedian announced they were expecting a baby together, and the child, Malcolm Hiệp, was born at the end of the year. Mulaney and Tendler were married since 2014 and have no children.
"Everything that has transpired has been totally shocking and I think surreal," the artist now tells Harper's Bazaar. "In a way, I feel like, well, it can only go up from here, because I reached the depth of where I could go."
Still, Tendler is grateful for the level of wealth her time with Mulaney afforded her, meaning she could work on her art. "I do not want to have squandered that," she says. "I want to use the skills that I was able to glean from that time, that I had that time to figure out what I wanted to do. Because I know a lot of people don’t get that."
As for having children, she explained that she "always held partnership above having kids," but will probably freeze her eggs.
"There were things I never even thought about before because that was just a closed door," Tendler continues. "I feel lucky that I get to be standing on the precipice of all of these new things, that I get to possibly experience, and who knows how they will go? And there is certainly something exciting about that."
Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.
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