Friday, December 03, 2010

Committed, Marriage, Etc

I just finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert's Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage. Yes, she is that Eat, Pray, Love lady. Yes, fine, judge me, because I liked the book. Part-memoir, part travelogue, part marriage history, it basically tells the story of how she, a divorced feminist, makes peace with deciding to get married again.

There weren't a lot of stories in there that I hadn't heard before, but I obviously loved the memoir parts because I almost always love memoir, and I liked the legal parallels she drew between interracial and gay marriage. She discusses the Lovings, and how at the time the Supreme Court ruled that race-based legal restrictions on marriage were unconstitutional in 1967, "70 percent of Americans vehemently opposed this ruling. Let me repeat that: In recent American history, seven out of ten Americans still believed that it should be a criminal offense for people of different races to marry each other." The mind boggles. I think of how many interracial couples I know now, and I cannot imagine this. This gives me hope for the future of gay marriage and the tide of public opinion.

Perhaps the best part of the book, though, was all the discussion it prompted between YG and I about how we see our own marriage and where we want to go. We are thick in the middle of the child years right now, and sometimes its a struggle just getting through day and all the chores and all the SHIT -- never mind being the kind of person that anyone else would want to be around. But here's the thing: I like YG. A lot. Yes, of course, I lurve him and all that -- husband, father of my child, all around nice guy, blah blah. But I LIKE him. I like being around him and talking with him and scheming with him. He's usually my favorite person in the room (expression courtesy of a friend who said this exact phrase about her husband, and I fell in love with it).

Really, if I could sum up in one sentence what I want out of this marriage, it is that I hope we always like each other.

"It's been famously said that second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience, but I'm not entirely sure that's true. It seems to me that first marriages are the more hope-drenched affairs, awash in vast expectations and easy optimism. Second marriages are cloaked, I think, in something else: a respect for forces that are bigger than us, maybe. . . . Maybe the only difference between first marriage and second marriage is that the second time at least you know you are gambling."

So read the book. Or not.

1 comment:

Happily Mrs J Marcus Martin said...

I love what you said about your husband being your favorite person in the room. I feel the same way about my husband. I am on my second marriage and second round of baby momma time. It's hard to find time between kids, chores, work, BS, and the rest of what life throws daily but to be able to say at the end of the day this was a great day and I'm so glad we shared it together is an amazing feat in itself.
I don't have a counter-comment on the first marriage vs second marriage comment because I believe that any marriage is a show of faith and hope and the "liking" of two people.
I like my husband too. :)