know.” Now, though—at the considerably less giddy age of thirty-seven—I was not convinced that I knew very much more than ever about the realities of institutionalized companionship. I had failed at marriage and thus I was terrified of marriage, but I’m not sure this made me an expert on marriage; this only made me an expert on failure and terror, and those particular fields are already crowded with experts.
Note: Does anyone "succeed" at marriage?
As a result of such personal freedoms, my life belongs to me and resembles me to an extent that would be unthinkable in the hills of northern Vietnam, even today. It’s almost as if I’m from an entirely new strain of woman (Homo limitlessness, you might call us). And while we of this brave new species do have possibilities that are vast and magnificent and almost infinite in scope, it’s important to remember that our choice-rich lives have the potential to breed their own brand of trouble.
Note: With unlimited potential, you get unlimited neuroses. #FirstWorldProblems
Marriage shifts. It changes over the centuries the way that Irish weather changes: constantly, surprisingly, swiftly. It’s not even a safe bet to define marriage in the most reductively simple terms as a sacred union between one man and one woman. First of all, marriage has not always been considered “sacred,” not even within the Christian tradition. And for most of human history, to be honest, marriage has usually been seen as a union between one man and several women.
Note: History teaches us not to limit marriage as a sacred union between one man and one woman. #noh8
So when modern-day religious conservatives wax nostalgic about how marriage is a sacred tradition that reaches back into history for thousands of uninterrupted years, they are absolutely correct, but in only one respect—only if they happen to be talking about Judaism. Christianity simply does not share that deep and consistent historical reverence toward matrimony.
Note: Conservatives, wrong? I thought they knew everything about the sanctity of marriage.