Essay on Love, Marriage, Family
— My son decided to get married.
— That’s great! With a girl?
A little over a week ago, let’s face it, this simple (real) dialog would be unthinkable. Marriage, for the most conventional among us, was that ancient institution designed to guarantee the survival of the human race, an institution that until very recently, to tell the truth, was not based on love between two people, but in fact a business arrangement between the parents to ensure the endurance and perpetuity of political and cultural interests, go figure. Marriage, for the avant-garde, was until quite recently an undesired legalization of romantic love that we flatly denied, except in emergency cases, as, for example, to allow a foreign bride or groom to stay in the partner’s country, or to make an “unwanted” pregnancy more palatable.
“Why do you want to get married?” asked my mother, when I, then 28 years old and practically a spinster, happily told her I was finally about to “break the deadlock,” a typical hick concept from my hometown. “Why don’t you simply moving in together?” she insisted, probably afraid that I would suffer, or, as Alan once said, to “save the party money.” We were already living together — my first husband and I, I mean, Alan being my third — but we wanted to get married in order to create “joint income” and apply for a mortgage. The wedding experience did not fail to humiliate me, when my father-in-law demanded a “complete separation of assets,” in…