Love Week: Notes on Marriage from the Contributors of Love Me True

February 15, 2018 by Fiona Tinwei Lam and Jane Silcott

It's the day after Valentine's Day, and we're ready for some Love Week REAL TALK: namely, a frank discussion about marriage from the contributors of Caitlin Press'  Love Me True: Writers Reflect on the Ins, Outs, Ups & Downs of Marriage. Check out the choice contributor lines editors Fiona Tinwei Lam and Jane Silcott picked for deciding to get married, the inevitable (?) comparisons to elephants and lakes, and what happens when you end it instead.

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What does it mean to be married in the twenty-first century? Why do it? Why not do it? The answers to these questions are as varied as the people we asked – for some, the first response was a sigh. Were we looking for stories about tulle and lace, and pretty little bridesmaids – and groomsmen – all in a row? Or did we want to go deeper? (This, with a note of challenge in the voice.) Yes, we wanted deeper. And when we began assembling the works that came in, we were amazed by the myriad situations that life throws at people, and by the humour and courage that sustains them. Some wrote about avoiding or escaping the bonds of marriage, some about ambivalence, and others about the solace and companionship it gives them despite the inevitable sorrows and struggles. Although we can’t quote all forty-five of our contributors here, some of them did offer a few pithy words to describe marriage and divorce. Here's what they came up with. As with the book, they fall, more or less into categories.

 

The Journey:

Getting married is a win/win situation; if it doesn’t work out you can always get a divorce. – Susan Musgrave

Getting married is something other people do. – Miranda Pearson

Getting married is like getting on a bus in a foreign country when you don't know where the bus is going. – Luanne Armstrong

 

Lakes:

Getting married is diving into a deep, muddy lake filled with sharp rocks, snapping turtles, and giant leeches. – Donna Besel

Marriage is a lake. When all is well, the surface is smooth, keeping its secrets, reflecting back only the faces of those who pass by. When a marriage is troubled, the waters are broken and hidden things rise from the depths that even strangers can see. – Rachel Rose

 

Wildlife:

Getting married is like injecting an elephant with botox. – Monica Meneghetti

Marriage is not for pachyderms – Monica Meneghetti

Marriage is two hyenas fighting over a tiny bone. – Donna Besel

Marriage is a teddy bear made of barbed wire. – Luanne Armstrong

 

Metaphysics?

Getting married is like looking forward to forever.  Marriage is discovering forever is a long time. – Lesley Buxton

Marriage is the third entity sitting at your table, lying in your bed. Some days you welcome it, other days you wish it would just go home. – Tana Runyan

 

Gravity:

Getting married is like jumping off a cliff. Marriage is like finding your way up from the bottom of the cliff, asking “What were we thinking?” – Anne Simpson

Marriage is like learning to two-step on a raft going over rapids. – Lorri Neilsen Glenn

 

Divorce: 

The leading cause of divorce is getting married. – Eufemia Fantetti

Divorce is like operating a high-speed food processor with the lid off. – Donna Besel

Divorce is the enabling partner of Marriage. – Monica Meneghetti

Divorce is like tearing your skin open to discover you have another body inside. – Ronna Bloom

 

Finally: in two words what does marriage mean to you?

Semi-automatic  – Susan Musgrave

Not much  – Miranda Pearson

Dueling egos – Donna Besel

Crazy faith. – Anne Simpson

Supporting patriarchy – Monica Meneghetti

Bravery and insanity – Lesley Buxton

 

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Thanks so much to Fiona and Jane for this introduction to  Love Me True (and to the contributors for their candid answers, here!). Thanks also to Michael at Caitlin for making the connection. For more All Lit Up Love Week, click here.


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