Friday, January 08, 2010

Elizabeth Gilbert on Marriage

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love and new book Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage talks to fellow writer and friend Ann Patchett about ''til death do us part'. In the interview she points out "that there exists only one path in America to complete social legitimacy, and that is marriage. I think, for instance, that it would be far easier for Americans to elect a black president or a female president than an unmarried president. That would truly feel like cause for suspicion. Which means—of course—there is a massive pressure to apply this particular shape to one's relationship. Which might explain why Americans marry more—and, sadly, divorce more—than anyone else in the industrialized world. So the downside is that there is a rush to the altar—couples want to earn that badge of instant respect—when they perhaps are unready, or not mature enough, to actually take on that commitment." Is she right? I think so. Seriously, can you imagine a "single" President, gay or straight? Haven't we all experienced situations in which our relationships were judged based on our lack of marital status? For example, introducing yourself as the "girlfriend" at a networking event or worse, to authorities when the love of your life is injured, ill, or in jail. Read more of the interview here.