I seem to have left my food memoir preference behind with these two novels that focus on modern marriage.
Title: To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife
Author: Caitlin Flanagan
Published: May 12, 2006
Buy the Book: Amazon
This novel both stuck a cord with me and also left me in the dark. The first half of the novel spoke to my new found obsession with the 1950s housewife and the feminist connotations. The second half of the novel was something that I could not connect with, for I am neither a mother nor upper-middle class. Problems with nannies and over scheduling one’s child will probably never apply to me.
Now to focus on the part of the novel that spoke to me.
A little background on me. I’ve been married for six years now. Then as now my husband and I could not afford the “traditional” wedding. For sometime now I’ve been lamenting the fact that we just went to Reno a secured a quick, cheap wedding. After having read this book I’ve been reevaluating why I lament this fact. Since the traditional wedding is not so traditional after all. That it is a worthless class climbing endeavor, it is a farce propagated by the Martha Stewarts of this world. So why the urge to spend money I don’t have on en elaborate party? Why do I feel the need to where the fancy white dress and purchase expensive flowers and food?
Trying to pull off this piece of theater in light of the divorce culture, the woman’s movement, the sexual revolution, and the acceptability of mixed and later marriages threatens to make a complete mockery of the thing. (page 9)
Title: Committed: A Love Story
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Published: February 1, 2011
Buy the Book: Amazon
Gilbert takes the reader on a journey through the convoluted history of western marriage. From the beginnings of the Christian Church and their abhorrence of sex in any form, let alone in a marriage. A thousand some years later the church reevaluates its stance on marriage in order to control its subjects.
Gilbert comes to the realization that marriage is not a form of oppression, but a form of sticking it to the man.
After reading both of these books I am now looking at my life and marriage in a whole new light. I don’t need to feel cheated that I didn’t get a big church wedding. All that really matters is that I love my husband and he loves me. Which is the same for the playing at being a house wife. I don’t need to cook dinner every night while he plays video games, after we both have worked a full 8 hour day. We can share this chore together and that doesn’t mean I’m less of a woman. On that same token it is okay to get upset when he doesn’t help with cleaning the house for I am a modern woman. A culmination of many years of social change.
Well enough rambling about these books, time to start my next book, The Undomesticated Goddess by Sophie Kinsella.