Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Issues with the world at large

I find that marriage is remarkably interesting. For some reason the narrative creating world does not seem to agree with me. After I was married I went on a bit of a spree looking for fiction and movies that were about married (especially newlywed) women who stayed married and for whom doing something dubbed interesting enough to write a book about did not strain their marriage to near breaking point. Such a thing barely exists. Nearly every narrative I found where a woman started out married (happily or not) ended with her outside of that relationship. This just about drove me mad.

(Granted there are exceptions to this.... but in my experience they were an overwhelming minority)

I guess the world sees being married as a static thing. Getting married is some sort of a destination, but once you're there .... nothing. With that kind of an attitude it's no wonder divorce is everywhere. But why is it that nobody is creating stories about this most interesting and challenging and rewarding relationship without feeling the need to make it peripheral (like in a lot of "thrillers" to a "more interesting" plot. The only film examples I've found are "She's Having a Baby", "Barefoot in the Park"and "Two for the Road (although that one REALLY stretches the rules listed above)".)

If anyone out there has any suggestions of things I could read/watch that I could actually relate to, I'd be ecstatic. I'm really getting irked about this as more and more of my searching turns fruitless. Sigh . I guess I'll just stick to children's literature for now. I ordered a book of Polish Folk Stories that arrived yesterday plus I haven't finished "The Uses of Enchantment", so I'm not exactly lacking reading material.

It's just been a while since I had one of those epiphanies where I related to a character because his/her circumstance was so much like my own. I miss that feeling because it used to happen all the time when I was in college. Rats.

(Are you proud of me?, I didn't do any pregnancy complaining!)


Shelley said...

I've often thought about this Em! There just aren't any books or movies about married couples. "Two for the Road" is just awful too, and I'm the world's biggest Audrey Hepburn fan! The only one that came to my mind was "Raising Arizona," ha ha. I don't know why there aren't any more books written about it.
I'm at work, and just typed in "marriage" to search our database to see if we really had any books that would fit the bill. Anne Tyler's "The Amateur Marriage," which ends up in divorce, and Nicholas Spark's "The Wedding," but who actually wants to read Nicholas Sparks?! I'd read "I Love You, Ronnie," the letters between the Reagans, because their portrait of what marriage can be is sweet and encouraging. Although, if you're like me, I almost felt guilty reading it because it was so personal.
Hope you start feeling better!

The Wiz said...

I was a big fan of Mad About You, even before I got married. Now I am married, and was thrilled to recently find it in reruns. It's all about the interesting things in marriage, and so funny, especially now that I can relate.

Unfortunately, there's not a lot out there, and I think it's because a good marriage does not have a ton of conflict, which is the essence of drama.

But Paul Reiser's "Couplehood" nails it, and after you have your baby, "Babyhood" is great, too. I don't know if they're still in print, but I'm sure you can get them at the library.

BTW, just found your blog today, and I'm enjoying it.

Em said...

Thanks for the recommendations everyone!

I guess "conflict" isn't quite the right word for what keeps a marriage interesting - but it certainly never gets dull. There's so much...plot... in two people doing their darndest to take care of each other while learning more about each other everyday, and more about themselves. I never had an inkling as to what a selfish creature I was until I had been married for a few months. Marriage is just so full of epiphanies and struggles and adjustments... and going through it (fairly newly - 2 years now) - makes it hard to relate to non- or pre-marriage romance because it's just not the same!

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