I suppose this post should really be titled DEAR ELIZABETH GILBERT, but I’ve already written a few of those, so I thought I would branch out on the title tree.
I have finally committed myself to reading COMMITTED, the follow-up book to EAT, PRAY, LOVE. It’s a good book. The tricky part about reading it is that every ten minutes or so something she wrote triggers a thought about something I want to write. Reading is therefore continually interrupted by stopping to either jot down notes or actually crank out a page or two of text on the computer.
One of these reading breaks ended up with me producing a small book, a novella if you will. It is a tale of how the FANTASTIC* lack of marriage in my own life is like the EYE OF SAURON (I’m referring to Tolkien here), but without the evil-ness. The Eye finds me wandering the exhausted landscape of singledom on my quest for love, captures me in its white hot spot-light beam, and renders me helpless and teary at the grocery store when a Dan Fogelberg song comes on (you know the one – Met my old lover at the Grocery Store, the snow was fallin’ Christmas Eee-eve…). Maybe it is an evil eye after all.
Anyhoo, back to COMMITTED.
The first thing that struck me about Elizabeth Gilbert’s book is that it is an exploration into the institution of marriage. She did her research before she got married. She and Felipe made a plan. They had a year to prepare and took the time to research marriage. Smart! Right?
Most of us would never, say, invest in a certain stock without doing some serious research and yet many of us have entered into marriage without examining it from every angle. Because where’s the romance in that? So many American women buy in to the romantic fantasy of marriage, blithely skipping over the research that should be done before investing in this most intimate of bonds. Myself included.
If you don’t have goals, if you don’t have a plan, if you don’t have at least a general idea of the marriage road ahead (or any road for that matter) you are at the mercy of what is thrown at you. Basically, you are a sitting duck piñata, swinging in the breeze, waiting for the next blind-folded hit that will most likely NOT release showers of candy, just dent the crap out of your relationship.
Elizabeth Gilbert has done some research and written it all up in an entertainingly personal way, so I will gladly read it. Even though it is not lost on me that marriage is often referred to as an INSTITUTION to which we can be COMMITTED, it is still one ASYLUM** to which I would voluntarily commit myself.
Thanks for sharing your research, Liz.
* FANTASTIC used not as “Hey that’s great! That’s Fantastic!”. But more along the lines of the definition So extreme as to challenge disbelief. Fantasy. Not real! Not real!
** ASYLUM used with reference to the definition A place of retreat and security: shelter. Not the insane kind.