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My suggestion is that marriage should happen after the honeymoon, never before it. Only if everything goes right, only then marriage should happen.
Honeymoon after marriage is very dangerous. As far as I know, ninety-nine percent of marriages are finished by the time the honeymoon is finished. But then you are caught, then you have no way to escape. Then the whole society -- the law, the court, everybody is against you if you leave the wife or the wife leaves you. Then the whole morality, the religion, the priest, everybody is against you.
In fact society should create all barriers possible for marriage and no barrier for divorce. Society should not allow people to marry so easily. The court should create barriers -- live with the woman for two years at least, then the court can allow you to get married. Right now they are doing just the reverse. If you want to get married, nobody asks whether you are ready or whether it is just a whim, just because you like the nose of the woman. What foolishness! One cannot live with just a beautiful nose. After two days the nose will be forgotten -- who looks at one's own wife's nose? The wife never looks beautiful, the husband never looks beautiful; once you are acquainted, beauty disappears.
Two persons should be allowed to live together long enough to become acquainted, familiar with each other. Before that, even if they want to get married they should not be allowed. Then divorces will disappear from the world. The divorces exist because marriages are wrong and forced. The divorces exist because marriages are done in a romantic mood.
A romantic mood is good if you are a poet -- and poets are not known to be good husbands or good wives. In fact poets are almost always bachelors, they fool around but they never get caught, and hence their romance remains alive. They go on writing poetry, beautiful poetry…. One should not get married to a woman or to a man in a poetic mood. Let the prose mood come, then settle. Because the day-to-day life is more like prose than like poetry.
One should become mature enough. Maturity means that one is no longer a romantic fool. One understands life, one understands the responsibility of life, one understands the problems of being together with a person. One accepts all those difficulties and yet decides to live with the person. One is not hoping that there is only going to be heaven, all roses. One is not hoping nonsense; one knows reality is tough, it is rough. There are roses but far and few in between; there are many thorns.
When you have become alert to all of these problems and still you decide that it is worthwhile to risk and be with a person rather than to be alone, then get married. Then marriages will never kill love, because this love is realistic. Marriage can kill only romantic love. And romantic love is what people call puppy love. One should not depend on it. One should not think about it as nourishment. It may be just like ice-cream -- you can eat it sometimes, but don't depend on it. Life has to be more realistic, more prose.
Posted March 12, 2000
With all the books and magazine articles and ads targeting the baby-boomer audience with the subtle message that aging gracefully is only for wimps, this celebration of 'growing up' rings as sweet and clear as a voice in the wilderness. I felt affirmed, supported, and delighted reading its pages.
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Posted November 16, 2006