Seven essays celebrating the beauty of the imperfect marriage.
We hear plenty about whether or not to get married, but much less about what it takes to stay married. Clichés around marriageeternal bliss, domestic harmony, soul matesleave out the real stuff. After marriage you may still want to sleep with other people. Sometimes your partner will bore the hell out of you. And when stuck paying for your spouse’s mistakes, you might miss being single.
In Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give, Ada Calhoun presents an unflinching but also loving portrait of her own marriage, opening a long-overdue conversation about the institution as it truly is: not the happy ending of a love story or a relic doomed by high divorce rates, but the beginning of a challenging new chapter of which “the first twenty years are the hardest.”
Calhoun’s funny, poignant personal essays explore the bedrooms of modern coupledom for a nuanced discussion of infidelity, existential anxiety, and the many other obstacles to staying together. Both realistic and openhearted, Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give offers a refreshing new way to think about marriage as a brave, tough, creative decision to stay with another person for the rest of your life. “What a burden,” Calhoun calls marriage, “and what a gift.”
Ada Calhoun has written for the New York Times, New York magazine, and the New York Post. Her book St. Marks Is Dead was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice and a Boston Globe Best Book of the Year.
Table of Contents
Introduction: "Do You Know Why You're Here?" 13
Toast 1 Paying for Each Others Mistakes 21
Toast 2 The Boring Parts 32
Toast 3 Containing Multitudes 54
Toast 4 The Truth About Soul Mates 70
Toast 5 Fighting in Rental Cars 87
Toast 6 Other People, Other Cities 99
Toast 7 "Love Is Strong as Death" 128
Epilogue: One Toast I Would Actually Give 157
Appendix: Toward a More Realistic Reception Playlist 165
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