Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert
I read this book in a little under two weeks. It’s really a quick, easy, and joyful read. This is a totally different book from Eat Pray Love or Committed. I think she was trying to inspire people to create cool shit not, even if it never makes you any money. And I think that’s awesome.
It took me longer than usual to read Committed. My aunt had sent me the book for my birthday (in April) and I was excited because, and yes I will admit it, I loved Eat, Pray, Love (and I’m excited for the movie). I was a bit saddened to find out that Gilbert had once again gotten married but once I delved deeper into her second memoir, I realized that her (and her now-husband, Felipe) were as equally saddened by the fact that they had to once again be married. For some reason, that made me feel better.
Committed was more-or-less a study of marriage in western culture intertwined with her dealing with her personal struggles regarding marriage and all that happened while her and Felipe were traveling around Asia when
they he wasn’t allowed back into the country. They even asked the US Department of Immigration if Gilbert could hire him, to which the immigration official asked Felipe, “You would rather be employed by her than marry her?”
- She discovered that people who married for (economic) necessity and less for love usually had a better chance of not getting divorce (depressing!).
- The younger you get married, the more likely it is you’ll get divorced (duh).
- Another fun fact: the church DISCOURAGED marriage when it was first introduced into society. Having a private life with your significant other was grounds for subversive action against the church (why do you think priests aren’t allowed to marry?) as far as they were concerned. Finally the church took action when they realized they couldn’t prevent marriage from happening, and well, we know what a fine job the church does with everything that they dabble in.
- In many parts of Scandinavia, marriage is passe (when is that mindset going to make its way here?) and unnecessary.
- Pre-nuptial agreements are kind of necessary. It’s hard to think about the separation of assets when you love someone so much, but just think about how much harder it is to discuss that kind of thing when/if you’ve grown to hate that person.
There were so many interesting facts in this book that I could go on for days. None of it made me want to run to the alter, obviously. Gilbert made peace with the fact that they just had to get married and then the US Government didn’t matter one bit. They could shape their marriage however they wanted. THe US Government could, for lack of better phrasing, go to hell.
I’m excited to read her next book, which I’m hoping she’s already writing. I think this is a must-read for anyone who is getting married or aspires to.