Sunday, April 18, 2010

To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife, Caitlin Flanagan

I have wanted to read this book for a few years now, ever since I read "The Marriage Merchants" in The Atlantic but I had never gotten around to it. Then I read her article about Twilight ("What Girls Want") and finally got her book from the library. And I loved it. I have ordered my own copy and told my mom and Nora that they need to read it. The last chapter had me (and my mom when I read parts to her out loud) tearing up.

There is so much covered in the book and for now I'm just going to include a few of my favorite passages about modern weddings:

On weddings:

"Before World War II the idea that a girl of modest means would expect any of today's purchased grandeur would have been laughable. She would have been familiar with the elements of such a ceremony, would have seen lavish movie weddings and photographs of society and royal ones, but she would not have imagined that those events had much to do with her own plans. She would have been married much as her mother had been: with her best friend standing up for her and everyone looking forward to a nice party at the bride's home, the two mothers wearing corsages and ladling punch." (p.4)

"Genuine tradition is not for sale, because no one needs to buy it; it's moored in the customs of one's own family (remember them?). If Dad feels like a complete chump in his Sir Elegance tux, you've just learned something about your tradition. What the altar-bound of today end up buying from their numberless vendors is a dog's breakfast of bridal excess- part society wedding of the twenties, part Long Island wedding of the fifties. It's The Philadelphia Story and The Wedding Singer served up together in one curious and costly buffet." (p.12)


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