It as mathematical, marriage, not, as one might expect, additional; it was exponential. This one man, nervous in a suite a size too small for his long, lean self, this woman, in a green lace dress cut to the upper thigh, with a white rose behind her ear. Christ, so young. The woman before them was a unitarian minister and on her buzzed scalp, the grey hairs shone in a swab of sun through the lace in the window. Outside, Poughkeepsie was waking. Behind them, a man in a custodian's uniform cried softly beside a man in pajamas with a Dachshund, their witnesses, a shine in everyone's eye. One could taste the love on the air, or maybe that was sex, or maybe that was all the same then.'I do,' she said.'I do,' he said.They did. They would. Our children will be so fucking beautiful, he thought, looking at her. Home, she thought, looking at him. 'You may kiss,' said the officiant. They did, would. Now they thanked everyone and laughed and papers were signed and congratulations offered and all stood for a moment, unwilling to leave this gentile living room where there was such softness. The newlyweds thanked everyone again, shyly and went out the door into the cool morning. They laughed, rosy. In they'd come integers, out they came, squared. Her life, in the window, the parakeet, scrap of blue midday in the London dusk, ages away from what had been most deeply lived. Day on a rocky beach, creatures in the tide pool. All those ordinary afternoons, listening to footsteps in the beams of the house and knowing the feeling behind them. Because it was so true, more than the highlights and the bright events, it was in the daily where she'd found life. The hundreds of time she'd dug in her garden, each time the satisfying chew of spade through soil, so often that this action, the pressure and release and rich dirt smell delineated the warmth she'd felt in the cherry orchard. Or this, each day they woke in the same place, her husband waking her with a cup of coffee, the cream still swirling into the black. Almost unremarked upon this kindness, he would kiss her on the crown of her head before leaving and she'd feel something in her rising in her body to meet him. These silent intimacies made their marriage, not the ceremonies or parties or opening nights or occasions, or spectacular fucks. Anyway, that part was finished. A pity...
Lauren Groff
New Rule: Conservatives have to stop rolling their eyes every time they hear the word France. Like just calling something French is the ultimate argument winner. As if to say, What can you say about a country that was too stupid to get on board with our wonderfully conceived and brilliantly executed war in Iraq? And yet an American politician could not survive if he uttered the simple, true statement: France has a better health-care system than we do and we should steal it. Because here, simply dismissing an idea as French passes for an argument. John Kerry? Couldn't vote for him--he looked French. Yeah, as a opposed to the other guy, who just looked stupid.Last week, France had an election and people over there approach an election differently. They vote. Eighty-five percent turned out. You couldn't get eighty-five percent of Americans to get off the couch if there was an election between tits and bigger tits and they were giving out free samples.Maybe the high turnout has something to do with the fact that the French candidates are never asked where they stand on evolution, prayer in school, abortion, stem cell research, or gay marriage. And if the candidate knows about a character in a book other than Jesus, it's not a drawback. The electorate doesn't vote for the guy they want to have a croissant with. Nor do they care about private lives. In the current race, Madame Royal has four kids, but she never got married. And she's a socialist. In America, if a Democrat even thinks you're calling him liberal, he grabs an orange vest and a rifle and heads into the woods to kill something.Royal's opponent is married, but they live apart and lead separate lives. And the people are okay with that, for the same reason they're okay with nude beaches: because they're not a nation of six-year-olds who scream and giggle if they see pee-pee parts. They have weird ideas about privacy. They think it should be private. In France, even mistresses have mistresses. To not have a lady on the side says to the voters, I am no good at multitasking.Like any country, France has its faults, like all that ridiculous accordion music--but their health care is the best in the industrialized world, as is their poverty rate. And they're completely independent of Mid-East oil. And they're the greenest country. And they're not fat. They have public intellectuals in France. We have Dr. Phil. They invented sex during the day, lingerie and the tongue. Can't we admit we could learn something from them?
Bill Maher