Sunday, February 19, 2006

Quotable: Love and Marriage

A love story without a marriage and a family is bulimic by nature--it is a story about longing without consummation, eating without nutriment, a race without a finish line, a prayer without a god, a mere phantom without substance. Death at least gives some sort of a conclusion to it. That's why Romeo and Juliet had to die. That's why Wagner wrote of Tristan and Isolde's love-death. It's also why Jane Austen's novels are so good: one always has the impression that the principals will raise lots of kids on their country estate.

And while we're on the subject, Valentine's Day was good to The Waiter.
“Happy Valentine’s Day Madam,” I say, gallantly presenting the dessert.
“Oh!” the woman exclaims. “Thank you!”
“My pleasure madam.”
“Say, what about me?” the woman’s husband says.
“What about me?” the man says, half seriously. “Aren’t you going to wish me a Happy Valentine’s Day?”
“Should I sir?”
“Valentine’s Day is for the ladies sir.”
“That’s not true! It’s for guys too!” the man protests.
“We have the Superbowl sir.”
“So you’re telling me the ladies get Valentine’s Day and we get hit in the head with a forward pass?”
“Are you married sir?” I ask.
“Then you’ve already been hit in the head with a forward pass.”
The husband roars with laughter. The wife titters happily.
“Very good Waiter,” the man says after he regains his composure, “Very good.”

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