A Dozen Years Of Marriage Quotes

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To prove to [her friend, Swedish diplomat Count] Gyllenborg that she was not superficial, Catherine composed an essay about herself, "so that he would see whether I knew myself or not." The next day, she wrote and handed to Gyllenborg an essay titled 'Portrait of a Fifteen-Year-Old Philosopher.' He was impressed and returned it with a dozen pages of comments, mostly favorable. "I read his remarks again and again, many times [Catherine later recalled in her memoirs]. I impressed them on my consciousness and resolved to follow his advice. In addition, there was something else surprising: one day, while conversing with me, he allowed the following sentence to slip out: 'What a pity that you will marry! I wanted to find out what he meant, but he would not tell me.
Robert K. Massie (Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman)
1 The summer our marriage failed we picked sage to sweeten our hot dark car. We sat in the yard with heavy glasses of iced tea, talking about which seeds to sow when the soil was cool. Praising our large, smooth spinach leaves, free this year of Fusarium wilt, downy mildew, blue mold. And then we spoke of flowers, and there was a joke, you said, about old florists who were forced to make other arrangements. Delphiniums flared along the back fence. All summer it hurt to look at you. 2 I heard a woman on the bus say, “He and I were going in different directions.” As if it had something to do with a latitude or a pole. Trying to write down how love empties itself from a house, how a view changes, how the sign for infinity turns into a noose for a couple. Trying to say that weather weighed down all the streets we traveled on, that if gravel sinks, it keeps sinking. How can I blame you who kneeled day after day in wet soil, pulling slugs from the seedlings? You who built a ten-foot arch for the beans, who hated a bird feeder left unfilled. You who gave carrots to a gang of girls on bicycles. 3 On our last trip we drove through rain to a town lit with vacancies. We’d come to watch whales. At the dock we met five other couples—all of us fluorescent, waterproof, ready for the pitch and frequency of the motor that would lure these great mammals near. The boat chugged forward—trailing a long, creamy wake. The captain spoke from a loudspeaker: In winter gray whales love Laguna Guerrero; it’s warm and calm, no killer whales gulp down their calves. Today we’ll see them on their way to Alaska. If we get close enough, observe their eyes—they’re bigger than baseballs, but can only look down. Whales can communicate at a distance of 300 miles—but it’s my guess they’re all saying, Can you hear me? His laughter crackled. When he told us Pink Floyd is slang for a whale’s two-foot penis, I stopped listening. The boat rocked, and for two hours our eyes were lost in the waves—but no whales surfaced, blowing or breaching or expelling water through baleen plates. Again and again you patiently wiped the spray from your glasses. We smiled to each other, good troopers used to disappointment. On the way back you pointed at cormorants riding the waves— you knew them by name: the Brants, the Pelagic, the double-breasted. I only said, I’m sure whales were swimming under us by the dozens. 4 Trying to write that I loved the work of an argument, the exhaustion of forgiving, the next morning, washing our handprints off the wineglasses. How I loved sitting with our friends under the plum trees, in the white wire chairs, at the glass table. How you stood by the grill, delicately broiling the fish. How the dill grew tall by the window. Trying to explain how camellias spoil and bloom at the same time, how their perfume makes lovers ache. Trying to describe the ways sex darkens and dies, how two bodies can lie together, entwined, out of habit. Finding themselves later, tired, by a fire, on an old couch that no longer reassures. The night we eloped we drove to the rainforest and found ourselves in fog so thick our lights were useless. There’s no choice, you said, we must have faith in our blindness. How I believed you. Trying to imagine the road beneath us, we inched forward, honking, gently, again and again.
Dina Ben-Lev
I couldn’t wait to get out of the car. The first thing I did was smell the air. I closed my eyes and took a breath, the biggest breath of my life, knowing I was taking the biggest breath of my life. I was taking a breath to smell Shepelevo. Breathing in Shepelevo was like hitting the right note on the piano. There was only one right note. When I was young, Shepelevo was the smell of nettles, of salted smoked fish, of fresh water from the Gulf of Finland, and of burning firewood, all wrapped up in one Shepelevo. As it had been, so it was. Across two continents, a dozen countries, twenty cities, three colleges, two marriages, three children, three books, and twenty-five years of another life, I breathed it and smelled the air. Nowhere else in the world had it. “Papa,” I said, my voice breaking. “Do you think we could photograph the smell?” He gave me a look and then laughed.
Paullina Simons (Six Days in Leningrad)
He went into those little gardens beneath the over-hanging, brightly-lit masses of the Savoy Hotel and the Hotel Cecil. He sat down on a seat and became aware of the talk of the two people next to him. It was the talk of a young couple evidently on the eve of marriage. The man was congratulating himself on having regular employment at last; 'they like me,' he said, 'and I like the job. If I work up—in'r dozen years or so I ought to be gettin' somethin' pretty comfortable. That's the plain sense of it, Hetty. There ain't no reason whatsoever why we shouldn't get along very decently—very decently indeed.
H.G. Wells (The World Set Free)
In 1856, shortly after leaving the army and the loss of his brother to tuberculosis, Tolstoy courted and became engaged to the beautiful Valeria Arsenev.  However—wanting her to understand him completely before marriage—he gave her his diaries; the shock ended their relationship. Though Tolstoy believed no woman could love him, six years later he married his friend’s sister, nineteen year old Sofia Andreyevna Behrs.  His beloved Sonya bore him more than a dozen children over their many blissful and prosperous years together.
John C. Kirkland (Love Letters of Great Men)
Did he really want to know? That at any given moment I see everyday life as only _this big_, the space between my finger and thumb. The rest of my mind is occupied with five, a dozen, three dozen other potential lives, each representing some opportunity never taken or currently within reach. Without those worlds of possibility, my life immediately begins to seem boring and drab. I'm thirty-three years old, always broke, and merely _existing_ in what, without having been sealed by formal wedding vows, had become a traditional marriage. I had no blues to lament, not really. My only drama was in my daydreams. They reminded me that any day, at any moment, I could change everything, and while many of those alternate lives featured James at my side--the truth was that some of them did not.
Alisa Smith
Most Russian girls usually only go in for Platonic attachments with never a thought of marriage. And Platonic love is the most troublesome sort. The princess, I fancy, is one of those women who want to be amused, and two dull minutes with you will finish you for good. Your silence must rouse her curiosity, on conversation must leave her wanting more. You've got to play on her feelings all the time. She'll scorn public opinion a dozen times for your sake and call it a sacrifice, but she'll get her own back by tormenting you, and then later simply declare that she can't stand you. If you don't get the upper hand, her first kiss won't give you the right to expect a second. She'll play with you till she's tired of it, then a couple of years later she'll marry some brute out of duty to Mama and persuade herself she's unhappy, because it was not heaven's will to unite her with the only man she ever loved (you that is) on account of his private's greatcoat, though under that thick grey coat there beat an ardent, noble heart..
Mikhail Lermontov (A Hero of Our Time)
The careful, embroidered stitches delineated a coil of some sort. It looked rather like a halved snail shell, but the interior was divided into dozen of intricate chambers. "Is that a nautilus?" he asked. "Close, but no. It's an ammonite." "An ammonite? What's an ammonite? Sounds like an Old Testament people overdue for smiting." "Ammonites are not a biblical people," she replied in a tone of strained forbearance. "But they have been smited." "Smote." With a snap of linen, she shot him a look. "Smote?" "Grammatically speaking, I think the word you want is 'smote.' " "Scientifically speaking, the word I want is 'extinct.' Ammonites are extinct. They're only known to us in fossils." "And bedsheets, apparently." "You know..." She huffed aside a lock of hair dangling in her face. "You could be helping." "But I'm so enjoying watching," he said, just to devil her. Nonetheless, he picked up the edge of the top sheet and fingered the stitching as he pulled it straight. "So you made this?" "Yes." Though judging by her tone, it hadn't been a labor of love. "My mother always insisted, from the time I was twelve years old, that I spend an hour every evening on embroidery. She had all three of us forever stitching things for our trousseaux." 'Trousseaux.' The word hit him queerly. "You brought your trousseau?" "Of course I brought my trousseau. To create the illusion of an elopement, obviously. And it made the most logical place to store Francine. All these rolls of soft fabric made for good padding." Some emotion jabbed his side, then scampered off before he could name it. Guilt, most likely. These were sheets meant to grace her marriage bed, and she was spreading them over a stained straw-tick mattress in a seedy coaching inn. "Anyhow," she went on, "so long as my mother forced me to embroider, I insisted on choosing a pattern that interested me. I've never understood why girls are always made to stitch insipid flowers and ribbons." "Well, just to hazard a guess..." Colin straightened his edge. "Perhaps that's because sleeping on a bed of flowers and ribbons sounds delightful and romantic. Whereas sharing one's bed with a primeval sea snail sounds disgusting." Her jaw firmed. "You're welcome to sleep on the floor." "Did I say disgusting? I meant enchanting. I've always wanted to go to bed with a primeval sea snail.
Tessa Dare (A Week to Be Wicked (Spindle Cove, #2))
Quickly I find another surprise. The boys are wilder writers — less careful of convention, more willing to leap into the new. I start watching the dozens of vaguely familiar girls, who seem to have shaved off all distinguishing characteristics. They are so careful. Careful about their appearance, what they say and how they say it, how they sit, what they write. Even in the five-minute free writes, they are less willing to go out from where they are — to go out there, where you have to go, to write. They are reluctant to show me rough work, imperfect work, anything I might criticize; they are very careful to write down my instructions word by word. They’re all trying themselves on day by day, hour by hour, I know — already making choices that will last too unfairly long. I’m surprised to find, after a few days, how invigorating it all is. I pace and plead for reaction, for ideas, for words, and gradually we all relax a little and we make progress. The boys crouch in their too-small desks, giant feet sticking out, and the girls perch on the edge, alert like little groundhogs listening for the patter of coyote feet. I begin to like them a lot. Then the outlines come in. I am startled at the preoccupation with romance and family in many of these imaginary futures. But the distinction between boys and girls is perfectly, painfully stereotypical. The boys also imagine adventure, crime, inventions, drama. One expects war with China, several get rich and lose it all, one invents a time warp, another resurrects Jesus, another is shot by a robber. Their outlines are heavy on action, light on response. A freshman: “I grow populerity and for the rest of my life I’m a million air.” [sic] A sophomore boy in his middle age: “Amazingly, my first attempt at movie-making won all the year’s Oscars. So did the next two. And my band was a HUGE success. It only followed that I run the country.” Among the girls, in all the dozens and dozens of girls, the preoccupation with marriage and children is almost everything. They are entirely reaction, marked by caution. One after the other writes of falling in love, getting married, having children and giving up — giving up careers, travel, college, sports, private hopes, to save the marriage, take care of the children. The outlines seem to describe with remarkable precision the quietly desperate and disappointed lives many women live today.
Sallie Tisdale (Violation: Collected Essays by Sallie Tisdale)
Fiancé. The very word scraped him raw. Dom had met Blakeborough half a dozen times back when he’d been courting Jane, but their paths hadn’t crossed since then. As Dom recalled, the earl had been too handsome for his own good. Through the years, however, rumors had begun to circulate about the man’s disposition--that he was a curmudgeon of sorts, cynical about women and about marriage in general. Which is why Dom had initially been surprised to hear that Jane was engaged to the arse. Still was engaged to the arse. Dom scowled. He’d spent the entire trip imagining what he would do when confronted with the man. The idea of challenging Blakeborough to a duel over Jane was tempting, but not remotely practical. For one thing, it would hurt Jane’s reputation. For another, it might result in Dom losing her anyway. Because if afterward Dom had to flee to avoid prosecution, she might not agree to leave England with him. Besides, it would be awfully hard to drag Rathmoor Park out of arrears from afar. Dom had even considered telling Blakeborough that his fiancée was no longer chaste. But that would send her into an apoplectic fit, and rightly so. A gentleman didn’t impugn a woman’s reputation to gain what he wanted. Even if what he wanted was the woman as his wife. No, he would just have to hope that Jane did the right thing and broke with the fellow. In the meantime, Dom would pray he could speak to the man with civility…or at least without wanting to call him out.
Sabrina Jeffries (If the Viscount Falls (The Duke's Men, #4))
Pat and I felt rather insignificant in a throng that included not only England’s most important, famous, and titled citizens but also most of western Europe’s royalty and heads of state from all over the world. The marriage of the heir to the English throne was very much a grand state occasion, in contrast to the ball, which had been a private celebration. The relative intimacy of the ball and the chance to visit with Diana made the party the more dazzling experience for us that week. Nonetheless, our spirits were buoyed by the happy fact that we actually knew the bride. Given our lack of social or political stature, Pat and I had joked that our assigned seats were likely to be at the very back of the nave and behind a pillar. Silently, we gave each other wide-eyed looks of surprise as the usher led us slowly up and up the center aisle to seats under the famous crossing dome, less than a dozen rows from the very front of the nave. We were floored! We would have an unobstructed view of the ceremony taking place on the dais on the front edge of the choir. As we entered our row to the left, we noticed Mrs. Thatcher, somber in dark blue, on the aisle in the same row to the right. Once again, I regretted my timidity two nights earlier. Pat and I couldn’t understand how we had ended up so near to the front of the cathedral. We assumed some error had been made, but were grateful for the mistake. Years later, when I was in London for Diana’s funeral, I learned that she had been allowed only one hundred personal invitations to her own wedding. We must have been in that small group, fortunately placed near the front of the church. As we waited almost breathlessly for the ceremony to being, Pat and I gazed discreetly at our splendid surroundings and the other guests privileged to be inside the cathedral. Once again, we didn’t know a soul and we would only see Diana from a distance today.
Mary Robertson (The Diana I Knew: Loving Memories of the Friendship Between an American Mother and Her Son's Nanny Who Became the Princess of Wales)
Study after study suggests that the pressure society places on women to stay home and do “what’s best for the child” is based on emotion, not evidence. In 1991, the Early Child Care Research Network, under the auspices of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, initiated the most ambitious and comprehensive study to date on the relationship between child care and child development, and in particular on the effect of exclusive maternal care versus child care. The Research Network, which comprised more than thirty child development experts from leading universities across the country, spent eighteen months designing the study. They tracked more than one thousand children over the course of fifteen years, repeatedly assessing the children’s cognitive skills, language abilities, and social behaviors. Dozens of papers have been published about what they found.23 In 2006, the researchers released a report summarizing their findings, which concluded that “children who were cared for exclusively by their mothers did not develop differently than those who were also cared for by others.”24 They found no gap in cognitive skills, language competence, social competence, ability to build and maintain relationships, or in the quality of the mother-child bond.25 Parental behavioral factors—including fathers who are responsive and positive, mothers who favor “self-directed child behavior,” and parents with emotional intimacy in their marriages—influence a child’s development two to three times more than any form of child care.26 One of the findings is worth reading slowly, maybe even twice: “Exclusive maternal care was not related to better or worse outcomes for children. There is, thus, no reason for mothers to feel as though they are harming their children if they decide to work.
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
In the dim light he could see tears shimmering on her pale cheeks. He bent his head to catch their saltiness with the tip of his tongue. “Ah, Blue Eyes, ka taikay, ka taikay, don’t cry. Has my hand upon you ever brought pain?” “No,” she whispered brokenly. Determined to finish what he had begun, Hunter swept her slender body into his arms and strode to the bed. Lowering her gently onto the fur, he stretched out beside her and gathered her close, his manhood throbbing with urgency against the confining leather of his pants. He half expected her to struggle, and perhaps if she had, he could have continued, his one thought to consummate their marriage, to put her fears behind them and ease the ache in his loins. But instead of fighting him, she wrapped her slender arms around his neck and clung to him, so rigid with fear that she felt brittle, her limbs quivering almost uncontrollably. In a voice thick with tears, she said, “Hunter--would you do one thing for me? Just one small thing. Please?” He splayed a hand on her back and felt the wild hammering of her heart. “What thing, Blue Eyes?” “Would you get it over with quickly? Please? I won’t ever ask again, I swear it. Just this time, please?” Hunter buried a smile in her hair and closed his eyes, tightening his arms around her. His father’s voice whispered. Fear is not like dust on a leaf that can be washed away by a gentle rain. The words no sooner came to him than a dozen forgotten memories did as well. For an instant the years rolled away, and Hunter saw himself running hand in hand with Willow by the Stream through a meadow of red daisies, their laughter ringing across the windswept grass, their eyes shining with love as they drank in the sight of one another. He remembered so many things in that instant--the love, yes, but mostly he remembered the friendship he and Willow had shared, the trust, the silliness, the laughter. Ah, yes, the laughter…He and his little blue-eyes had laughed together so few times that Hunter had difficulty recalling when they had. Suddenly he knew that without the laughter, their loving would fall far short of what it should be. Especially for her. In a voice that rasped with frustration as well as tender amusement, Hunter said, “You have such a great want for me that we must hurry, yes?
Catherine Anderson (Comanche Moon (Comanche, #1))
Shelby is a wonderful young woman. You’re good together.” “Mother…” “It isn’t just her. Oh, it’s obvious she loves you. But it’s also you. The second she’s near you, all those tense lines in your face relax and you soften up. That grumpy, self-protective shield drops and you’re warm and affectionate. She’s good for you, she brings out your best, makes you fun. You have something special with her.” “She’s twenty-five.” Maureen shook her head. “I don’t think that’s relevant. It doesn’t seem to have anything to do with how you two communicate…” “There are things you don’t understand about Shelby,” he said. “She’s not just young, she hasn’t had many relationships. She’s been taking care of her mother and hasn’t really looked at the world. In a lot of ways, she’s a child.” “I know all about her mother, but she’s no child,” Maureen said. “It takes maturity and courage to do what she did. So she didn’t have a lot of relationships with young men, it doesn’t mean she lacks worldly experience. And your age doesn’t matter to her.” “It will. I’m too old. I’m not going to stand still while she gets older. She’ll be thirty-five and I’ll be almost fifty. She’d find herself with an old man.” “At fifty?” She laughed. “I liked fifty,” she said with a dismissive shrug. “Fifty was good. I was only twenty-three when I married your father and I never thought of him as too old for me. To the contrary, it made me feel better in so many ways, to be with a mature man, a man of experience who didn’t have doubts anymore. He was stable and solid. It brought me comfort. And he was awful good to me.” Luke straightened his shoulders. “I’m not getting married. Shelby will move on, Mom. She wants a career. A young husband. She wants a family.” “You know this?” Maureen asked. “Of course I know that,” he said. “You think we haven’t talked? I didn’t lead her on. And she didn’t lead me on. She knows I don’t want a wife, don’t want children…” Maureen was quiet for a long moment. Finally she said, “You did once.” Luke let go a short laugh that was tinged with his inner rage. “I’m cured of that.” “You have to think about this. The way you’ve managed your life since Felicia hasn’t exactly brought you peace. I suppose it’s normal when a man gets hurt to avoid anything risky for a while, but not for thirteen years, Luke. If the right person comes along, don’t assume it can’t work just because it didn’t work once, a long, long time ago. I know this young woman as well as I ever knew Felicia. Luke, Shelby is nothing like her. Nothing.” Luke pursed his lips, looked away for a second and then took a slow sip of coffee. “Thank you, Mom. I’ll remember that.” She stepped toward him. “It’s going to hurt just as much to let her go as it hurt you to be tossed away by Felicia. Remember that.” “You know, I don’t think I’m the one guilty of assumptions here,” he said impatiently. “What makes you think all people want a tidy little marriage and children? Huh? I’ve been damn happy the past dozen years. I’ve been challenged and successful in my own way, I’ve had a good time, good friends, a few relationships…” “You’ve been treading water,” she said. “You’re marking the years, not living them. There’s more to life, Luke. I hope you let yourself see—you’re in such a good place right now—you can have it all. You put in your army years and it left you with a pension while you’re still young. You’re healthy, smart, accomplished, and you have a good woman. She’s devoted to you. There’s no reason you have to be alone for the rest of your life. It’s not too late.” He’d
Robyn Carr (Temptation Ridge)
They tracked more than one thousand children over the course of fifteen years, repeatedly assessing the children’s cognitive skills, language abilities, and social behaviors. Dozens of papers have been published about what they found.23 In 2006, the researchers released a report summarizing their findings, which concluded that “children who were cared for exclusively by their mothers did not develop differently than those who were also cared for by others.”24 They found no gap in cognitive skills, language competence, social competence, ability to build and maintain relationships, or in the quality of the mother-child bond.25 Parental behavioral factors—including fathers who are responsive and positive, mothers who favor “self-directed child behavior,” and parents with emotional intimacy in their marriages—influence a child’s development two to three times more than any form of child care.26 One of the findings is worth reading slowly, maybe even twice: “Exclusive maternal care was not related to better or worse outcomes for children. There is, thus, no reason for mothers to feel as though they are harming their children if they decide to work.”27
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
You learn a great deal about a person when you purchase a business from him and he then stays on to run it as an employee rather than as an owner. Before the purchase the seller knows the business intimately, whereas you start from scratch. The seller has dozens of opportunities to mislead the buyer - through omissions, ambiguities, and misdirection. After the check has changed hands, subtle (and not so subtle) changes of attitude can occur and implicit understandings can evaporate. As in the courtship-marriage sequence, disappointments are not infrequent.” -1980 letter
Mark Gavagan (Gems from Warren Buffett - Wit and Wisdom from 34 Years of Letters to Shareholders)
I don't believe in the concept of marriage. I believe people can get married, but I also believe it's up to them just how many times they get married and divorced. Because people change, we all change. We can never really, truly promise someone fidelity or everlasting love until death, because we are always changing, growing and we genuinely don't know who we'll be ten years from now or who we'll want to be with ten years from now. So what are you gonna keep on doing? Are you going to just kiss everything else in your life goodbye, because you promised to stay loyal to one person? The marriage concept is unrealistic, phantasmic. We are all individuals and we all change, it's the way of nature itself. Weddings are nice things to do, but, I will never judge anyone who gets married and divorced a dozen times, because, you'll never know how many times it'll take before you grow enough to find the actual one for you.
C. JoyBell C.