Monday, July 26, 2010

Writing exercise -- use these four words in a sentence: Happy. Married. Happily Married.

For years I wrote about motherhood and avoided writing about my husband and/or my marriage. That began to change when I focused the research semester of my MFA program on exploring how contemporary women nonfiction writers represent the spouse in memoir and personal essay.

More recently, my regular personal essay writing gig over at Your Tango's LoveMom section more or less requires that I examine the marital relationship in the larger context of "the intersection of life, love and kids."  My piece over there today pivots on the difference (if there is one) between being happy and married, and being “happily married” (whatever that means!). It begins this way:

A decade ago, when one of my sons was still a preschooler, a friendly old gent in the grocery checkout line tried to make small talk with the boy, who was attired in a New York Yankees jacket.
"Oh, are you a real slugger?"
From the kid, silence.
"Are you a big strong boy?"
More silence.
Finally, winking, "Are you married?"
The boy spoke. “No, I’m happy.”
You can read the rest here.

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