When Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert was making the media rounds to promote her 2010 book, Committed (which delves into the history, traditions, complexities, and sober realities of marriage), we were all prepared to read this interview, sharpen our long knives, and tear into what could only be sappy platitudes. Then we read the interview. And came away impressed. Along with squarely addressing the very real challenges of marriage, Gilbert sounds off on one of our favorite topics, the absurdity of the wedding-industry.
CNN: You didn’t want a big public wedding, which may shatter the wedding industry.
Gilbert: I don’t think there’s any danger whatsoever that anything I could say would shatter the wedding industry. It’s well entrenched. Not since I was about 13 years old, and obsessed with Charles and Diana’s wedding, could I say that I have fantasized about the big white wedding. I have lots of romantic fantasies, that just doesn’t happen to be in my playbook. But I recognize that it’s something a lot of people care about, and I respect that.
I do think, though, that it’s really important if we are to become adults, if we are to graduate out of girlhood and into womanhood, that one of the most important steps we have to take is to begin to recognize the difference between a wedding and a marriage. I think a lot of people who feel as though they desperately want to be married oftentimes simply desperately want to have a wedding.
Most of our readers, we hope, aren’t getting married because they’ve always “dreamed of the big wedding.” But we support the underlying thinking–the distinctions between weddings and marriage, trappings and substance–and we recommend the entire article, at CNN here. And we might even just check out the book itself, provided that while reading on the subway, we can hide it under something more respectable and guy-appropriate, like…anything else.