How do you know you aren’t jaded?
March 28, 2018

The tricky part about getting married a second time is that you’re no longer operating under the illusion that marriage is a guarantee. You’re entering into an arrangement with someone who has a free will, just like you did the first time.

I’m surprised I had the nerve. Three years into the second round I characterized my desire to get married again as reckless. There was much more at risk, and I just bounded right back in. “You’re saying yes to life,” a favorite uncle told me. I’m not sure I was armed with anything that would help me get it right the second time, which makes the relative longevity of that all the more mysterious.

It reminds me of being on the dance floor with my college boyfriend. It was at a disco -- remember those? -- and I thought I was doing an okay job of imitating the moves of the people around us. Nope. In a trivial but oddly defining moment of my life, my boyfriend looked at me with exasperation and said, “Listen to the music.”

That’s what marriage is, I decided. A dance. I vowed that if given the opportunity, I’d pay lots of attention to the music, metaphorically speaking. I’d do my best to be a good dance partner, and my marriage vows were more of a promise to keep learning than anything.