“I’d get an idea and wouldn’t know how to make it work, and she’d figure out how to make it work.”more info
source: describing his wife, in “Toshi Seeger, Wife of Folk-Singing Legend, Dies at 91,” by Douglas Martin, New York Times, July 11, 2013.
“I feel, sometimes, like I have a map in my pocket that folds up, and I pull it out, and it’s bigger than the table, and there’s a thousand places to go with her.”more info
“…I’m extremely happy with her, and part of it has to do with the fact that she is at once completely familiar to me, so that I can be myself and she knows me very well and I trust her completely, but at the same time she is also a complete mystery to me in some ways. And there are times when we are lying in bed and I look over and sort of have a start. Because I realize here is this other person who is separate and different and has different memories and backgrounds and thoughts and feelings. It’s that tension between familiarity and mystery that makes for something strong, because, even as you build a life of trust and comfort and mutual support, you retain some sense of surprise or wonder about the other person.”more info
source: “A Couple in Chicago,” interview by Mariana Cook, The New Yorker, January 19, 2009.
notes: Interview originally conducted on May 26, 1996 by Mariana Cook, who visited the Obamas in Hyde Park as part of a photography project on couples in America.
“I have always lived violently, drunk hugely, eaten too much or not at all, slept around the clock or missed two nights of sleeping, worked too hard and too long in glory, or slobbed for a time in utter laziness. I’ve lifted, pulled, chopped, climbed, made love with joy and taken my hangovers as a consequence, not as a punishment. I did not want to surrender fierceness for a small gain in yardage. My wife married a man; I saw no reason why she should inherit a baby.”more info
source: Travels with Charley: In Search of America (New York: Penguin, 1997), 17.
“For marriage find somebody that was born near the time when you were born.”more info
source: Jan.? 1842 entry, Emerson in His Journals, selected and edited by Joel Porte (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982), 277.
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“The joy of my life with Harry is coming home from a fancy dinner with Harry—and Harry always hates the dinner, whatever it is—and him making himself a marmalade on toast standing in the kitchen and him ranting, ‘How the hell could it have gone on as long as it did?’”more info
source: “Tina Brown Is Still Hungry For Buzz,” by Peter Stevenson, The New York Times Magazine, May 6, 2011.
medium: Magazine profile
“I believe that I have a spiritual connection with my husband that is beyond any explanation. We are two absolutely totally different people that come from different backgrounds, different cultures, races, language, everything. And yet I feel him inside me. We won’t part, I know. I know positively that nothing will separate us. Ever. Because we’ve found something that is very spiritual and has nothing to do with being sick or in good health, young or not. Poor or rich. No. It works on another level. So, I’ve relaxed for the first time in my life and I don’t care about the tall blondes any more. The world is full of tall blondes.”more info
source: Writers Dreaming by Naomi Epel (New York: Carol Southern Books, 1993), 23–24.
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“Now I am going to tell you the secret to a lasting marriage: Choose a spouse who needs to eat as often as you do. Bruce and I are like toddlers on a big day out. We need a snack, no matter where we are going or how long we are going to be gone. If we are headed out for dinner, we bring a Baggie of cut-up cheese for the car ride to the restaurant.”more info
source: Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011), 200.
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“Before marriage I was wildly interested in sex, but since joining up with my old goat, it has taken its proper position in my life.”more info
source: October 28, 1953 letter to Avis DeVoto in As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010), 142.
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“I’m married to my calling, but I’m not married to a particular woman. I have no pets. My apartment is full of books and records, the light of Toni Morrison and John Coltrane.”more info
source: “Called Far and Wide to Touch Minds,” by Cara Buckley, The New York Times, January 22, 2010.
medium: newspaper interview
“Trophy wives are not longer bimbos, they are either women of distinction with careers in their own right, or they are efficient PAs who add bed to their job description, and are rewarded with a marriage ceremony.”more info
source: The Spa (New York: Grove Press, 2007), 27.
medium: fictionvia: Joan Konner
“Bigotry has suffered a grievous blow.”more info
source: “A Judge’s Mighty Arguments for Marriage Equality, The Washington Post, August 6, 2010.
“You may depend upon it, that a slight contrast of character is very material to happiness in marriage.”more info
source: The Table Talk and Omniana of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (London: Oxford University Press, 1917), 59.
“If people were to bring their marriages in for a checkup on an annual basis, would that provide the same sort of benefit that a physical health checkup would provide?”more info
source: “Seeking to Pre-empt Marital Strife,” by Tara Parker-Pope, Well Blog, The New York Times, June 28, 2010.
“I soon realized I had made no mistake in my choice of a wife. I was helping her pack an overnight bag one afternoon when she said, ‘Put in some tooth twine.’ I knew then that a girl who called dental floss tooth twine was the girl for me. It had been a long search, but it was worth it.”more info
source: Letters of E. B. White, rev. edition edited by Martha White (New York: Harper Perennial, 2007), 81.
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notes: This recollection is recorded in the notes for Chapter IV, “The Most Beautiful Decisions,” 1929–1930