The Countess on Marriage


“I realized that you’ve always avoided all but the most rudimentary involvements with men, and, I might add, you’ve been wise. Heterosexual relationships seem to lead only to marriage, and for most poor dumb brainwashed women marriage is the climactic experience. For men, marriage is a matter of efficient logistics: the male gets his good, bed, laundry, TV, pussy, offspring and creature comforts all under one roof, where he doesn’t have to dissipate his psychic energy thinking about them too much – then he is free to go out and fight the battles of life, which is what existence is all about. But for a woman, marriage is surrender. Marriage is when a girl gives up the fight, walks off the battlefield and from then on leaves the truly interesting and significant action to her husband, who has bargained to ‘take care of her.’ What a sad dumb deal. Women live longer than men because they really haven’t been living. Better blue-in-the-face dead of a heart attack at fifty than a healthy seventy-year-old widow who hasn’t had a piece of life’s action since girlhood.”

The Countless – Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Tom Robbins

I have not yet finished reading Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, but I absolutely love it so far. I think Robbins is now on my favourite authors list. This quote is sensational. While I have no beef with marriage in general, I share a few of the views in this quote. Now, lets put it in context, this is said by a sixty-something homosexual man to a young woman hitchhiker in the mid 70’s. So yes, this view is a little archaic and marriage is a partnership now-a-days. But being a child of divorce myself and seeing 80% of the marriages of my childhood crumble to messy pieces, I can sympathize with this argument. Now, don’t get me wrong (I say that a lot don’t I?) I still believe that some marriages work. Hell, my best friend is married and happier than a clam with tap shoes. But, it’s just not for me.

The real point of this however, is that Tom Robbins is an excellent, humorous, clever, and intellectual writer all at once. I collect quotes such as this one from every book I read. If something hits me and I love it I write it down in my quote notebook. I’ve already taken several from Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and have barely transversed the half-way mark. It’s safe to say that when I’m finished Robbins is getting a stellar review… even though this book was published in 1976. But hey, a good review, however late, is always good, right?

Also, I just discovered that they made a movie out of this lovely book in 1993. Who’s going to watch it after finishing the book? Why, me of course!

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