I don’t think anyone who reads my blog needs convincing, but it seems a bit obligatory to write something when you’re faced with history.

Way back when we lived in Texas, my husband (then fairly newly promoted to that title) was standing around chatting with two co-workers. Both were griping about recent or impending divorces, horrible exes, and how you can’t trust anybody and there are no good men/women around anymore.

Finally one of them turned to Ted and said “So, what’s your story?”

He answered, “Well, actually I’m happily married.”

When he told me the story, all those years ago, Ted said the other people seemed to be flabbergasted by this – the whole concept that someone might be married because they liked being married, instead of because it’s what you do or what you’re stuck with seemed totally foreign to them.

I can’t help but think that’s what weakens and devalues the institution of marriage – the idea that you’re stuck with it, and it’s just what you have to put up with or go through a lot of pain to get out of, rather like a stormy teenaged relationship with your parents.

People coming together in love, joy and the desire to build lives together, not so much.

(Also, there’s the personal history. in the 1930s, Ernestine Bayer was being told, in the city of my birth, that women couldn’t row. (I can only conclude that men there didn’t read Dorothy Sayers.) Whenever I’ve been in the air as pilot or passenger, it’s been rare enough to be notable to hear another female voice on the radio. In 20 years working in engineering, I have worked with only a scant handful of female engineers older than I am. It would be thoroughly hypocritical of me to judge others by their gonads.)