But once I got over the initial shock of thinking of couplehood as something potentially limiting, I couldn't get enough of the idea. I passed the book around to friends (especially those who liked to ask when I'd be getting married), showing them the section where Kipnis lists pages of answers to the question, what can't you do because you're in a couple?: "You can't just walk out on your job or quit in a huff. You can't make unilateral career decisions, or change jobs without extensive discussion and negotiation. You can't have your own bank account." She continues, "You can't leave the dishes for later, wash the dishes badly, not use soap, drink straight from the container." All of a sudden, it didn't seem like such a bad idea to spend my energy on more selfish pursuits....Apparently before this book, the only thing holding us back from treating our bosses like trash and poisoning friends who ate from our dishes was having a boyfriend. But once we read it, the need to dispose of even these basic decencies will become clear. And hey, while we're achieving complete freedom from any obligation but that of pleasing ourselves right now, let's not get our panties all in a twist about unwanted pregnancies when we can embrace abortion as a really fun and fulfilling activity, like a day at the spa! Now we're living the good life. But then, a totally inexplicable turn of events:
I also realized that if Kipnis could unequivocally declare that love -- of all things, love! -- was crap, then there was nothing I couldn't say without hesitation. I stopped being the kind of pro-choicer who calls abortion a sad reality, a tragic choice, or some other such nonsense. There's nothing wrong with abortion.
In fact, Kipnis' book was so good at getting me into a decided state of mind that I've recently been able to say "screw it" to her book's very premise: I'm getting married this year. And frankly, I'm betting that Kipnis has better prepared me for wedded bliss than anything else I've been subject to regarding relationships, from bridal magazines to parental advice. Because now I know what I'm getting into, laundry woes, capitalist constructions, and all.I know everything I just said seems totally incompatible with carrying on even a basic human friendship, no less a marriage, but don't worry, this is not actually hypocritical at all. Because this book showed me that marriage means I might have to do my laundry sometimes (which may or may not still be a great injustice against my right to self-determination), which had never before occurred to me, so it is a great classic of the feminist canon. Win!