Linkage: Love & Marriage Edition

Love Isn’t Just About Making Him Happy [Verily]

Marriage as a Lifetime of Suffering [Glory2GodForAllThings]

They do: The scholarly about-face on marriage [Boston Globe]

Share Fondness And Admiration [Gottman]

Ursula K. Le Guin on beauty

I think of when I was in high school in the 1940s: the white girls got their hair crinkled up by chemicals and heat so it would curl, and the black girls got their hair mashed flat by chemicals and heat so it wouldn’t curl. Home perms hadn’t been invented yet, and a lot of kids couldn’t afford these expensive treatments, so they were wretched because they couldn’t follow the rules, the rules of beauty.

Beauty always has rules. It’s a game. I resent the beauty game when I see it controlled by people who grab fortunes from it and don’t care who they hurt. I hate it when I see it making people so self-dissatisfied that they starve and deform and poison themselves. Most of the time I just play the game myself in a very small way, buying a new lipstick, feeling happy about a pretty new silk shirt.

One rule of the game, in most times and places, is that it’s the young who are beautiful. The beauty ideal is always a youthful one. This is partly simple realism. The young are beautiful. The whole lot of ’em. The older I get, the more clearly I see that and enjoy it. […]

And yet I look at men and women my age and older, and their scalps and knuckles and spots and bulges, though various and interesting, don’t affect what I think of them. Some of these people I consider to be very beautiful, and others I don’t. For old people, beauty doesn’t come free with the hormones, the way it does for the young. It has to do with bones. It has to do with who the person is. More and more clearly it has to do with what shines through those gnarly faces and bodies.

– Ursula K. Le Guin


The Bachelorette

It’s still wedding season among the Orthogals’ social circle. Among other things, this means bridal showers and bachelorette parties.

The Orthogals have differing tastes ranging between coffee with friends up to salsa dancing or rock climbing. Still, we find the best bachelorette gatherings have the following characteristics: low-key, anchored by a few fun activities, guest list made up of bride’s closest girlfriends and family members from her past and present, and food and drinks that are thoughtful and not overly complicated.

Even with our differences, the one things we completely agree on is that suggestive games and decorations hinder fun rather than help. Expanding the bride-to-be’s trousseau is much different than phallic shaped name tags, favors, mints, etc. There are ways to have fun, have a few giggles, and leave the whatchamacallits at the adult store.

So, if you have been invited to or need to host a shower or bachelorette, we have a few starter ideas to do as your girlfriend begins a new chapter.


Find out a favorite treat or food of the bride (ribs? cream puffs? cucumber sandwiches?) Get that, a fruit tray, a veggie tray.

Or get a selection of desserts (i.e. at least one without chocolate) and have a hot tea, coffee, and hot chocolate bar with fancy things to stir in.

In summer, go for smoothies, ice cream (homemade, if that’s a thing for the bride), and swanky lemonades. Cold beer or frozen ‘ritas are also options.

You don’t have to go all out, and there is so much more than cake to serve.

Common themes for bridal showers:

Kitchen showers (for the bride who likes to cook or bake)

Time of day shower

Room of the house shower (both ways to have a variety of gifts and a little fun on the side!)


Painting or pottery with wine

(Laura attended one shower where everyone was asked to paint a dinner plate that would be given to the bride after kiln-firing; really fun way to socialize and bless the bride with our artwork and creativity for years to come!)

Horseback riding and a picnic

Wine trail with live concert

Board games or poker night

Fancy tea party with a famous-recipe dessert potluck

Rock climbing, kayaking, archery, etc.

Have a bonfire in the backyard, or rent a cabin together in a state park

Karaoke night

Go to a spa or have a spa-themed shower


• Have guests address their own envelopes for a thank you. Ask people to update their addresses on a separate card or have them write their address in a book that you will give as a gift to the bride.

• Throw your own shower (speaking to the bride here). Maid of Honor, bridesmaids, and friends should host; the bride can give her input for activities and provide addresses for invites.

• Invite people to a shower/the bachelorette if they aren’t invited to the wedding.

• Invite the same person to more than one shower. It’s okay if a work friend throws one shower and a bridesmaid throws another, but if you invite the same people to both it can read like a plea for extra gifts.


How To Plan A Laid-Back Bridal Shower

Chicago bridal shower

Martha Stewart guide

Friday Linkage

You and Me Forever [Vimeo]

Wants vs Likes [Art of Manliness]

Can you learn life lessons from monks and nuns? [Guardian]

Dream or Sacrifice? [Second Terrace]

5 tips for ladies who prefer him to take the lead [Verily]