Entertainment :: Books

Save the Date

by Daniel Scheffler
Contributor
Tuesday Jun 3, 2014
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Always the bridesmaid, never the bride? Or has it become always the bridesman, never the groom? Or always the man of the bride, never the groom? Whatever the case, the premise is pretty much the same. The prolific writer Jen Doll (who glows in The Atlantic, New York Magazine, Vice, and also shone in the Village Voice back when it was the Village Voice) brings her horror stories (with great insight, I must note) as she ventures into the other side of weddings with "Save the Date: The Occasional Mortifications of a Serial Wedding Guest."

It takes a certain kind of writer (let’s call it great) to see the world in the way Doll does -- "the stories that follow may not be absolutely chronological, nor the napkins that precise shade of blue, but the events and my emotions are presented honestly, as I remember experiencing them." Doll ventures into gifts that are appropriate for a wedding, how she experienced nuptials as a child and the hysterical stories about weddings that just can’t make sense.

Doll, who is totally loveable, valiantly admits to wanting love and says that "it’s taken me much of my adult life to feel confident enough to admit that whether it’s a marriage, a long-term relationship, or even a short-term one, I do want love -- the kind that is practical and makes sense, as my dad describes, but at the same time, all corniness acknowledged, knocks me off my feet."

"it’s taken me much of my adult life to feel confident enough to admit that whether it’s a marriage, a long-term relationship, or even a short-term one, I do want love.."

There are a couple of reasons to pause at this point and to breathe in exactly what she is saying. A beautiful woman unafraid to admit that she, possibly like everybody in the entire world, just wants love, but has enough modernity in her blood to know that it also requires a pragmatic element. Such wisdom and such bravery to admit this so simply is what gives Doll her wonderful "way" in this book. You trust her, because you’re just like her.

And then, for every romantic "When Harry Met Sally" fool, she ends her fabulous book with "I know that if I do get married, I don’t want it to be because of fear of aloneness, or because I’ve waited too long and won’t have any options left..."

Amen I say, and so will you.

"Save the Date: The Occasional Mortifications of a Serial Wedding Guest"
Jen Doll
$19.23
Riverhead

Based between New York and Cape Town, Daniel Scheffler writes about socio political and travel matters and is working on a memoir. Follow him on Twitter @danielscheffler.

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