But what I have been more intrigued by is the relationship between Julia and Paul. I have been unofficially polling people lately (mother's at the play ground, deli owner, friends, neighbors) regarding what they think makes a "successful" marriage. And what are the primary difficulties of marriage. I am finding that the answers are not necessarily supporting the historically reported statistics (i.e. that in-laws, money, and sex are the top struggles couples face) I had always heard that Julia and Paul had a good marriage - don't know where I heard it...or when I earned the right to call them by their first names - but I had heard it. And it is true. Even as I am reading My Life in France right now, I am intrigued by the maturity and us-ness in their marriage. And honestly - the happiness and fun. They married shortly after World War II and spent 5 or so of their earliest years of marriage in France - war torn, bombed out France - and yet, as Julia describes it, you would think it was Eden.
Clearly they made choices to enjoy life, but she never talks about that in the book. You just read of them doing it - enjoying life. There isn't the angst and striving of my generation who thinks and rethinks and analyzes everything. But they also enjoy each other. Genuinely. When they married, Paul knew far more about food than Julia. But as her love and interest (and talent) grew, so did his support and cheer leading. He was never threatened by her surpassing him. He did not fear her excellence because it meant he was all the better for her being better. (I have a husband like this, by the way. Although I've never really tried hard at golf...I wonder what would happen if I surpassed him in that?...and pigs started flying?)
There is so much more I have observed, but I've already written more than most of you have time (and probably interest) to read anyway. But I would like to post more as I finish the book. Marriage is hard. Let me say it again Marriage Is Hard. But sometimes I wonder if we don't make it harder than it needs to be. Just a thought.