At the American Conservative, the ever observant Eve Tushnet ponders the fact that marriage proposals are getting bigger and flashier. Judith Martin, the “Miss Manners” columnist and author, used to point out in our Council on Families gatherings that as marriage as an institution gets smaller and weaker, the puffery surrounding it (the wedding, the engagement) gets bigger and stronger. As the thing itself becomes blurred, our announcements and rituals connected to the thing become sharp, commercial, and increasingly garish. (For an extreme example, think of Donald Trump’s weddings; then think of Donald Trump as a married man.) This is the phenomenon that Tushnet is describing.
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