- 7) "I want someone that learns X-teen hours a day" - No you don't! Who do you think you're fooling? Let me tell you what you, and all Stern girls want: You want to live in a suburb of NYC (i.e. Teaneck), you want to go to Israel for succos, Arizona for Pesach, to send your kids to a modern orthodox yeshiva, modern orthodox camps, and you want to have tons of shiny jewelry! Unless you have someone sponsoring your marriage (i.e. your parents or in-laws) and your husband is a kollelnic with zero responsibilities, than try to be more realistic. If you find a buchur who makes a legitimate effort to go to minyan 3x a day and schedules in time to learn daily, in addition to having a steady income, than you have found yourself a quality buchur and you should be quite satisfied! [For the meidels who have just returned Israel: Save this and read it again in a year when you get more in tune with reality! Right now you're probably just assuming that I'm off the derech and practice avoda zarah.]
- Shirley doesn't play fair, you see. What she wants is what any woman should want, always has and always will- big diamond engagement ring, house in a good neighborhood, furniture, children, well-made clothes, furs- but she'll never say so. Because in our time those things are supposed to be stuffy and dull. She knows that. She reads novels. So half-believing what she says, she'll tell you the hell with that domestic dullness, never for her. She's going to paint, that's what- or be a social worker, or a psychiatrist, or an interior decorator or an actress, always an actress if she's got any real looks- but the idea is she's going to be somebody. Not just a wife. Perish the thought! She's Lady Brett Ashley, with witty devil-may-care whimsey and shocking looseness all over the place. A dismal caricature, you understand, and nothing but talk. -
- pages 172-173
She had taken but two or three steps downward when she also saw, in the very last row of the array of black-clad men and beautifully gowned women, the tall blond man in brown tweed jacket and gray slacks, with an old camel's hair coat slung over one arm, incongruous as he was startling. she had not even known Noel Airman was in the United States; but he had come to see her get married. She could not discern his expression, but there wasn't a doubt in the world that it was Noel.
She didn't waver or change countenance at all; she continued her grave descent. But in an instant, as though green gelitan had been slid one by one in front of every light in the ballroom, she saw the scene differently. She saw a tawdry mockery of sacred things, a bourgeois riot of expense, with a special touch of vulgar Jewish sentimentality. The gate of roses behind her was comical; the flower-massed canopy ahead was grotesque; the loud whirring of the movie camera was a joke, the scrambling still photographer in the empty aisle, twisting his camera at his eye, a low clown. The huge diamond on her right hand capped the vulgarity; she could feel it there; she slid a finger to cover it. Her husband waiting for her under the canopy wasn't a proserpous doctor, but he was a prosperous lawyer; he had the mustache Noel had predicted; with macabre luck Noel had even guessed the initials. And she- she was Shirley, going to a Shirley fate, in a Shirley blaze of silly costly glory.
All this passed through her mind in a flash, between one step downward and the next. Then her eyes shifted to her father's face, rosily happy, looking up at her from the foot of the stairs. The green gelitan slid aside, and she saw her wedding again by the lights that were there in the room. If it was all comical in Noel's eyes, she thought, he might derive pleasure from what he could. She was what she was, Marjorie Morgenstern of West End Avenue, marrying the man she wanted in the way she wanted to be married. It was a beautiful wedding, and she knew she was a pretty bride.
She reached the bottom of the stairs. Her father stepped to her side. Taking his arm, she turned a bit and squarely faced into Noel Airman's expected grin; he was not ten feet from her. But to her surprise Noel wasn't grinning. He looked better than he had in Paris: not so thin, not so pale, and he appeared to have gotten back all his hair. His expression was baffled, almost vacant. His mouth hung slightly open; his eyes seemed wet.
The organ music swelled to its loudest. Marjorie marched down the aisle with solemn gladness to her destiny, and became Mrs. Milton Schwartz.
-Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk, pages 556-557
Unlike those who read the book in the context of Marjorie's failure, I assert that she won. She adored Noel and he tried to verbally force her to act on her supposed dreams by arguing otherwise she was just another girl. But what if being just another girl is what she wanted? What if she wanted the loving man, not the brilliant (and emotionally abusive) man? She's a happy Shirley at the end of the day - more than you can say for Noel.