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Caitlin Flanagan

  • Marriage remains the most efficient engine of disenchantment yet invented.

  • Just as the definition of a nymphomaniac is a person who has more sex than you, an overscheduled child is one enrolled in more classes than yours.

  • What the altar-bound of today end up buying from their numberless vendors is a dog's breakfast of bridal excess — part society wedding of the twenties, part Long Island Italian wedding of the fifties. It's The Philadelphia Story and The Wedding Singer served up together in one curious and costly buffet.

  • Becoming a woman is an act partly of nature and partly of self-invention.

  • Keeping a diary is like closing your bedroom door and refusing to come out until dinnertime: it is a declaration of self.

  • Mothers ... would do anything to steer their daughter the right way. It is frustrating beyond measure for them when a daughter screams, 'You don't understand, and you'll never understand!' The mother stamps her foot in aggravation, but in this case the daughter is right: the mother doesn't understand. She merely remembers, and memory is separate from experience.

Caitlin Flanagan, U.S. writer, social critic

(1961)