I try to describe to a couple of audiences in Amsterdam the against-the-grainness of someone, especially a woman, who has not married in America. I try to explain how having children outside of marriage is still considered an alternative, and essentially inferior life choice. I mention that an American writer wrote a cover story in the Atlantic on the remarkable and exotic fact that she was in her late 30s and had never married. This sort of blew their minds. Who could possibly care? It seemed like a crazy American thing for marriage to matter so much. To them this obsession, this nagging necessity for weddings, the lack of general acceptance toward other pretty common ways of living, is so foreign, so uniquely American, such a quaint narrowness, that it’s incomprehensible as an actual mode of modern life.