I love the tradition of a ketubah. I kind of want one for my own wedding, but I'm too freaked about the cultural appropriation angle to actually do it. Nevertheless, I think it's kind of wonderful when done right and not involving cattle. And I wanted to share my favorite ketubah with you all. (And with hope that my friend will maybe see something in here that resonates with her, since it resonates with me so much.)
This is from the fabulous novel Everything Is Illuminated, by Jonathan Safran Foer, which is one of my favorite books. The contract is between Joseph and Sarah, who have already been married and divorced six times.
It is with everlasting devotion that we, Joseph and Sarah L, reunite in the indestrictible union of matrimony, promising love until death, with the understanding that the stars are silver nails in the sky, regardless of the existence of a bottom of the Brod [a river], the temperature of this bottom (should it exist), and the possible existence of starfish on the possible existing riverbed, overlooking what may or may not have been accidental grape juice spills, agreeing to forget that Joseph played sticks and balls with his friends when he promised he would help Sarah thread the needle for the quilt she was sewing, and that Sarah was supposed to give the quilt to Joseph, not his buddy, deeming irrelevant certain details about the story of Trachim's wagon, such as whether it was Chana or Hannah who first saw the curious flotsam, ignoring the simple fact that Joseph snores like a pig, and that Sarah is no great treat to sleep with either, letting slide certain tendencies of both parties to look to long at members of the opposite sex, not making a fuss over why Joseph is such a slob, leaving his clothes wherever he feels like taking them off, expecting Srrah to pick them up, clean them, and put them in their proper palce as he should have, or why Sarah has to be such a fucking pain in the ass about the smallest things, such as which way the toilet paper unrolls, or when dinner is five minutes later than she was planning, because le's face it, it's Joseph who's putting that paper on the roll and dinner on the table, disregarding whether the beet is a better vegetable than the cabbage, putting aside the problems of being fat-headed and chronically unreasonable, trying to erase the memory of a long since expired rose bush that a certain someone was supposed to remember to water when his wife was visiting family in Rovno, accepting the compromise of the way we have been, the way we are, and the way we will likely be...may we live together in unwavering love and good health, amen.
I LOVE that. Just love it. It kind of says everything about the marriage in question, and how people learn to live together over decades. Also stars are silver nails in the sky. LOVE.