I have no memories of a happy marriage: my parents were badly matched from the start, but it took them sixteen years to bitterly divorce. "I didn't know what I was doing," my mother told me. "I chose the wrong one."
I headed into marriage with a list of what didn't work: being naïve, having lots of expensive things, quitting your job to stay home with kids, being bored in the suburbs, hoping for the best. From this knowledge, I constructed a weird group of goals: be aware of every possible thing that could go wrong, live cheaply, always have a job and a way to walk out on your own, settle as far as possible from suburban New York, be ready for the worst.
My husband and I met at a keg party in Missoula, Montana. We were both graduate students-Tip was studying Geology, and I was moving toward an MFA in Fiction Writing. I had dated every creep in my graduate program, so was branching out.