Mom Advice: How to Marry Well

One simple pointer made all the difference in Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anna Quindlen's life.

Jody HewgillMy mother was a reserved and gentle person who I suspect was a little disconcerted by my fractious character. Perhaps that’s why most of her advice revolved around who I would marry and under what circumstances. (She also talked a fair amount about personal grooming, but I’m pretty sure that, at this point, everyone already knows you should moisturize constantly.) And so:

“Don’t marry a man named George.”

No idea why, but I didn’t.

“Don’t have a flower girl at your wedding; they distract from the bride.”


“Find a man who can dance and makes you laugh.”

I did, Mom, and we’ve been married for 34 years. I wish you were still alive so I could tell you so.

Anna Quindlen’s new book, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, is out this month.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest