Does anyone really know the answer? Ever?
That’s the point of this excerpt from a short essay by novelist Harlan Ellison:
. . . [My] fourth marriage just sort of happened: It seemed like a good idea at the time. In fact—and this is the core of all my wisdom about love—whenever we try to explain why we have done any particular thing, whether it’s buying T-bills or why we would live in a house in the mountains or why we took the trip to Lake Ronkonkoma, or whatever it was, the only rationale that ever rings with honesty is: “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” We’re really no smarter than cactus or wolverines or plankton; and the things we do, we always like to justify them, find logical reasons for them; and then you go to court later and the judge says, “Well, didn’t you know that it was doomed from the start?” I’m waiting for someone to say to the judge, “Because, schmuck, I’m no smarter than you.”
From A Curmudgeon’s Garden of Love, Compiled and edited by Jon Winokur, p. 50 (1991).