My friend Alison and I are sitting in a South Side bar discussing white holes and the big crunch, the existence of God, monogamous guilt-free sex -- all theoretical subjects at the University of Chicago. It's a slow-moving Saturday afternoon in early December, a perfectly lazy day. We've got an hour to kill before we're due at Bond Chapel for Beth Reinhardt's wedding.
Beth teaches Western Civ and she's had bad luck with men; by my count, this is marriage number four. There are restraining orders on two of the former husbands -- the third is still in Stateville -- and the bride herself has just declared bankruptcy so with...