Saturday, March 10, 2012

BC2012: You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up by Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn

I bought this at a Borders bankruptcy sale last year (the first round, I think). Since Gurwitch and Kahn published this book in 2010 during their thirteenth year of marriage, I buried it in a pile until our own thirteenth anniversary this year. Reading it to my wife became half of our anniversary celebration; the other half was sharing a bottle of 13-year-old single malt Scotch. Our celebration wasn't as memorable as perhaps a romantic Caribbean vacation, but at least the Scotch was pretty good. That's not to say You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up is bad, just that the Scotch was better.

The book is written in a "she says/he says" format that works pretty well because they don't overdo it (most chapters present one side and then the other -- it's not like they are switching back and forth from page to page). A good sense of humor is one of the few things Gurwitch and Kahn have in common, so there are plenty of laughs. Each chapter is preceded by a page or two of interesting quotes and facts about marriage. Here is my favorite, attributed to How to Survive Your Marriage: "69 percent of disagreements that arise in a marriage are never resolved."

It's always interesting to get a peek into someone else's marriage, but the relationship described in You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up seems quite unlike ours. Come to think of it, most marriages don't seem much like ours. And considering how many of them fail, I hope that's a good thing.

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