Rather than writing a super clever introduction to this review, allow me to quote the introduction to the book itself, written by Jen of People I Want to Punch in the Throat, because, quite frankly, she hits the nail on the head:
“A few years ago I made some huge strides towards achieving my fantasy. I managed to get both of my kids into school with the hope that I'd have several hours of uninterrupted alone time to read books and drink tea.
Except I forgot about the one thing that could ruin my plans.
I forgot about the Hubs.”
And thus, the first “amen sister” of many muttered throughout my reading of I Just Want to Be Alone: a book of well-meaning, kind-spirited, relentlessly hilarious, ruthlessly honest portraits of marriage and everything that we as women love to hate about our partners in this sacred union.
The anthology is made up of some 3-dozen all-too-relatable tales; and each story is filled with an infinite amount of trial-and-error based marriage truths that, I swear, would hold up in any court of law.
The book is too cleverly written for mundane summaries. Instead, I’d like to offer shoutouts to the authors of some of my top “ohmygodyes” moments:
“I’m married to one of those men that women hate. Not because of any personality flaw or anything serious. But because he is that guy: The effortlessly thin man.”
CAN I GET AN AMEN? Kim Forde, my new-found spirit animal, I FEEL YOU. To your husband, mine, and all the men like them: if only you knew how lucky you are. Bastards.
“Retail therapy is much cheaper than a real therapist. Trust me on this and don't question my shopping habits.”
To Mamaloder Andrea C. of The Underachiever’s Guide to Being a Domestic Goddess: thank you. You have just saved me years of hiding receipts under the bed, or better yet, in the laundry room where my husband will never find them.
“I said I love my husband.
I didn't say I always like him.”
Word, Meredith Spidel. Word.
Oh, and then there is an entire story called “The Incompetent Husband.”
Deva Dalporto; did any part of you want to call it “Every Man Ever.”?
“So starting tonight, I think I will make out with my husband. I swear. I will allot the five minutes between the kids finally keeping their asses in bed and the beginning of Downton Abbey for making out. I might even shave my legs. If that isn't keeping hot and heavy, I don't know what is.”
Katie Manley, you go girl. I’ll add my husband to the top of my to-do list, too.
Rule #1: We should NEVER, EVER cook together.
Rule #2: You can, in fact, run out of money.
Rule #3: Never wash your clothes together, especially if one of you carries a pen and trash in your pockets.
Rule #4: Maps–use them, read them, and do what they say, especially in New York City.
Rule #5 Always count appliances before moving into a new place.
Courtney Fitzgerald credits the very survival of her marriage to the following of these simple rules learned in her first year of matrimony. Don’t you wish someone had told you this before?
Brilliant. Right? These women fearlessly say the things that we want to say but can’t, or maybe won’t. And thank god for them. I think I said At least I’m not the only one. more times reading this book than I’ve said my name this year. Wonderful. Fearless. Hilarious. True. A must-read. Grab a copy of I Just Want to Be Alone for yourself—you won’t be sorry! And while you’re at it, check out it’s predecessor, another one of my faves, I Just Want to Pee Alone!
Allow me to leave you with one more pearl of wisdom:
“Incidentally, there should be a licensing bureau where testing is done to see if you are too stupid to marry or reproduce.”
Magnolia Ripkin: Amen sister.