McCarthy (The Parent Trip: From High Heels and Parties to Highchairs and Potties, 2008, etc.) wakes up to find she’s married to Prince Charming and the Beast all rolled into one.
The author delivers a raw, postfeminist take on the domestic fate of women, explaining how the seed for the book was planted after she lobbed a cup of ice at her husband’s temple during a disagreement over parenting. Once peace was restored, she asked her blog readers and Facebook friends: “What does your husband…do that drives you nuts?” The idea was to give women a safety valve to let loose their defiant inner bitches and reveal the “irritating behaviors that women who consider themselves ‘happily married’ are indeed willing to put up with.” The feedback made her “feel infinitely better about my own enchanting Neanderthal.” An assortment of gems—e.g., “He blows his nose into the air without a tissue. He says nothing comes out, but sometimes it does”—are lavishly distributed in boldface throughout the book under the heading, “At Least You’re Not Married to Him.” Chapters include “If It’s Broken…Please God Don’t Fix It,” in which, to save a few bucks, a hubby attempts to make a high chair and runs a circular saw over his hand, resulting in medical bills 10 times the cost of the chair. But McCarthy outshines them all with intimate details men might find exaggerated but women not—e.g., her self-description as “a ravenous nursing cow…balancing a squirming newborn on my post-baby hip while yellowish milk dripped from my nipple.” Forget the condom talk, she adds: “This is the image they should show in high school sex ed. classes.”
Uneven but candid account of how the grass is not always greener in someone else’s marriage.