I read a lot of fiction, but I’m also a fan of courageous and funny memoirs. Hence, this new Memoir Monday feature on Southern Spines.
Cindy Chupack is a writer and producer behind two of my favorite TV shows: Modern Family and Sex and the City. I don’t watch a lot of television these days, but I wax nostalgic when I think about watching Sex and the City on Sunday nights. Back in 2001, I was a singleton living in Atlanta. My girlfriend, Mindy, would order HBO just for the 2-3 months that SATC was on the pay network. My other girlfriend, Laura, and I would bring over takeout sushi and wine, and the three of us would watch the weekly sexploits of Miranda, Charlotte, Samantha and Carrie. In September 2002, when I missed the last ten minutes of the Season 8 SATC finale to take a phone call from my then-boyfriend, I knew big changes were brewing in my personal life. Chupack might say I was already on my longest date.
The Longest Date: Life as a Wife is a collection of essays and insights into the unlikely meeting and courtship that resulted in Chupack’s second marriage (one of the chapters covers marriage #1, which ended in divorce and necessitated an awkward Jewish ceremony to obtain a get). The memoir goes beyond Chupack’s dating and newlywed life to her attempts to get pregnant with husband Ian, who also contributes a heart-rending essay about their infertility trials.
As I started reading the ebook version of The Longest Date, I began marking funny passages. Toward the middle of Chupack’s book, I gave up highlighting because there were too many witty observations to track. As you might have guessed from the infertility trials referenced above, The Longest Date isn’t all fun and games and St. Bernards (Chupack writes about reluctantly adopting a rescue St. Bernard). But isn’t a mixture of funny and serious the sign of a truthful account of marriage? Or as Chupack writes, “Turns out ‘happily ever after’ is the epitome of lazy writing.”