It’s All Relative

Tomorrow is Reconciliation Day–a special square on the calendar set aside to celebrate the fine art of patching up relationships. A day to make amends and to rekindle the bonds we share with family and friends.

So it’s only fitting that you march to your local book store and pick up a copy of Wade Rouse’s latest memoir, It’s All Relative, a brazenly amusing collection of essays cleverly arranged around 34 holidays (some of which border on the bizarre) and, of course, family (which, for most of us, is DECIDEDLY bizarre). Indeed, an inspiring read just in time for this strange and wonderful holiday.

That said, Rouse has an uncanny knack for sharing that-which-is-obscenely-funny, deeply personal and refreshingly genuine all in the same breath. Time and again, he embraces irreverence, pokes fun at his beloved clan and sprinkles a wealth of self-deprecating humor on nearly every page.

I, for one, will never view Secretary’s DayΒ in the same way, having read the 16-page romp in which Rouse masterfully recounts his very first JOB FROM HELL. Nor will I wander the aisles of Home Depot on or around Arbor Day without conjuring an image of the priceless tree-drama he described so well. Furthermore, I’m quite certain that I will develop a debilitating obsession with Pez dispensers in the very near future. Oy.

But woven deep within the fabric of his tales lies something far greater than his patented wit and delicious delivery–a profound and inordinately palpable sense of his humanness, his hopes and fears, loves and losses, joys and regrets. It’s all there in black and white, catching us unawares on the fringe of literary brilliance. Perhaps most notably, Rouse not only makes us laugh uproariously, he also tackles topics that are far-from-neat-and-tidy. Ones that break our hearts and make us think about what matters most–family.

Planet Mom: It’s where I live (enjoying It’s All Relative once more).

Copyright 2011 Melinda L. Wentzel

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