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How to Stay Bitter Through the Happiest Times of Your Life Paperback – June 13, 2006
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About the Author
R.J. Cutler, producer of the Academy Award-nominated documentary "The
War Room") and stars in "Anita Liberty," a short film shown to
great acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival and the Los Angeles
Independent Film Festival. She lives in New York City.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Boyfriend and I are going away for the weekend. We’re going to Vermont. To a cabin. In the woods. Away from everything. And everybody. Just the two of us. No distractions or interruptions. It was his idea. Me? I live for distractions and interruptions. Lizzy asked me if I thought Boyfriend had planned this romantic weekend because he’s going to propose. I was like, “What? Propose? Are you crazy? We’ve only been together for a few months. I’m not going to get engaged after only a few months of knowing someone.” Lizzy said that she knew that I wouldn’t, but she didn’t know about him. So it got me thinking. I mean, he does talk a lot about our future together. He talks about things very far into the future. He acts like it’s a given. It does seem like he’s ready to take the next step, even if it seems quick. I’ve heard stories of people who “just knew.” I never thought I’d be one of those people, but maybe I’m about to go on a romantic weekend with one of those people.
Advice from Anita Liberty:
Be aware that sometimes well-meaning friends can unwittingly (or wittingly) plant a tiny thought in your brain that, finding your brain to be a fertile and hospitable environment, can germinate and sprout and take root and spread and grow and fluorish until you have no more room in your brain for any other thoughts. Especially rational ones.
Excerpt from Anita Liberty’s Blog:
We’re back. The first night we were there, we sat on the couch and drank red wine. We were staring deeply into each other’s eyes. There was a fire blazing, crickets chirping, the promise of a hot night of sex in front of us. Everything was perfect. All of a sudden, Boyfriend gets this look, like something has occurred to him. Like this moment is a special moment and he has something he wants to ask me. I swear. That was the look he gave me. So he looks at me meaningfully and tells me to wait on the couch, that he has to “get something.” He gets up and walks across the room to a trunk in the corner. My heart dropped into my stomach. My throat constricted. I’m thinking, “Oh my God, he’s getting a ring. How’d he get a ring into that trunk in the corner? He hasn’t been out of my sight since we got here. I even peed with the bathroom door open. Oh! I know. He Fedexed a ring to this place and had the owner hide it in this trunk so that he could retrieve it and propose. Now that I think about it, I’m quite certain that the owner gave Boyfriend a little conspiratorial wink when we checked in.” I was a little drunk at this point, so I’m trying desperately to separate out my immediate panicked reaction from my actual feelings and I’m finding it extremely difficult. I’m like, “Okay, I now have about thirty seconds to figure out what I’m going to say when he asks me to marry him. Do I want to marry him? Can I tell him it’s too soon and that we should get to know each other better? Will that hurt his feelings? Should I just say yes and see how that feels? Maybe it’s not too soon. Maybe we are meant to be together. If he knows, maybe I should trust that. Maybe I should trust him. That would be a novel concept.” Boyfriend closes the trunk. I’m shaking at this point, anticipating what’s to come. He turns to me, smiling. And he’s holding… a blanket. That’s right. A blanket. He sits down beside me and puts it cozily around us. He says, “That’s better. I knew there’d be one around here somewhere. Hey, you look really pale all of a sudden. Are you all right?” I gurgle, “Uh, yeah. Fine.” I am relieved. Oh, and strangely disappointed. (Or is it: I am disappointed. Oh, and strangely relieved.)
Top Customer Reviews
Anita's poems chart the saga of her life. Well, really they chart life's inanities that surround us all with poems that eviscerate idiocy with a zen master's delicate touch.
Stay Bitter has prose poems that nail Hollywood, cute little dogs, and one short poem on Anita's sexual fantasies that had me sniggering nastily and loudly while I read it in a playground full of sweet little tykes (getting me a lot of dirty looks from moms all around). There's even some poems about what happens when (horrors!) a bitter girl meets an actually nice guy.
So buy this book, you'll laugh, you'll snigger, you'll scare wholesome moms everywhere.
BUY THIS BOOK! In fact buy a few copies because you'll be handing it out left and right to every friend you have.
Viva la Liberty!
Since we were old enough to know we are female, we have been both blatantly and subtly reminded that our lives will not be complete without a man. So many of my generation have shrugged it off, opting out of the desperation that previously defined our gender. Instead, we relish in our own lives, buy our own homes and sit on our own porches and drink our own beer. Because we can. Because we know what we are worth and we know (from both experience and lore) what we won't stand for. It's not a pity party thing. And it's not about being a man-hater. It's about retaining an identity and being honest enough to recognize that relinquishing that identity isn't an easy thing to do.
It's like when Sammy Hagar joined Van Halen. He was still Sammy Hagar, but he wasn't JUST Sammy Hagar.Read more ›
I love everything she's written so far because I can identify with it. If there's a third book and it's focused on her life, I may not be able to follow along (The CF should take note). but you'll have to read 'How to Stay Bitter Through the Happiest Times of Your Life' to see why I say this.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Clever, funny, and a very quick read. I haven't read this book's precursor and they can definitely be read as solitary works.Published 3 months ago by Kim Meyer
...not to love Anita Liberty's books. This important follow-up gives you the tools you need to keep your edge and skepticism through the good times you clearly can't trust. Read morePublished on March 13, 2014 by Mary
Picked this book up when looking for fodder to help sort through a number of issues of mine relating to "growing up" and accepting change. Read morePublished on February 7, 2008 by J. S. Metcalfe
An angry poet and performer meets the perfect man, falls in love, and struggles to escape a strange state of bliss in How to Stay Bitter Through The Happiest Times of Your Life,... Read morePublished on December 10, 2006 by Midwest Book Review
You know how sometimes you love the first book an author wrote so much that you're afraid to read their next one for fear of being disappointed? There's nothing to fear here. Read morePublished on August 6, 2006 by D. Marshall
Oh my gosh - once again Anita Liberty KICKS [...]!! Her books are hysterical and so funny that you just laugh out loud (caution to those of you who read in unfunny places). Read morePublished on August 3, 2006 by Suzy Ramos
It's hard to stay grounded when you fall in love - and it's even harder to keep a sense of humor and reality once you become engaged and begin planning a wedding. Read morePublished on August 2, 2006 by Mrs. Drea