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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Shut Up, You're Welcome: Thoughts on Life, Death, and Other Inconveniences

I desperately needed a good humor piece this week. Something to lighten the mood from all of the heavy novels I have been reading. So I picked up Annie Choi's Shut Up, You're Welcome: Thoughts on Life, Death, and Other Inconveniences. Well worth the laughter.

Annie Choi, comedienne extraordinaire, lends us her thoughts on some of life's inconveniences such as airlines losing your luggage when underwear is hard to find, celebrating Christmas with your family when they fail to show up in their own home, and trying to get your parents to get rid of that pesky dining table that is about to fall apart while eating your next dinner. Choi's parents, Korean immigrants, are thrifty, lovable, and horrible drivers. Choi takes us through some of the high (or low, depending on how she might view things) points of her childhood to help us realize that home really is where the heart is--and that if you don't laugh about it, no one will.

I pretty much giggled through this entire book. It is clear how much Choi loves her parents yet lives in constant exasperation of their quirks and their idiosyncrasies. For once, she just wishes that her father would not gold-plate everything he can get his hands on. Maybe, just maybe, her family can do something fun on vacation instead of rush from monument to monument to get a picture. (Also, possibly Grandma could not ruin a natural habitat next time.) And no, Choi does not believe that underwear from Korea is better. It may fit, but it is horribly embarrassing in the locker room.
 
I adored Choi's conversations with her parents. She painted such a vivid picture of who they are--her mom calls herself "Mommy" and chuckles at her own jokes--that is hard to not want to hunt them down in person to meet them and give them a huge hug. As exasperating as family can be, Choi has found the gold (pun intended) in them.

And she has made me crack up in the process.

Kindle version on left, hard copy on right.

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