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This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

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4

He hadn’t looked at another woman once during his marriage, so in love with Rachel was he—so in love was he with any kind of institution or system. He made solemn, dutiful work of trying to save the relationship even after it would have been clear to any reasonable person that their misery was not a phase. There was nobility in the work, he believed. There was nobility in the suffering. And even after he realized that it was over, he still had to spend years, plural, trying to convince her that this wasn’t right, that they were too unhappy, that they were still young and could have good lives without each other—even then he didn’t let one millimeter of his eye wander. Mostly, he said, because he was too busy being sad. Mostly because he felt like garbage all the time, and a person shouldn’t feel like garbage all the time. More than that, a person shouldn’t be made horny when he felt like garbage. The intersection of horniness and low self-esteem seemed reserved squarely for porn consumption.

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—p.4 Part One: Fleishman Is in Trouble (1) by Taffy Brodesser-Akner 1 year, 2 months ago

He hadn’t looked at another woman once during his marriage, so in love with Rachel was he—so in love was he with any kind of institution or system. He made solemn, dutiful work of trying to save the relationship even after it would have been clear to any reasonable person that their misery was not a phase. There was nobility in the work, he believed. There was nobility in the suffering. And even after he realized that it was over, he still had to spend years, plural, trying to convince her that this wasn’t right, that they were too unhappy, that they were still young and could have good lives without each other—even then he didn’t let one millimeter of his eye wander. Mostly, he said, because he was too busy being sad. Mostly because he felt like garbage all the time, and a person shouldn’t feel like garbage all the time. More than that, a person shouldn’t be made horny when he felt like garbage. The intersection of horniness and low self-esteem seemed reserved squarely for porn consumption.

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—p.4 Part One: Fleishman Is in Trouble (1) by Taffy Brodesser-Akner 1 year, 2 months ago
5

[...] She was in a completely other home, the one that used to be his, too. Every single morning this thought overwhelmed him momentarily; it panicked him, so that the first thing he thought when he awoke was this: Something is wrong. There is trouble. I am in trouble. It had been he who asked for the divorce, and still: Something is wrong. There is trouble. I am in trouble. Each morning, he shook this off. He reminded himself that this was what was healthy and appropriate and the natural order. She wasn’t supposed to be next to him anymore. She was supposed to be in her separate, nicer home.

—p.5 Part One: Fleishman Is in Trouble (1) by Taffy Brodesser-Akner 1 year, 2 months ago

[...] She was in a completely other home, the one that used to be his, too. Every single morning this thought overwhelmed him momentarily; it panicked him, so that the first thing he thought when he awoke was this: Something is wrong. There is trouble. I am in trouble. It had been he who asked for the divorce, and still: Something is wrong. There is trouble. I am in trouble. Each morning, he shook this off. He reminded himself that this was what was healthy and appropriate and the natural order. She wasn’t supposed to be next to him anymore. She was supposed to be in her separate, nicer home.

—p.5 Part One: Fleishman Is in Trouble (1) by Taffy Brodesser-Akner 1 year, 2 months ago
13

These questions weren’t really about him; no, they were questions about how perceptive people were and what they missed and who else was about to announce their divorce and whether the undercurrent of tension in their own marriages would eventually lead to their demise. Did the fight I had with my wife on our actual anniversary that was particularly vicious mean we’re going to get divorced? Do we argue too much? Do we have enough sex? Is everyone else having more sex? Can you get divorced within six months of an absentminded hand-kiss at a bat mitzvah? How miserable is too miserable?

How miserable is too miserable?

One day he would not be recently divorced, but he would never forget those questions, the way people pretended to care for him while they were really asking after themselves.

—p.13 Part One: Fleishman Is in Trouble (1) by Taffy Brodesser-Akner 1 year, 2 months ago

These questions weren’t really about him; no, they were questions about how perceptive people were and what they missed and who else was about to announce their divorce and whether the undercurrent of tension in their own marriages would eventually lead to their demise. Did the fight I had with my wife on our actual anniversary that was particularly vicious mean we’re going to get divorced? Do we argue too much? Do we have enough sex? Is everyone else having more sex? Can you get divorced within six months of an absentminded hand-kiss at a bat mitzvah? How miserable is too miserable?

How miserable is too miserable?

One day he would not be recently divorced, but he would never forget those questions, the way people pretended to care for him while they were really asking after themselves.

—p.13 Part One: Fleishman Is in Trouble (1) by Taffy Brodesser-Akner 1 year, 2 months ago
15

[...] He didn’t want to undermine Rachel’s status at school out of an old sense of protectiveness that he couldn’t quite shake. She was a monster, yes, but she had always been a monster, and she was still his monster, for she had not yet been claimed by another, for he was still not legally done with her, for she still haunted him.

—p.15 Part One: Fleishman Is in Trouble (1) by Taffy Brodesser-Akner 1 year, 2 months ago

[...] He didn’t want to undermine Rachel’s status at school out of an old sense of protectiveness that he couldn’t quite shake. She was a monster, yes, but she had always been a monster, and she was still his monster, for she had not yet been claimed by another, for he was still not legally done with her, for she still haunted him.

—p.15 Part One: Fleishman Is in Trouble (1) by Taffy Brodesser-Akner 1 year, 2 months ago
20

Hr, which was what his preferred dating app was called, was now his first-thing-in-the-morning check. It had replaced Facebook, since when he looked at Facebook, he became despondent and overwhelmed by the number of people he hadn’t yet told about his divorce. But Facebook was also a landscape of roads not taken and moments of bliss, real or staged, that he couldn’t bear. The marriages that seemed plain and the posts that seemed incidental and not pointed, because they telegraphed not an aggressively great status in life but a just-fine one, those were the ones that left him clutching his heart. Toby hadn’t dreamed of great and transcendent things for his marriage. He had parents. He wasn’t an idiot. He just wanted regular, silly things in life, like stability and emotional support and a low-grade contentedness. Why couldn’t he just have regular, silly things? His former intern Sari posted a picture of herself bowling at a school fundraiser with her husband. She’d apparently gotten three strikes. “What a night,” she’d written. Toby had stared at it with the overwhelming desire to write “Enjoy this for now” or “All desire is death.” It was best to stay off Facebook.

lol

—p.20 Part One: Fleishman Is in Trouble (1) by Taffy Brodesser-Akner 1 year, 2 months ago

Hr, which was what his preferred dating app was called, was now his first-thing-in-the-morning check. It had replaced Facebook, since when he looked at Facebook, he became despondent and overwhelmed by the number of people he hadn’t yet told about his divorce. But Facebook was also a landscape of roads not taken and moments of bliss, real or staged, that he couldn’t bear. The marriages that seemed plain and the posts that seemed incidental and not pointed, because they telegraphed not an aggressively great status in life but a just-fine one, those were the ones that left him clutching his heart. Toby hadn’t dreamed of great and transcendent things for his marriage. He had parents. He wasn’t an idiot. He just wanted regular, silly things in life, like stability and emotional support and a low-grade contentedness. Why couldn’t he just have regular, silly things? His former intern Sari posted a picture of herself bowling at a school fundraiser with her husband. She’d apparently gotten three strikes. “What a night,” she’d written. Toby had stared at it with the overwhelming desire to write “Enjoy this for now” or “All desire is death.” It was best to stay off Facebook.

lol

—p.20 Part One: Fleishman Is in Trouble (1) by Taffy Brodesser-Akner 1 year, 2 months ago
21

He tried not to smile while she spoke. He tried to squint seriously like he was consulting on a patient, but he couldn’t help it. It hadn’t occurred to him that his news could ever be received as anything but tragic. He thought he’d have to look at his shoes in sadness every time it came up, out of some kind of respect or decorum. But he had suffered enough. He had suffered for years in the limbo of failure and self-immolation that was the end of his marriage—that was the end of any marriage. Yes! This will be fun! He looked out the window just then and saw that it was summer. It was summer!

—p.21 Part One: Fleishman Is in Trouble (1) by Taffy Brodesser-Akner 1 year, 2 months ago

He tried not to smile while she spoke. He tried to squint seriously like he was consulting on a patient, but he couldn’t help it. It hadn’t occurred to him that his news could ever be received as anything but tragic. He thought he’d have to look at his shoes in sadness every time it came up, out of some kind of respect or decorum. But he had suffered enough. He had suffered for years in the limbo of failure and self-immolation that was the end of his marriage—that was the end of any marriage. Yes! This will be fun! He looked out the window just then and saw that it was summer. It was summer!

—p.21 Part One: Fleishman Is in Trouble (1) by Taffy Brodesser-Akner 1 year, 2 months ago
25

He’d initially been democratic in his search parameters on the subject of age. Anyone over twenty-five who wasn’t yet dead was fair game, he’d figured, though he quickly began to tire of looking at the young ones. It wasn’t how it ached to see their youth, how their skin still showed glow and bounce, how they delighted in the seam of their buttock folding over the top of their thigh like it was on springs—though it absolutely did ache to see those things. It wasn’t how they so clearly believed it would always be like this, or perhaps how they knew it wouldn’t and so decided to enjoy it; that would be worse, if they were enjoying their youth because they knew it wouldn’t last, because who had the sense to do that? It was that he couldn’t bear to be with anyone who didn’t yet truly understand consequences, how the world would have its way with you despite all your careful life planning. There was no way to learn that until you lived it. There was no way for any of us to learn that until we lived it.

—p.25 Part One: Fleishman Is in Trouble (1) by Taffy Brodesser-Akner 1 year, 2 months ago

He’d initially been democratic in his search parameters on the subject of age. Anyone over twenty-five who wasn’t yet dead was fair game, he’d figured, though he quickly began to tire of looking at the young ones. It wasn’t how it ached to see their youth, how their skin still showed glow and bounce, how they delighted in the seam of their buttock folding over the top of their thigh like it was on springs—though it absolutely did ache to see those things. It wasn’t how they so clearly believed it would always be like this, or perhaps how they knew it wouldn’t and so decided to enjoy it; that would be worse, if they were enjoying their youth because they knew it wouldn’t last, because who had the sense to do that? It was that he couldn’t bear to be with anyone who didn’t yet truly understand consequences, how the world would have its way with you despite all your careful life planning. There was no way to learn that until you lived it. There was no way for any of us to learn that until we lived it.

—p.25 Part One: Fleishman Is in Trouble (1) by Taffy Brodesser-Akner 1 year, 2 months ago
35

It’s not like I wasn’t busy. I was an officer in good standing of my kids’ PTA. I owned a car that put my comfort ahead of the health and future of the planet. I had an IRA and a 401(k) and I went on vacations and swam with dolphins and taught my kids to ski. I contributed to the school’s annual fund. I flossed twice a day; I saw a dentist twice a year. I got Pap smears and had my moles checked. I read books about oppressed minorities with my book club. I did physical therapy for an old knee injury, forgoing the other things I’d like to do to ensure I didn’t end up with a repeat injury. I made breakfast. I went on endless moms’ nights out, where I put on tight jeans and trendy blouses and high heels like it mattered and went to the restaurant that was right next to the restaurant we went to with our families. (There were no dads’ nights out for my husband, because the supposition was that the men got to live life all the time, whereas we were caged animals who were sometimes allowed to prowl our local town bar and drink the blood of the free people.) I took polls on whether the Y or the JCC had better swimming lessons. I signed up for soccer leagues in time for the season cutoff, which was months before you’d even think of enrolling a child in soccer, and then organized their attendant carpools. I planned playdates and barbecues and pediatric dental checkups and adult dental checkups and plain old internists and plain old pediatricians and hair salon treatments and educational testing and cleats-buying and art class attendance and pediatric ophthalmologist and adult ophthalmologist and now, suddenly, mammograms. I made lunch. I made dinner. I made breakfast. I made lunch. I made dinner. I made breakfast. I made lunch. I made dinner.

—p.35 Part One: Fleishman Is in Trouble (1) by Taffy Brodesser-Akner 1 year, 2 months ago

It’s not like I wasn’t busy. I was an officer in good standing of my kids’ PTA. I owned a car that put my comfort ahead of the health and future of the planet. I had an IRA and a 401(k) and I went on vacations and swam with dolphins and taught my kids to ski. I contributed to the school’s annual fund. I flossed twice a day; I saw a dentist twice a year. I got Pap smears and had my moles checked. I read books about oppressed minorities with my book club. I did physical therapy for an old knee injury, forgoing the other things I’d like to do to ensure I didn’t end up with a repeat injury. I made breakfast. I went on endless moms’ nights out, where I put on tight jeans and trendy blouses and high heels like it mattered and went to the restaurant that was right next to the restaurant we went to with our families. (There were no dads’ nights out for my husband, because the supposition was that the men got to live life all the time, whereas we were caged animals who were sometimes allowed to prowl our local town bar and drink the blood of the free people.) I took polls on whether the Y or the JCC had better swimming lessons. I signed up for soccer leagues in time for the season cutoff, which was months before you’d even think of enrolling a child in soccer, and then organized their attendant carpools. I planned playdates and barbecues and pediatric dental checkups and adult dental checkups and plain old internists and plain old pediatricians and hair salon treatments and educational testing and cleats-buying and art class attendance and pediatric ophthalmologist and adult ophthalmologist and now, suddenly, mammograms. I made lunch. I made dinner. I made breakfast. I made lunch. I made dinner. I made breakfast. I made lunch. I made dinner.

—p.35 Part One: Fleishman Is in Trouble (1) by Taffy Brodesser-Akner 1 year, 2 months ago
36

That first night, on the phone, Toby was so grateful that I wasn’t going to make him pay for his abandonment of me or treat him like an injured kitten that he became giddy, and he laughed more and so I laughed more. And in our laughter we heard our youth, and it is not not a dangerous thing to be at the doorstep to middle age and at an impasse in your life and to suddenly be hearing sounds from your youth.

—p.36 Part One: Fleishman Is in Trouble (1) by Taffy Brodesser-Akner 1 year, 2 months ago

That first night, on the phone, Toby was so grateful that I wasn’t going to make him pay for his abandonment of me or treat him like an injured kitten that he became giddy, and he laughed more and so I laughed more. And in our laughter we heard our youth, and it is not not a dangerous thing to be at the doorstep to middle age and at an impasse in your life and to suddenly be hearing sounds from your youth.

—p.36 Part One: Fleishman Is in Trouble (1) by Taffy Brodesser-Akner 1 year, 2 months ago
37

I asked him the questions he hated: So then what happened? It’s so drastic and hard to end a marriage. Something had to have happened. Did she cheat on you? Did you cheat on her? Did you hate her friends? Did the kids kill her libido? But marriage is vast and mysterious and private. You could not scientifically compare two marriages for all of the variance of factors, most particularly what two specific people can tolerate. I made my face placid and curious, the way I did during my old magazine interviews, pretending the stakes were just regular when really everything hung on the answers.

—p.37 Part One: Fleishman Is in Trouble (1) by Taffy Brodesser-Akner 1 year, 2 months ago

I asked him the questions he hated: So then what happened? It’s so drastic and hard to end a marriage. Something had to have happened. Did she cheat on you? Did you cheat on her? Did you hate her friends? Did the kids kill her libido? But marriage is vast and mysterious and private. You could not scientifically compare two marriages for all of the variance of factors, most particularly what two specific people can tolerate. I made my face placid and curious, the way I did during my old magazine interviews, pretending the stakes were just regular when really everything hung on the answers.

—p.37 Part One: Fleishman Is in Trouble (1) by Taffy Brodesser-Akner 1 year, 2 months ago