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Thursday, July 31, 2008


From the bargain book section in Barnes & Noble, I picked up Steve Doocy’s book, The Mr. & Mrs. Happy Handbook, to give to Rob as a light-hearted present. He hasn’t read it yet, but I have, and I must admit what started as a little joke turned out to a pleasant and often surprisingly familiar read.

Doocy is a morning TV anchor with a smile playing on his lips most of the time. He’s always mentioning his family, and though I hate to be duped into believing a celebrity’s on air persona, Doocy appears on the level, and on the conservative side of values.

Mr. & Mrs. Happy Handbook, seems to begin as fluff and anecdotes—personal and contributed. Pleasant enough, Doocy has a cute sense of humor and plays with his reader. He jokes about how odd some couples’ meetings, engagements, weddings, and honeymoons can be. He keeps it light and airy, At first I smiled but then began to find some of the anecdotes lol funny or surprising! But none of those tales reminded me of me.

When Doocy begins writing about in-laws, pregnancy, births, children and raising them, things became quite familiar. Here’s one example that struck especially close to home, and if you know our son Michael, you’ll understand why. When Michael was little, I didn’t want to buy toy guns for him.

Doocy points out about his own son, Peter: “…Later we discovered the urge to shoot things is programmed into boys at the factory, and by the time he was three he was shooting at squirrels in trees and rabbits in the yard with his fingers locked in a pistol-like pose; later he improvised a weapon from a bent stick and shot at the Good Humor truck.”

That’s the Doocy boy. We (really me) broke down and eventually Michael got a coonskin cap and a Davy Crockett rifle. I played old Fess Parker episodes of Walt Disney’s Davy Crocket. I hoped if the rifle were old fashioned, Michael wouldn’t make connections with more modern weapons. Duh… As I said, the anecdotes become eerily familiar.

Surreptitiously tucked away in this humorous book, however, is a whole lot of good advice. If Doocy is really talking about his family, he’s got a solid marriage and some kids with good values. Good for him.

So, read light, laugh, and learn when you pick up Mr. & Mrs. Happy Handbook. It’s a pleasant way to enjoy some reading time.

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