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In this hilarious and ultimately moving memoir, comedians and real-life married couple Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn prove that in marriage, all you need is love—and a healthy dose of complaining, codependence, and pinot noir.
After thirteen years of being married, Annabelle and Jeff have found “We’re just not that into us.” Instead of giving up, they’ve held their relationship together by ignoring conventional wisdom and fostering a lack of intimacy, by using parenting as a competitive sport, and by dropping out of couples therapy. The he-said/she-said chronicle of their intense but loving marriage includes an unsentimental account of the medical odyssey that their family embarked upon after their infant son was diagnosed with VACTERL, a very rare series of birth defects. Annabelle and Jeff’s unforgivingly raw, uproariously funny story is sure to strike both laughter and terror in the hearts of all couples (not to mention every single man or woman who is contemplating the connubial state).
Serving up equal parts sincerity and cynicism, You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up is a laugh-out-loud must-read for everyone who has come to realize that being “in love” can only get you so far.
He says: “Within days of Annabelle’s arrival, I became very aware that she demanded solitude and had the housekeeping habits of a feral animal.”
She says: “The guy had some sort of nudity radar. When I would take my clothes off for even a second, Jeff would be in front of me cheering as if he’d scored box seats at Fenway Park.”
He says: “I want to have sex every day, but Annabelle only wants to do it once a week. So we compromise: we have sex once a week.”
She says: “Jeff says talking about money before you have sex is a turnoff, but it’s only a turnoff if you’re talking about not having money. Talking about money before you have sex when you have money is actually a turn-on.”
He says: “For God’s sake, all I wanted to do was have sex without a condom for a little while; now we were moments from bringing a new life into the world!”
She says: “My ass was expanding so fast it was like a Starbucks franchise. On every corner of my ass there was a new branch of ass opening up.”
About the Author
ANNABELLE GURWITCH is an actress and writer, best known for her years cohosting Dinner and a Movie on TBS and her Fired! book and documentary film. Her acting credits include Seinfeld, Boston Legal, and The Shaggy Dog. She’s been a humor columnist for TheNationMagazine.com and a regular commentator on NPR.
JEFF KAHN won an Emmy Award for his writing on The Ben Stiller Show. As an actor, he has appeared in The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Tropic Thunder, as well as in the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm and Entourage.
"You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up: A Love Story shows how hectic, hard and hilarious married life can be. Spanning friendship, courtship, marriage and parenthood, Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn’s "he said/she said" memoir at times reads like a mix of couples therapy and "Real World" confessionals for grown-ups. Only funnier and heavier.”—The Washington Post
“This book is a must-read for couples and singles alike. Finally, a married couple that doesn't hide behind such tedious traits as personal loyalty, good taste, and an overall sense of decorum. You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up tells people what marriage is really like!”—Liz Tucillo, co-author of He’s Just Not That Into You and author of How to Be Single
“So funny because it is so accurate. Kahn and Gurwitch illuminate the insanity of marriage. They make you want to embrace your spouse for the same reason you want to strangle them.”—Ben Stiller
“Although after eleven and a half years of pure, uninterrupted marital bliss I don’t relate at all to the subject matter, I still found Jeff and Annabelle’s book to be hilarious.”—Judd Apatow
“As someone who has never married or ever understood why anyone would,would, I feel I can say with authority that this is the finest, funniest, most insightful book I’ve ever read about a subject I’m completely unqualified to comment about.”—Bill Maher
“The far right believes that marriage should only be one man plus one woman. But they are oh so wrong. Marriage should only be between two funny people, and Jeff and Annabelle are the shining examples of this new marriage movement.”—Carol Leifer
“Damn, marriage isn’t supposed to be this much fun! If anyone is going to save marriage, it won’t be James Dobson—it’ll be Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn.”—Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed
“Oh, now I get it. This whole sham of a marriage was not just for tax purposes, it was also to write and sell this immediately engaging book! I remember when Jeff first told me about Annabelle and the hazy, humid thermal cloud she wrapped his head in. I thought he was nuts. Turns out I was right (see pages 1–250). After reading this book, I feel sorry for both of them now. And that’s quite an accomplishment.”—David Cross, author of I Drink for a Reason
“He said tomato, she said shut up, and I took a Vicodin to ease the pain from laughing so hard.”
—Sandra Tsing Loh, author of Mother on Fire and A Year in Van Nuys
"We're just not that into us."--Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn