“..but that’s one of those questions I’ve learned not to ask, because I’ll just get that condescending look all parents reserve for non-parents, to remind you that you’re not yet a complete person”

“Alice helps Linda, because Alice is an in-law and technically not one of the bereaved. Barry doesn’t help, because Barry is technically an asshole.”


“He called Barry an ass.

‘I’m sorry,’ Phillip says, ‘It’s been a while. It’s entirely possible, though highly unlikely, that Barry is no longer an ass.”


“There’s nothing sweeter than a two-year-old speaking, with his high-pitched sincerity and his immigrant English.”


“Later on, Jen would swear that was the moment she knew she was going to marry me. That’s the problem with college kids. I blame Hollywood for skewing their perspective. Life is just a big romantic comedy to them, and if you meet cute, happily-ever-after is a foregone conclusion.”

“When does it all happen? In increments, so you can’t watch out for it, you can’t fix it. One day you just wake up and discover that you got old while you were sleeping.”

“I may not be old, but I’m too old to have this much nothing.”

“It would be a terrible mistake to go through life thinking that people are the sum total of what you see.”


“I have loved her for so long. Our past trails behind us like a comet’s tail, the future stretched out before us like the universe. Things happen. People get lost and love breaks. I want to forgive her, and I think I can, but it’s not like issuing a certificate. I’ll have to keep forgiving her until it takes, and knowing me and knowing her, that’s not always going to come easy.”

“Our parents can continue to screw us up even after they die, and in this way, they’re never really gone.”

“Wendy taught me to curse, matched my clothing, brushed my hair before school, and let me sleep in bed with her when bad dreams woke me up. She fell in love often, and with great fanfare, throwing herself into each romance with the focus of an Olympic athlete. Now she’s a mother and a wife, who tries to stop her boys from learning curse words, and calls romantic love useless.  Sometimes it’s heartbreaking to see your siblings as the people they’ve become. Maybe that’s why we all stay away from each other as a matter of course.”