"MY WIFE WANTS YOU TO KNOW I'M HAPPILY MARRIED," by Joey Franklin, University of Nebraska Press, $19.95, 180 pages (nf)
“My Wife Wants You to Know I’m Happily Married” by Joey Franklin examines various topics common to many men, such as being a father at a T-ball game or accompanying Scouts on a hike. The book also considers some of his more unusual experiences, such as when his father went to prison for a year, or when Franklin lost the drive to become a really good ballroom dancer.
Franklin’s strength is in the fictional parts of his personal essays, such as when he imagines the man who stole his car picking up a friend who suspects that the car seats and car aren’t her friend’s.
Franklin, a Brigham Young University creative writing faculty member, is self-deprecating as he subtly writes about personal experiences, such as premature hair loss, without oversharing.
In the titular essay, he rejects the hyperbole of “my wife is the most beautiful woman in the world,” which is claimed by many husbands, and reminds readers that our actual lives and beauty levels are mostly ordinary. His experiences exude the responsibility and self-acceptance that come with middle age.
“My Wife Wants You to Know I’m Happily Married” won the award for best creative nonfiction from the Association for Mormon Letters.
The book contains some mild sexual content as well as an in-depth discussion of what makes the perfect kiss. It also contains a brief drug reference. There isn’t any objectionable language other than the author using the Japanese word for blessing as if it were an expletive. If this book were a movie, it would be rated PG-13.
Rachel Helps works at Brigham Young University as the Harold B. Lee Library's coordinator of Wikipedia initiatives and has a bachelor's degree in psychology. Her video game reviews can be found at ludibin.com.