Top 10 Things You Can Learn From Reading Robert Leleux’s Latest Memoir, The Living End
Many of us have friends or family who have been diminished by Alzheimer’s. And most of us believe that having your mind fail you would be a fate worse than death. OK. Be honest. How many of you have made this kind of pact with your spouse, “Honey, if that ever happens to me, just shoot me.”? This seems to be especially important to those in academia or the literary world—where being intelligent is what we appear to value most. So it was quite a surprise to see my friend, Robert Leleux—one of the most clever fellows I know—write a memoir about how his beloved grandmother, Joann, suffered from this debilitating disease, and yet, he saw the silver lining in this gloomy cloud.
And though The Living End deals with a serious topic, it also is filled with the humor we have grown to expect from Robert since guffawing our way through his first book, The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy. So taking off on Robert’s humor hint—here are the Top 10 Things You Can Learn From Reading The Living End (along page clues to find the references):
10) Who could be described as a cross between Auntie Mame and Scarlett O’Hara (Sorry, no hints here—there are just too many references to list)
9) What kind of Christmas presents you should be giving your grandchildren (pg 66)
8) What is an alternate thing we should fear—other than fear, itself, of course (pg 113)
7) When it makes sense to buy back the house you were selling—which is a completely different reason than Steve Martin discovered in Father of the Bride 2 (pg 121)
6) Where you’ll find the funniest people (pg 113)
5) Why it’s important to bone up on your Broadway—and it has nothing to do with Glee (pg 131)
4) Why you should be nicer to your children (pg 129)
3) Why getting into the kingdom of heaven can be harder for a smart person than a rich one (pg 134)
2) How to insult your daughter—without even trying (pg 101)
1) How to look completely sane—even if you’re trying to lick paint off a Buick (pg 125)
Part love letter to a strong and stylish Southern woman, this latest autobiographical endeavor reflects Robert’s trademark humor, hopefulness, and humanity—in spades. The Living End is not just for those who know someone who is, has, or will suffer with Alzheimer’s. It’s for all of us who tend to dwell in the past or future. It’s a poignant reminder that the present is all we have. And really—who couldn’t use that?
After reading this book, you’ll want to sell your gun, call your spouse, and abandon the Alzheimer’s agreement. Honest.