Heather's Reviews > Love in Condition Yellow: A Memoir of an Unlikely Marriage

Love in Condition Yellow by Sophia Raday
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's review
Apr 04, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: bio-memoir, early-reviewers
Read in May, 2009 — I own a copy

Love in Condition Yellow

Perhaps if I had known, or learned, what condition yellow meant before starting the book, my opinion of it would be different. I focused on the subtitle, "A Memoir of an Unlikely Marriage," and was hoping for more about how to love someone with views on life completely different than your own. The first part of the book was indeed about that topic: how she fell in love with a redneck soldier. The rest of the book is more about "condition yellow": what it's like to be married to a police officer/soldier who is always on guard.

Notable quotations:

Conflict is like a rope with a giant knot in it. You can't even begin to untie the knot if you are still pulling, pulling the knot tighter.
After I have spoken I am surprised to find I feel stronger. There is a trill of fear, too, as I wait to hear his response, but overall it makes me feel both more solid and more free to declare my fears. I used to think speaking them aloud would force us to a breaking point. But now I realize it doesn't work that way. It's okay to say what you fear and what you want without guarantee of results. It is powerful, somehow, just to put your hopes and worries calmly into words. It's definitely better than not saying it, holding it in, and being angry at your partner for not understanding. [...:] It is not that honestly talking makes us agree or see the world the same way, but somehow it changes the distance between us from something vast, hard, and impenetrable into something tractable.

At the end, the author reaches an epiphany of personal strength:
About twelve months into the fifteen-month separation, on a neighborhood walk, you will stop short as you come to a surprising realization. While you are still anxious about your husband's safety, still miss his laugh, his smell, his strength, you nevertheless like your life. You smile at the irony in the fact that it took your being alone, took your husband 'abandoning' you, for you to learn that completeness is not bestowed upon you by a perfect partner. It does not come from your lover figuring you out and taking perfect care of you. It comes, instead, from deep inside you, from seeing your own limits and gently challenging yourself to move past them. It comes from facing adversity, and through it, discovering your own inner strength and wisdom.

Overall, I am glad I read this memoir. I learned a lot about the motivations of hippy liberals, redneck soldiers, and everyone in-between.

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