Introduction (Pre-Amble)

“Little ditty about Jack and Diane, two American kids growing up in the heartland…little ditty about Jack and Diane, two American kids doing the best they can.” —John Cougar-Mellencamp

And that is what we are (though our names are Richard and Amanda)—two all-American kids who met at a comedy club in Washington, DC, dated for a year, and then got married one year later, had our son, Joshua, five years after that, and our daughter, Carli, came into our lives four years later. We have survived sixteen years of marriage (and counting). Sure, there are some pretty unconventional things about us, but at the heart of it we are just two American kids doing the best we can.

DISCLAIMER: Our dilemma for the introduction is this: How many people actually read the introduction? Our bet is only the truly Type A’s among us (our kin, btw). Many folks want to cut right to the chase and skip over the introduction to get to the “good stuff.”

So what do we put here? We decided on items that will give you overachievers a glimpse behind the curtain, and yet the slackers who skipped ahead won’t miss anything important.

Consider it a kind of reward for being so thorough.

So… what are your BIG benefits, you ask?

#1 — We’d like to give you a little primer on the tone of this book. We are married and happy, and we write from this place. But we are also normal people who have work stuff and family crap and baggage and everything that goes along with real life.

We hope this book is sometimes witty, always honest, and often even sarcastic. So if you find yourself struggling to decipher a certain chapter, we suggest you channel your inner Jon Stewart and then hopefully things should make sense!

[Okay, that is a taste of the introduction of the book…you can tell the tone and how we write. Want to see more? Buy the book and you can read every brilliant word!]

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