Pretzel Logic

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Overview

What would you do if your spouse woke up one day and told you he was gay?

Emily Spencer lived in Coventry, New Hampshire, with her husband Michael, where they published a weekly newspaper and were, by all accounts, happy.

However, after a few years, Michael began to change; he grew quieter and more sullen. The more Emily pressed for an answer, the more he resisted. Finally, one day, she learned her husband's ...

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Overview

What would you do if your spouse woke up one day and told you he was gay?

Emily Spencer lived in Coventry, New Hampshire, with her husband Michael, where they published a weekly newspaper and were, by all accounts, happy.

However, after a few years, Michael began to change; he grew quieter and more sullen. The more Emily pressed for an answer, the more he resisted. Finally, one day, she learned her husband's secret: Michael was gay.

What follows in Pretzel Logic is at turns bittersweet and hysterically funny as Emily and Michael learn to deal with their own truths. Recent movies like In and Out and The Object of my Affection have only skimmed the surface. Pretzel Logic, written by a woman who's been there, is the first story to tell it like it is.

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What People Are Saying

Amity Pierce Buxton
Crisply written with a keen sense of place and vivid action, Pretzel Logic brings to life one wife's struggle to understand when her husband turns out to be gay. -- (Amity Pierce Buxton, Ph.D., author of The Other Side of the Closet: The Coming-Out Crisis for Straight Spouses and Families)
Lisa A. Rogak

From the Author

Since I discovered I was married to a man who was gay in 1997, two years into our marriage, I was amazed to see how widespread this issue really is. Chances are that you know a couple whose marriage has broken up due to the coming-out of one of the spouses.

When I first went to look for information on the subject of straight spouses (should be an oxymoron!), I was disappointed to see how little actually existed. I found a couple of books, notably Amity Pierce Buxton's book Amity Pierce Buxton, Ph.D., author of The Other Side of the Closet: The Coming-Out Crisis for Straight Spouses and Families, but compared to the amount of information and support that existed for the people who were just beginning to explore their sexuality--arms wide open in welcome, actually--it might as well have been nonexistent.

Enter the Internet. There's a website and mailing list for anyone, regardless of their interest, and this was the case with a mailing list devoted to men and women all over the world who were dealing with the trauma of discovering that the wives and husbands they thought they knew--in some cases, married to for more than 30 years--were hiding a terrible secret: they were gay.

I became obsessed with checking my email, to hearing the ongoing stories of people just like me who were dealing with the same issue. I was in heaven. And then we started to meet, to schedule face-to-face meetings. Two years after first meeting a listmate for coffee, and countless others since, I can count these people among my closest friends. And they encouraged me to write Pretzel Logic, as a way to get our stories out to a world that is largely ignorant of the issues of trust we struggled with in our marriages, and carry out into everyday life.

When it came time to dedicate Pretzel Logic, there was no question: my str8 spouse list buddies. As we used to say, it's great to meet you, but too bad it has to be under these circumstances.

M. J. Rose
Pretzel Logic is one of those rare novels that speaks the truth. With humor and pathos, insight and fairness, Rogak examines a tragic dilemma without ever losing sight of her characters' humanity. Pretzel Logic forces the reader to think twice about sexual orientation, what makes a good marriage work, and what is worth fighting for. It is not a story you have read before. But it is a story people will be talking about for quite some time. -- (M.J. Rose, author of Lip Service)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780965250245
  • Publisher: Litterature
  • Publication date: 6/28/1999
  • Pages: 245
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Read an Excerpt

"Michael."

He grunted in reply.

"I wanted to pay the bills yesterday."

Another grunt.

"It's your month," I said.

He looked at me, not comprehending.

"So?" he snarled.

"I went on your computer to get the files."

His confusion was quickly overwhelmed by a look of surprise. His eyes widened and his mouth fell open. He stood up and the book fell from his lap, landing with a thud on the floor.

"You were spying on me!"

The words hit like a bomb, although by the time I finally saw his mouth form each word, it felt as if I was first filtering the sentence through some other brain to absorb it better.

"I wasn't spying on you, I wanted to do something nice for you since you've been feeling so bad and-"

"You were spying on me!" Then, as suddenly as his shock had appeared, it fell off his face. "I'm not gay, if that's what you're thinking."

"Then why do you have gay photos and email on your computer?"

He paused, pursed his lips, and took a breath.

"I think I have to explain my attraction to men."

I slumped into my chair. I watched Michael move his mouth, I caught a few words, but he might as well have been speaking Portuguese. I didn't know what to do with my hands, so I rested them on my lap and stared at the floor.

"Say something," he told me, and grabbed my hands.

"But why?" I managed to say.

"Why what?"

Why what? That was a good question.

Why didn't you tell me?

Why do you feel this way?

Why did you marry me?

Why are we running a business together?

Why are we together?

I chose the most obvious: "Why didn't you tell me you were gay?"

"I'm not gay," he spat.

"Bisexual, then."

"No!"

Then what? It didn't make sense. If he was married and called himself straight, why did he have gay porn on his computer? What else is there?

"Say something," he commanded.

I couldn't think of anything. "Why didn't you tell me?" This time it came in a whisper.

He released my hands and sat back on the floor. "I knew you were going to say that," he said. "When are you going to realize that it's not all about you or what I do to you? Can't you see that this is my issue, it's an issue I've been fighting all my life, and that I'm having enough trouble dealing with it without you getting all defensive and blaming me for it?"

Of course he'd turn it around. "But just when did you know?" I listened to myself as I slowly and methodically spoke each word in a disembodied voice that trembled with calm.

"A long time ago," he said after a pause. "Before we met." Another, longer pause. "In high school."

He then explained that he'd had relationships with men all through college but even then he didn't consider himself to be gay. He said that I was the first woman he'd been involved with and he thought that by getting married and settling down, his attraction to men would disappear.

He reached for my hands again, but this time I didn't offer them, instead keeping my arms close to my side. "You're the only woman I've ever wanted, and even though I've treated you horribly lately, I'm still wildly attracted to you. In fact, I couldn't imagine having sex with any other woman." He looked up into my face while I kept my eyes on the floor.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2002

    Not a well written book except for the straight spouse support group portion

    Just when I was about to give up on this book, the writing took off with the introduction of the straight spouse support group. You can tell the author loves the men and women in her STR8 group because even in biting humor that love fairly jumps off the page. Too bad the author couldn't breath the same life into her other characters, especially the straight wife and gay husband. Too bad because the storyline has the potential for a great novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 1999

    Review excerpt from Curled Up With a Good Book

    Man and woman meet. Fall in love. Get married. A few years into the marriage, husband reveals secret tearing the marriage apart: he's gay. The stuff of Hollywood, you say, similar to situations seen in recent hits like 'In and Out' and 'The Object of My Affection.' Far more common than you think in real life, according to the author (and publisher) of PRETZEL LOGIC. Lisa Rogak, herself a 'straight spouse' (a heterosexual married to a gay man), wrote this autobiographical novel at the urgings of her support network of straight spouses 'as a way to get our stories out to a world that is largely ignorant of the issues of trust we struggled with in our marriages, and carry out into everyday life.' Finding little information and support when her husband dropped his bombshell, Rogak made the dissemination of information concerning the straight-spouse dilemma her cause. Lisa Rogak is mostly a nonfiction author, and it shows in PRETZEL LOGIC. The narrative flow readers expect from fiction is occasionally interrupted by expository and descriptive blocks that fit in less than seamlessly. Take PRETZEL LOGIC for what it mostly is, though, a memoir of a different kind of coming-out, and it's hard not to be amused, appalled and bewildered by turns at the comic and tragic turns taken in one straight woman's life.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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