You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld is an exercise in contrasts.
Her collection of short stories shows people who exist in the grey areas. They can be two oppositional things at once.
In one story, a successful feminist has a one night stand with a man, delighting in their gender-normative interactions. Phrases like “you’re pretty” give her a thrill; something she feels conflicted about since it runs contrary to her usual rhetoric.
Another story shows a popular TV personality akin to a mix between Martha Stewart and The Pioneer Woman. Her brand is built on her wholesome family image, but she’s hiding a secret past as a lesbian with a prolific list of lovers.
And another story shows a woman who, while on her honeymoon, runs across her high school bully. While the former bully is chipper and friendly now, it doesn’t jibe with the strong memories of past cruelties.
Don’t even get me started on the title story. When a game called “You Think It, I’ll Say It” played casually between adult acquaintances leads to a mistaken sense of intimacy, it’s just so heartbreaking.
The stories are short, but the impact is long.
The stories are somewhat melancholic…but not really. It shows the insecurities and conflicting thoughts inherent in the adult psyche. These thoughts can still exist when we’re otherwise satisfied with our lives.
Beautiful and thoughtful, quietly eloquent. You Think It, I’ll Say It reveals the emotions we all wear deep inside, hidden from view. They’re the burdens we carry alone, not even sharing with our most trusted friends, family members, or spouses.
You Think It, I’ll Say It
Published April 2018