Belinda Luscombe and her figurative language…

Reading time: Just over 1 minute

I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a series of similes and metaphors from Belinda Luscombe….

I was browsing in my local discount bookstore, waiting to go for lunch with a friend, when I encountered a table featuring book recommendations from the store’s clerks.

The non-fiction book Marriage-ology by Belinda Luscombe (pictured above) leapt out at me. It wasn’t the book’s gimmicky title that grabbed my attention. It was handwritten note that the work had been nominated for “book of the year.” I picked it up and couldn’t stop reading.

Belinda Luscombe, who is  is an Australian-born journalist, is currently editor at large for TIME magazine and served as TIME‘s arts editor 2003–2008, directing all of the magazine’s cultural coverage. She’s also a very funny writer with a deft eye and ear for figurative language. Here are my favourite examples:

  • [Marriages] can feel lie the emotional equivalent of shovelling snow; people start strong and committed, but it takes so much more out of them than they expect.
  • Delight is not shelf stable like baked beans; it’s like soufflé—amazing while it lasts, but impossible to hang on to.
  • The difference with fighting in a marriage and fighting in, say a cage match is that you don’t necessarily have to win.
  • My other two brothers looked at me with open astonishment, tinged with what seemed like pity, the sort of look you might give an old lady who had just kicked a wounded baby koala.
  • But if talking about money is like walking on eggshells, talking about debt is like walking on improvised explosive devices wrapped in barbed wire.
  • Children are the gift that comes with a kite factory’s worth of strings attached, many of which can tangle up your relationship with your partner.
  • You’re getting inches of sleep when you need yards.
  • To be loved by very small beings is like parental nicotine. You just want more of it, even if you have to steal it from your partner.
  • Super-involved parenting is the most exhausting, but authoritative parenting is the most difficult. It’s like threading a needle with a live worm, or blindfolded yoga.
  • It’s almost as if children are curated these days, rather than raised.
  • Loving your kids is like going to school — you don’t really have a choice. Loving your spouse is like going to college — it’s up to you to show up.
  • Relying on your kids to be your companions and helpmeets is like relying on junkies to look after your valuables.
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