Remember this one? – Keep it Simple, Stupid

You know her, you love her (or hate her)… it’s Judge Judy Sheindlin.

My copy is a formerly-loved library book and looks pretty thrashed. I picked it up anyway. I’d read it years ago and liked it because I like HER. Gotta say, even though this book is eighteen years old, it’s still timely and worth a thoughtful chuckle or two.

Keep It Simple, Stupid (You’re Smarter Than You Look) by Judge Judy Sheindlin is not the first book to tackle family relationships with a dose of Tough Love. The thing about most “tough love” books that I’ve read (and I’ve read a few) is that there’s not a lot of LOVE. Just the TOUGH. While this is a problem in some arenas, I don’t see it as a problem for Sheindlin. The court system isn’t known for warm fuzzies… and it doesn’t hurt to see things from this perspective… at least, every once in a while.

What I like about Sheindlin’s book – and her show, when I get the chance to watch it – is that she says what I want to say. Is it tough? Yes. Is it uncomfortable? Sometimes. Painful? Yes, that too. And it may be, by this point, should be. When she says, “People create their own unhappiness,” which she does in the Introduction of her book, you know the direction the book is going to take. People – indeed! – create their own unhappiness. Sheindlin knows! She’s seen it all in her courtroom over the last 20+ years… and people, it ain’t pretty.

This book is about families… and everything that comes with them. Set up like a mini-therapy, question-and-answer session, a question is posed by one or two people in relationship (a husband and wife, mother and child, etc.) from their perspective… and Sheindlin answers. Her voice is heard in every word… and it’s as you’d expect: booming.

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry… and you’ll figure out why she calls the book “Keep it simple, Stupid” because… wow… some of the questions!

It’s funny, poignant and a bit of a reprieve from all the feel-goodies I usually read. Not gonna lie… it gets a little snippy in places. But if you know Judge Judy, you knew it would.

Let’s get real. It’s the reality check of all reality checks. And sometimes, it feels good to get pissy and laugh a little.

The questions cover every kind of family situation… from living together and marriage, to children, divorce, remarriage, caring for parents and the inevitable end to it all: death.

Finally, there are little comics throughout, like this one… not exactly funny… just … ugh… realistic. Boy, families sure are complicated. Sheindlin helps navigate the differences … with aplomb.


Originally written by me on April 26, 2018, for this blog. 

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