A Little Happier: I Read the Short Story that Was Read as Part of My Wedding.

In episode 76, a listener asked for suggestions for great wedding readings, and I promised that I’d read “I Was Trying to Describe You to Someone,” the short story from Richard Brautigan’s wonderful story collection The Revenge of the Lawn that was read at my wedding.

How I love this story! You can read it for yourself here.

Speaking of great quotes, if you’d like to get the “Moment of Happiness,” my free daily email newsletter with a wonderful quotation, sign up here. I love collecting quotations, and choosing the quotation for the daily newsletter is one of my favorite things to do.

Want to get in touch? I love hearing from listeners:


Happier listening!


  • artie

    Oh my god, what a romantic reading!

    Here is the one I picked for my wedding:

    The Invitation by Oriah
    It doesn’t interest me
    what you do for a living.
    I want to know
    what you ache for
    and if you dare to dream
    of meeting your heart’s longing.

    It doesn’t interest me
    how old you are.
    I want to know
    if you will risk
    looking like a fool
    for love
    for your dream
    for the adventure of being alive.
    It doesn’t interest me
    what planets are
    squaring your moon…
    I want to know
    if you have touched
    the centre of your own sorrow
    if you have been opened
    by life’s betrayals
    or have become shrivelled and closed
    from fear of further pain.
    I want to know
    if you can sit with pain
    mine or your own
    without moving to hide it
    or fade it
    or fix it.
    I want to know
    if you can be with joy
    mine or your own
    if you can dance with wildness
    and let the ecstasy fill you
    to the tips of your fingers and toes
    without cautioning us
    to be careful
    to be realistic
    to remember the limitations
    of being human.
    It doesn’t interest me
    if the story you are telling me
    is true.
    I want to know if you can
    disappoint another
    to be true to yourself.
    If you can bear
    the accusation of betrayal
    and not betray your own soul.
    If you can be faithless
    and therefore trustworthy.
    I want to know if you can see Beauty
    even when it is not pretty
    every day.
    And if you can source your own life
    from its presence.
    I want to know
    if you can live with failure
    yours and mine
    and still stand at the edge of the lake
    and shout to the silver of the full moon,
    It doesn’t interest me
    to know where you live
    or how much money you have.
    I want to know if you can get up
    after the night of grief and despair
    weary and bruised to the bone
    and do what needs to be done
    to feed the children.
    It doesn’t interest me
    who you know
    or how you came to be here.
    I want to know if you will stand
    in the centre of the fire
    with me
    and not shrink back.
    It doesn’t interest me
    where or what or with whom
    you have studied.
    I want to know
    what sustains you
    from the inside
    when all else falls away.
    I want to know
    if you can be alone
    with yourself
    and if you truly like
    the company you keep
    in the empty moments.

    • HEHink


    • LS Thomas

      Wow! Thanks for sharing. This really expands my understanding of people who are not interested in absolutes–as in absolute truth– so much.

  • Linda Jackson

    great short story.. if you have ever experienced a long duration power outage – the joy and glee of having power is quite thrilling! makes you want to turn off the power every now and then to get that jolt of happiness!
    with regard to my husband, i often catch myself so happy to observe my husband just being. Not a sharp jolt but an infused warm happy glow.. maybe candle light..

  • Alessia

    What a wonderful story! :)))

  • sharon murray

    Thanks so much for this Gretchen & Elizabeth! Your discussion on the 5 love languages led me to choosing this one for my upcoming wedding:

    I Belong in Your Arms – by Deborah Bridea

    I belong in your arms
    Finally, I have found a place
    Into which I fit perfectly, safely
    And securely with no doubts
    No fears, no sadness, no tears

    This place is filled with happiness and laughter
    Yet it is spacious enough, to allow me
    The freedom to move around
    To live my life and be myself
    This wonderful place, which I never believed really existed
    I have found finally
    Inside your arms, Inside your heart, inside your love

  • Anna Embree

    It tickles me that you read Brautigan at your wedding. My father was a friend of his, oh so long ago, and though he does do some good writing, he was not exactly the world’s most fabulous person. I enjoy the mental exercise of trying to hold Gretchen Rubin and Richard Brautigan together in the same space in my head! =)

    • gretchenrubin