The commitment : love, sex, marriage, and my family

by Dan Savage

Paper Book, 2005




New York : Dutton, c2005.


Dan Savage recounts his family's campaign to convince him and his boyfriend, Terry, to get married, and explores how his family's attitudes towards gay marriage reflect those of contemporary American society.

User reviews

LibraryThing member marfita
Savage tells a wonderful story of his journey from being oblivious to marriage, to trying to get his son on board for the marriage. This must be the sanest man in America. How would you or I respond if one of our children announced he wanted to be gay when he grew up (but doesn't want his two gay dads to marry)? Well, now I know how to respond. Thank you, Dan Savage, for solving that situation for me with wit and aplomb. Savage has gone from being the American Wise Old Uncle to a downright Paterfamilias. He's Emily Post, Judge Judy, and Ruth Westheimer all rolled into one, but with different gonads (although I'm not sure about Judge Judy). He speaks with an authority and sensibility one wishes one saw on Capitol Hill.… (more)
LibraryThing member mms
Good story by a witty writer about a gay couple's decision to marry.....or not.
LibraryThing member justjill
A bit of a rant at times, but I really loved the section where Mr. Savage explains love, marriage and commitment to his 6 year old son.
LibraryThing member kysmom02
The first book that I read of Dan Savage's was "The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant." Other than the incredibly long titles, I've enjoyed both of these two books.

The Commitment is all about Savage's relationship with his boyfriend and their neverending battle over whether or not to get married. Dan and Terry have been together for 10 years and are commited to one another, but both have specific reasons for avoiding the whole issue of marriage. They are parents to a young son, D.J. who does not want his dad's to be married.

I'll tell you that I enjoyed "The Kid" much more than this book. Both books had me laughing out loud during portions of the books. However, this book I found that Dan was on a soap box about gay rights much more than was necessary for the story. In fact, so much so in places that he was totally off subject and had to bring me back to it. A positive point though, is that I really like his writting style. He writes much like a person would speak.

Overall, it was a good book which I did enjoy, but not as much as I had hoped. I found myself telling people to read "The Kid," but I can't honestly recommend this one as highly.
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LibraryThing member CrunchyGranola
Dan Savage is a darn good writer--he's articulate and funny, and this narrative look at how gay marriage debates play out within his own family (extended and nuclear) and the US more generally is quite the read.
LibraryThing member frisbeesage
Dan and Terry have been a gay couple for ten years, they have a son together, and they plan to stay together forever, so why wouldn't they want to get married? Terry doesn't want to act like straight people and Dan is rebelling against his mother's oft expressed desires. They compromise on getting matching "Property of" tattoos and begin planning a 10th anniversary party that soon begins to feel suspiciously like a wedding reception. As the two of the struggle through their feelings about the institution of marriage and why or why not they might want to partake a slightly madcap adventure ensues.

The Commitment is billed as a hilarious romp through the world of gay marriage. Instead it is mostly an angry rant about the restrictions and prejudices faced by homosexuals today. While I agree with all his points it felt a bit like having someone endlessly trying to convince me of something I already agree with. There were funny parts, many provided by their 6 yr old son DJ, but they just didn't balance out all the bitterness for me. I did enjoy the discussions he had with his siblings about their life choices, they all seem like very interesting and thoughtful people.

I listened to The Commitment on audio, narrated by Paul Michael Garcia. He had a nice way of emphasizing the dry, sarcastic humor that occasionally comes through.
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LibraryThing member bookwormteri
My least favorite of his books, but that does not mean this book is bad. It just means that I felt he was a little long winded at times. I adore Dan Savage, love his anecdotes and crankiness, loved this book, but it is not my fav. Terry and Dan argue over marriage, (their son is initially against their marriage, for very humorous reasons), and eventually come to a decision. Marriage v. tattoos.....

I would like to say in an aside, that I do hope that one day any two consenting adults who want to get married, regardless of sexual orientation, will be able to do so legally. After all, why shouldn't we straight people share the suffering?
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LibraryThing member cransell
After The Kid, I was sure I would like Savage's newest memoir and I did. I hope he keeps writing them - and not just Savage Love - although he should keep writing that too.
LibraryThing member mawls
Savage breaks down relationships, marriage and the debate of gay marriage into hilarious quips and all-too-true insight into the absurd reasons some conservatives give for being against gay marriage. it'd be good for people on all sides of the issue to read this. plus, it's super funny at times!
LibraryThing member Kaetrin
This book charts the course of Dan Savage and Terry Miller's journey to a marriage ceremony in Vancouver around their 10 year anniversary. There is a lot of discussion about marriage equality and family and it is delivered with Savage's trademark humour. I enjoyed it very much. My only real quibbles were with some names and facts which seemed to have changed from the previous book (which were easily noticeable to me as I read them back to back). For instance, Dan's nephew was "Mars" in The Kid but in The Commitment he's "Thor". I get that even in a memoir some names will be changed to protect the innocent, but I think there should be consistency or an explanation in the text for the change. I can't help it. I notice details like that. I saw an obituary for Dan Savage's mother on line and it referred to various family members including Thor, so I guess that is his real name and it may be that the earlier name was because he was only a toddler when the first book was written? The obit also had Terry's last name as different to Miller which threw me a bit. My curiosity is piqued but as it is most unlikely I will ever have the privilege of being actual friends with Dan and Terry (which I would love), I will probably never know.… (more)
LibraryThing member Marlene-NL
Finished this morning. I must say i am glad I am done and can pick something else to read. To be honest I was really getting so bored with the marriage stuff. Are we going to get married or not? Yawn.

It is interesting to read how the Americans, well some treat gays. It is so different here. Gays are very much part of every day life and for me the only thing different is the way they have sex. O one thing though. I really find annoying about gays.
They want to belong, have all the rights straights have, which they have in my country, but then why do they have to do there own Gay pride days and all that stuff. I do not do my Straight Days?
Amsterdam Gay Pride day. Where all the gays are dancing half naked on boats. Back to the book. I really liked his first book which was more personal. This was too much about his yes or no going to be married. And OMG what a spoiled child they made of DJ. Another pet peeve of mine. We yes I did it too, spoil are kids too much. we let them run the show.
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LibraryThing member greeniezona
I picked this up on impulse at the library. I've always had very mixed feelings about Dan Savage. Those mixed feelings were often reconfirmed while reading this book. While examining his own feelings on marriage, Savage reflects on the variety of relationships on display in his own family, and the way marriage, or alternative arrangements, have worked well (or not) for them. There are some moments of tender compassion here, especially for his grandmother -- a woman who seemed to sink into drinking and depression to deal with feeling trapped by the roles society offered her (she wanted to become a doctor - became a stay-at-home mother instead.)

But Savage's writing voice has always leaned toward the asshole side, and that side is on full display here as well, from bitching that of course taking 4 weeks off for vacation seems reasonable to Terry, who's had the past 250 weeks "off," to sniping that South Dakotans are terrified of "subways, sodomites, and sit-ups." Of course, everyone bitches about their spouse/partner sometimes, and Savage has some real fears about being attacked/arrested while driving through the Great Plains. And he does show his own vulnerabilities now and again, too. But seriously, don't get me started on his bitching about brides.

What I enjoyed most about this book was the analysis of what modern marriage means. The steps taken toward and against gay marriage. What campaigns both for and against say about straight marriage.

Worth the read. But glad I didn't buy it.
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LibraryThing member ritaer
2005 era meditations on gay marriage as Dan's mom argues for, he and Terry plan mutual tattoos and their six year old son is adamant that boys marry girls. Comic, political, touching comments on changes in marriage and parenting, family attachments and the nature of marriage.
LibraryThing member satyridae
I enjoy Savage's writing. I was predisposed to like this book. Unsurprisingly, I did.

Savage has a gimlet eye which somehow manages to also be warm and sweet. His struggles with the nature of marriage and his own personal relationship to it are seasoned with family vignettes and hilarious walk-ons by his mom. The evolution of Savage's son's understanding of what it would mean for his dads to be married is also pretty amusing. The indictment of the present political climate as it pertains to gay life is searing and painful.


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