I like the number 23 simply because it’s my birthdate–it has nothing to do with Michael Jordan’s number or the Brothers Johnson classic song, Strawberry Letter 23. But when I am in the car around 8 am on a Mon-Thurs, I have enjoyed the Strawberry Letter portion of The Steve Harvey Morning Show on the radio–even though it seems that many of the writers of those letters have no common sense.
During part of my road trip for the holidays, I listened to a couple of audiobooks. One of them was The Strawberry Letter by Shirley Strawberry, a radio vet and one of Steve’s co-hosts on his show.
Before I got the audiobook, I read reviews at Amazon. One reviewer had a problem with the fact that Shirley is divorced and has been single for a long time, but is giving relationship advice in the book. (Steve experiences similar criticism because of his relationships books, despite him being in his third marriage.) I like Shirley’s rebuttal to this idea that only people who are married or in successful relationships can give relationship advice. She says, “Some of us are better coaches than players.” I agree with that statement wholeheartedly.
Strawberry Letter 23
To me, the author’s experiences and letters were interesting and entertaining, but I probably should have read the book instead of listening to her read the audiobook. I’m used to hearing her voice reading letters on the radio, and what a great voice she has… but I was surprised to find it annoying in the audiobook! I did not like the way she read the book; it was as if she was not reading her own words and unfamiliar with her writing, or like she was reading to a child. However, that didn’t keep me from taking in its content, which I gave 3 stars.
From everything she discusses in the book, it appears that her babies–her career and her daughter–are her priorities in her life at this time, and not a man. I recently talked about coming to this decision myself.
I admire Shirley for sticking to her Christian beliefs, and remaining celibate since 1999 (except for a few “slip-ups” that happened because she’s human). She mentioned a statement that her pastor, Bishop Kenneth Ulmer made: “It’s easy to stay celibate when you’re not dating.” Amen! She also admits to other things in this book that she is embarrassed about or not proud of, such as not having earned a college degree, remaining in a marriage that was wrong even though she figured it out very early, being a long, physically abusive relationship, and being someone’s mistress. I’ve dealt with many of these situations in my memoir as well. Although it is unflattering and embarrassing to share these types of details of our lives, I believe that the sharing of our experiences can help others. Thats why I did it. it gives me a platform to explain where I was, to say I’ve been there and done that, here’s how I got out of it, and you can too.