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12:02 p.m. - 2012-01-03
Good Reads

Alone! I'm alone! I can feel how empty the house is around me. It's lovely. Not ever having lived alone I don't know if it's something I'd want as an all the time thing, probably not. But after 12 straight days of togetherness I am more than ready for a day of quiet. Psychic quiet. The guys have become very wise about giving me privacy, they've even learned to come and go through the front door instead of waltzing through here all the time, but if they're home I am aware of them. The mom radar is on. I know who's hungry and when Mick and Wolf are going to snark at each other. I know whether the dog's been walked, the chores have been seen to, and all the rest of the nitty-natty of sharing physical space with two other people with agendas and needs that come in as loud as bullhorns.

Mick, bless him, is beginning to truly understand. After a lifetime of barging around "It's all about ME! It's always about MEEEE!!!" he's twigging to the awareness of others and how tiring it is sometimes. Even when everyone is behaving well and being thoughtful there's still that buzz. The consciousness of them being here.

I've become quite fierce about protecting my quiet time. Don't apologize for needing it either. I think I'll always have problems treating myself well when it comes to actual stuff, you know, never being lavish with the pricey moisturizers, opting for the store brand cookies instead of Pepperidge Farm ones, small economies like that. But insisting on quiet? Actual alone time? Not a prob anymore. If for no other reason than I can be a better wife and mother if I've been alone for a while. Too many crowded years, literally an entire decade when the best I got was locking myself in the can for 15 minutes and ignoring the pounding on the door. And before Wolf there was only the precious 50 minutes twice a week when Alex was at tae kwon do lessons. I'd sit in the car and just 'be'. At all other times it was assumed I was on call, on duty and available to any and all who wanted a piece of me. I didn't know how to say, "No. Go away. Figure it out yourself." And what a raggedy worn out frazzle I was.

In other news, I've finally caught up on reading some of the modern classics I'd never gotten into before. A lot of Vonnegut, some of the lesser known Steinbeck stuff (for my money I could re-read 'Cannery Row' twice year forever and be just fine), Alice Walker (ditto about 'The Color Purple'- it's part of my life cycle), and finally, finally 'To Kill A Mocking Bird'. The last I thought was good but not life-altering. Then again, any book which is so exalted and so woven into our cultural fabric couldn't possibly live up to its hype for a first time reader. Especially one as old and jaded as I am. Did I enjoy it? Oh yes. No doubt. But it's also hard for me to sift out how much I enjoyed the actual story from my pleased relief that I'll never not know what folks are talking about when they say something about Atticus, Boo, and Scout. Smart people groove on that sort of thing, me no less than others. Being in the know is such a warm clubby feeling.

I also read 'The Help'. I'd stalled around from reading it once I knew there was a movie coming. Thought I'd see it first and then read so as to forestall the inevitable disappointment of a book-to-movie translation. Worked out pretty well. I didn't fume through the movie about how this was left out and that was all wrong. Seeing the movie first rarely spoils reading the book. And so it was with 'The Help'.

Another thing that put me off the book when it first got all famous was the constant referring to Minny as 'sassy'. Man oh man, do I hate 'sassy'. Not sassy people, I mean how it seems that any black woman who speaks her mind is belittled with the indulgent 'sassy'. To me 'sassy' smacks of head patting. A demeaning "Ain't she just so cute when she's angry?" way of stepping back and not really hearing what the woman is saying or even admitting she has the right to be angry. Too busy chuckling over how 'sassy' she is.

'Sassy' is just one of a whole bunch of smirking slap-down labels put on women who have something to say. 'Sassy' for black women, 'fiery' for redheads, there's also 'ball breaker', 'harpy', 'harridan', and let us not forget 'bitch'. If you've got tits and have a point to make and don't put it out there with enough self-abnigating smiles and apologies you can pretty much count on somebody aiming the sassy bitch canon at you and firing.

Now before the whole day gets away from me and I put my mom hat back on I'm going to go visit the rest of my quiet, quiet house and do some 'me' stuff. Including seeing if I can get my so far stubborn Nook to accept the internet password and get online.

Reading and writing again, ~LA

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