Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The best parts of Why Moms Are Weird

A couple weeks ago, Maliavale posted her Year in Books, complete with the passages she loved in each. I've seen this format elsewhere, too, and it makes me realize that I'd like to keep better tabs on not just what I've read, but what I liked about it as well. (Assuming, of course, that I liked something about it. I'm sorry, Neil, but if I'd cooked up this plan around this time last year, you'd have gotten no love from me.)

I would also like to do something clever like M. Kennedy does with her reviews-in-five-words-or-less. But we all know I'm a habitually verbose and rambly gal, so five words is likely never going to be enough for me. My less-than-ten-word synopsis of Pamela Ribon's Why Moms Are Weird, however? That would go something like this:

Not as hilarious as Girls, but amused me nonetheless.


Here are a few passages I loved. You know, in case you might love them too.

In the end, he didn't miss me enough. He didn't say that, not exactly. But that's what it means. I thought he needed me more than he did. I don't know where he is now. I don't even look him up, even in my most depressing moments in the middle of the night when I'm drunk and alone with the Internet. I failed at making someone love me like I loved him, and I don't need a reminder that life goes on for other people. I don't want to think of anyone surviving me.

* * * *

Jane sits up and claps her hands, bouncing in her seat. "Let's make a list!"
"No, Jane. We aren't making a list."
She pouts. "Lists are important. We'll find out if you love him."

* * * *

There is a difference between a house that's gone a little messy and cluttered and this. My mother's house looks like the inside of a disturbed mind. This is beyond unsettling.

My mother is a woman who used to walk around her house Saturday mornings with gym socks on her hands, dusting every wooden surface. Her idea of a relaxing day was settling down with a good junk drawer and getting it inventoried.

* * * *

My spoon is stuck in my hardened oatmeal, but I've liquefied. If Zack wanted to, he could drag a finger down my arm and leave a mark, forever, on my body.

* * * *

This feeling I have, this yearning and sorrow, this is the exact feeling I don't want to call love. Because if it is? Why the hell do we do this? This doesn't make any sense.

Why has evolution let us down? Thousands of years ago if something was dangerous to our bodies, we'd find a way to change our instincts, our bodies, our language, to keep each other and ourselves safe. We stand upright. We have thumbs. We have eyelashes and eyebrows. Human beings change their internal and external structure to shelter themselves from harm. So why do we still let ourselves feel this misery?

I am constantly nauseated. I can't eat. I can't sleep. I am aging years by the second. This isn't love. This is serious illness. This is when I should see a doctor. Or, at the very least, a therapist.

* * * *

I considered also typing out the entire chapter titled Decisions (it's only a single page), because it documents basically the exact same thought process I agonize over myself every time the airport counter lady asks, "Window or aisle?" But it is a whole page (and a whole chapter, after all), so I probably shouldn't do it. If you read this book, however, when you get to that part, feel free to think of me and think, "Oh. So that's what it's like to be inside Stefanie's brain? Man, that's sort of exhausting..."

16 comments:

Anniina said...

Really? You didn't like American Gods? Why not?

stefanie said...

I know, I know. I was supposed to love Gaiman. (Or so I'd heard.) I just couldn't get into it. Maybe the sci-fi and mythology realm just isn't my thing, or maybe I just wasn't in the right mood for it at the time and I should have put it down and tried reading it again a few months later, rather than forcing myself through it and hating it like a chore. That's the problem when you're one of those people who HAS to finish a book once you start.

-R- said...

I felt like Why Girls Are Weird was ok, but nothing special. So if Why Moms Are Weird is not as good, I don't think I will bother.

L Sass said...

I've been thinking about reading one of Pamela Ribon's books for something light... now, maybe I will!

LC said...

What I've been doing is writing down in the front page all the page numbers from stuff that I read and made an impression on me.

Like, with Shopgirl.

And there is one paragraph I read on WMAW that I liked. I can't recall what page it was on, I believe 271 perhaps?

I'll let you know.

Darren McLikeshimself said...

I gave up on her when she wrote in Why Girls Are Weird that people who quote "The Simpsons" are just as annoying as people who quote "Star Trek," the only difference being that the "Simpsons" people don't realize it.

stefanie said...

R--See, I really liked "Why Girls Are Weird," but clearly not everyone agreed with me on that. See, this is why I'm always hesitant to recommend books to people.

L Sass--I would say that you should, but... see above. ;-)

LC--I just stick post-it flags on the paragraphs I like as I read them, but your way sounds like a good plan too.

Darren--I totally understand. Them's fightin' words, after all.

Bob said...

Stef, I usually don't actually hit your blog because of my newfound addiction to Google Reader, but those quotes made me want to comment for no apparent reason other than to say I found them meaningful.
And I'll now have to go get the book and stop reading books about how to get a man that is over your head. Because George Clooney is NOT going to settle down in Iowa.

-- Stefanie

metalia said...

Based on these quotes, I wanted to get the book, but Darren's comment on HER Simpson's quote gives me pause; I'll probably go the store and take the exceedingly scientific approach of opening it to a page at random and seeing if it hooks me in.

stefanie said...

Bob--Better hope The Other Girl doesn't stop by and read that. I'm pretty sure she thinks George Clooney is her man. ;-) (Um, that was you, Other Girl, wasn't it? Or was that Liz? I forget...)

Also, it's weird to see my own name signed on a comment that isn't mine. :-)


Metalia--I have used that highly scientific method myself many times. In this case, though, the book was a gift.

Red said...

Love this idea about posting passages. Did you ever read Girl by Blake Nelson? That had some great passages, granted, about being 17, but still.

stefanie said...

Nope, Red, I haven't read that. (I will look it up and possibly add it to my ever-growing "library" list.) Incidetally, Blake Nelson was the name of one of the guys in a now-defunct local band I used to love. I'm guessing it's not the same guy. ;-)

The Other Girl said...

It's okay. George and I have an understanding.

Simone said...

Hmmm, I now want to check out this book. Most of my reading lately is either books I already have and love or parenting books. I need some new stuff.

pamie said...

Girl is a fantastic novel. I read it many years ago and still think of it fondly.

Thanks so much for the recommendation. It's very strange to see passages quoted, like it's some other book.

(and you know, Simpson fans, I love you all very much. But you know you quote it. All the time. You do. It's okay, but you know. You do it. All the time. (Love!) )

stefanie said...

Wow. A comment from Pamie herself. I am honored (and a little embarrassed). But mostly honored, I guess.