Dream When You're Feeling Blue

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Today's book is one that I bought while on vacation - and I'm probably just imagining this but I think it actually smells like Mackinac Island. I detect the slightest hint of fudge and sea air. But I forced a few other people to smell the book, and they confirmed for me that I am in fact imagining things. I really should stop expecting other people to support my delusions because for some reason they just never want to go along with it.

Today's book, "A Rita Hayworth look-alike and her sister keep the home fires burning for young men going off to fight WWII in Berg's nostalgic tale of wartime romance and family sacrifice. Hoping her boyfriend, Julian, will propose before shipping out to the Pacific, beautiful redhead Kitty Heaney discovers not only is she not engaged, but she's enlisted as the delivery person for her sister Louise's engagement ring from Michael, her boyfriend, who has departed for the European front. Distance makes Louise's and Michael's hearts grow fonder while Kitty discovers independence through her job at a bomber factory."

Shallow thoughts:

  • I don't normally enjoy Elizabeth Berg novels - they are the kind of books that I really want to like but never do. Which begs the question, why did I buy this book? Well, there are two reasons: 1. I love the time period and 2. I buy stupid things that make no sense while on vacation. But, as it turns out this wasn't the stupidest thing I've ever bought on vacation because I enjoyed the book, for the most part anyway. About 95% of the book was good - much better than anything else of Berg's that I've read - and the other 5% was so bad that it made me cringe. I'm not really sure how it's possible for someone to write a book that's both the best and worst thing they've ever written - but I now know that it's possible.

  • Within the first five pages I became totally immersed in the time period, which reinvigorated my goal to figure out how to make my hair look like I'm in a movie from the 40s. I've wanted to do that for a long time, but whenever I attempt to find out more about how to do that (asking my Grandmother if she remembers how to do that, for instance) I get the response, "Why would you want to do something like that?" And, how can I answer that question when I don't know why I want to do that. So, I just added it to my list of "Things I Want to Do For Reasons Which Are Unclear Even to Me," and put it aside. And in case you're wondering dear readers, yes, I really do have a list with that written at the top of it. I've reached a point with my own weirdness where I don't even question why I want to do things, I just go with it.

  • The other thing reading this book did for me was convince me that allergies can be fun!!! Okay, so I don't actually completely believe that. But I've had an epiphany after reading through some old blog entries (I'm not really that self-involved, it was for a blogging contest that I was in) and I came to the realization that I spend entirely too much time on here whining about my allergies (feel free to breathe a sigh of relief now - I don't mind, you've earned it.) I need to find a new approach - and I've decided that will involve pretending like I don't really have allergies. Before all of my relatives respond with, "But you did that for most of your 20s," I can assure you, this time it's going to be different, I swear. And it's going to be different thanks to this line, "Kitty hated the eggless, milkless, butterless recipe so prevalent now." That line made me think two things: 1. From now on I'm going to force everyone to call me either Kit or Kitty and 2. rationing sounds just like my life, except for the part where they're sacrificing something for the greater good and I'm just doing it because allergy-eyes are not attractive on anyone. Yes, this has transformed my life. From now on I'm just going to pretend like it's the 40's, there's a World war going on, and I'm doing my part for Uncle Sam. I have a vivid enough imagination that I can pull this off, especially if I wear my 1940s apron while making my eggless, milkless, butterless cake. And now suddenly, boring allergies have become elegant (because everything is more elegant in the 40s.) So, for those dear readers who actually know me, all I ask of you is that you support my I-don't-have-allergies-there's-just-a-war-on delusion and remind me the next time I slip and start whining that I'm doing my part for my country and for humanity as a whole (you can skip that "humanity as a whole" part if you're too embarrassed to say something like that out loud, but I'd really like it if you tried because it heightens the sense of drama.) And to my dear readers who don't know me, feel free to spend the next few minutes thanking God that you don't know me and therefore will never end up getting cast as a supporting character in the never-ending drama that is my life.