I Sleep at Red Lights

Monday, March 16, 2009

I read today's book in between doing some spring cleaning, and I discovered in the process that my to-read stacks have not gotten any smaller since I began this project. How is that even possible? I'm reading a book every day, and yet the pile sits there, not one bit smaller than it was in January. I feel like it's mocking me. I think I need to avoid any future trips to bookstores and stop going to the library so much until those stacks start to shrink a little bit. It's starting to get hard to maneuver around them, and I feel like they're taking over the house.

Today's book; "If you've ever wondered what it might be like to have your family suddenly doubled in size, check out this extremely funny, extremely perceptive memoir by the author of Esquire's bimonthly "Crazy Talk" column. Already the parents of a three-year-old boy, Stockler and his wife find themselves expecting triplets, and nothing will ever seem quite the same again. The author documents the experience from the get-go (the joyful yet surreal news that they're going to have three little babies), through the months leading up to the birth, and on to the first precious years of the triplets' lives."

Shallow thoughts:

  • Today's book got good customer reviews on one of the book sites I frequently visit - with the exception of one hysterical woman who used the customer review section to engage in an angry rant about all that is wrong with modern parenting - and whenever that happens I approach the book with a mixture of excitement and trepidation, because I rarely ever like the same books that most people like. I'm weird that way. But I really enjoyed today's book - and the thing that I liked the most about it was that it veered from the typical formula that parenthood memoirs follow (I'm not even sure if parenthood memoirs is the right phrase or not, but I'm using it anyway. And what I mean by that I've found most of the book I've read from that genre slightly off putting because they seem to spend so much time showing us how hard parenthood and marriage are, and hysterical those difficulties are allegedly supposed to be, that it ends up consuming the whole book and there's no balance thrown in of also talking about the parts of the experience they enjoy. To me it always ends up sounding like they can't stand their kids, spouse, job, or life. This book has a nice balance acknowledging the difficulties, but also celebrating that good aspects of the experience. I found that very refreshing.

  • My favorite part of the book was when the author discusses how he met his wife. They initially met through a personal ad. Here's how he describes their first meeting and early dating life; "Roni wore a T-shirt, jeans with a foot-high cuff, and work boots to the first date. I wore black jeans and a black T-shirt, turned inside out for reasons that seemed appropriate at the time. We had no chemistry at all, and the conversation was extremely stilted. We were bored and unimpressed with each other, but ironically, each of us has vowed privately to date outside our usual-suspect list. So I called her a week later and we had a boring movie date. She called me one week later, and we had a boring bike-riding date. We stuck with it and dated once a week, as if taking an antibiotic regimen. Our weirdness seemed to fit." - I think that's the weirdest "How we ended up together" story I've ever heard. They have an equally weird engagement story, but I'll leave you in suspense on that one - I don't want to give too much away dear readers, just in case you decide to read the book yourself some day.