The Boys of My Youth

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Today's book; "In this fierce, funny, and wholly unforgettable collection of autobiographical essays, ranging from earliest childhood to present day, some forty years later, a compelling new writer summons up a lifetime of romantic awakening and disillusion."

Maybe it's just the headache that I've had all day dulling my sense of humor, but I didn't find this book funny or unforgettable. It was just kind of blah. I didn't hate it, I didn't love it, and I'll probably forget all about it by tomorrow (although with my horrible memory that's not really saying much since I've already forgotten 3/4 of what I've read this year).

At one point during the book the author writes about childhood trips to her Grandmother's house and how they would always watch Bonanza together - which made me think of how Wheel of Fortune would always be on when I would visit my Grandmother's house as a child. This memory quickly led to me thinking about how The Judds would always be playing in her car, which led to a really unfortunate couple of hours where I had one of their songs stuck in my head, and to cap it off the song was Mama He's Crazy (which just might be one of the most annoying 80's country songs, right up there with Prop Me Up Beside the Jute Box if I Die). I think getting a Judd's song stuck in my head while I already have a headache just might be the worst possible time (not that there's ever really a good time to have a Judd's song stuck in my head). A headache, a boring book, and Mama He's Crazy playing on a constant loop in my head. . . is there no justice in this world?

I pushed aside the headache, and the annoying song, and kept reading - and I came across a passage that reminded me of my other Grandmother - in which the author's Mother and Aunt are arguing over how long mayonnaise can be left out before it goes bad. As I've said before on the blog, my Grandmother thinks of expiration dates as merely suggestions, suggestions which are meant to be ignored. She also believes that mold on food is to be ignored, and eaten anyway. Her motto is, "A little mold never hurt anyone." I'm going to channel Sophia from Golden Girls now; Picture is . . . Indiana. . . the early 80's . . . So as you can imagine dear readers, every one's hair was really big. My Grandmother and her 83-year-old Mother were in the middle of a knock-down-drag-out fight over a jar of jelly. The reason: the jelly has mold in it, and my Grandmother is insisting that she's going to eat it anyway, and her Mother is desperately trying to pry it out of her hand while saying, "Frances, give me the jar. Frances, you are not going to eat mold." But my Grandmother was able to get the jar from her Mother (she's cagey that way) and took a great big bite of mold-infested jelly so quickly that her Mother was unable to get the spoon out of her mouth in time (not that she didn't try). - After hearing that story I think you can all understand now why our family felt the need to supervise Grandma in the kitchen while she was cooking holiday meals, because we like to eat our food mold-free (we're so stuck up that way - we're just a bunch of food snobs is what we are).

And so in conclusion, I have three pieces of advice for you dear readers; skip this book (it's not that interesting), never listen to Judd's songs (or you will regret it for the rest of your life), and mold is not part of a balanced diet. Remember that sage advice and you'll live and long and happy life.