The Bright Side of Disaster

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Today's book, "Jenny Harris is nesting in her Houston home with her fiance, Dean, awaiting the birth of their child, to be followed by their wedding. But Dean grows more distant, especially after a coworker dies in a plane crash, and Jenny ends up becoming a single mother. Determined to take good care of her child, she tries to forget about Dean, relegating him to the past. Coping with a baby takes all Jenny's time, so when her perfect single neighbor takes an interest, Jenny is flattered but exhausted. Then, when she finally decides to take a chance and get to know him, Dean comes back into her life."

I picked this book based on the cover. The cover made it look like such a happy book - despite the word disaster being in the title. Clearly I've learned nothing from that book I picked because it looked happy that turned out to be about death because this book wasn't happy - although it wasn't terribly depressing either. The description of the book sounded familiar, like the kind of book I've already read twenty times before, so I wasn't really expecting the book to be all that good. But I figured Why not, what's the worst that can happen? The book ended up exceeding my expectations, but since they started out so low that's not exactly a ringing endorsement. All in all, I would say the book was good but not great. It was a rather ordinary story, but there was something about this book that made it seem fresh.

I think I may have officially crossed a line where I'm willing to admit that I watch too much reality TV. And what caused this revelation you ask dear readers (and by the way, I love how you ask that at just the right moment)? Well, it's because I kept picturing the character of Dean as looking and acting like Wes from The Bachelorette. Maybe it's because Dean was such a jerk, maybe it was the description of what he looked like, or the fact that Dean was in an amateur band - but I just couldn't shake the image of Wes and that damn guitar. Which also means that I unfortunately had the first line of that truly horrible song Wes kept singing playing in my head over and over again They say that love don't come eaaaaaaasy. It was too horrifying for words. Apologies to any Bachelorette fans who have probably spent the last couple of days trying to wipe the memory of that stupid song out of their heads, and who are now reeling from being assaulted with it here on my blog of all places. Sorry. But in my defense I figured you're going to be forced to listen to it about seven times tomorrow night, so what's one more time gonna hurt.

I was able to blot out thoughts of Wes when another character entered the book - a character by the name of Gardner. Gardner is the name of a character in an old Doris Day movie, The Thrill of It All, which is a totally sexist movie that still manages to be kind of charming in spite of it. And how can I possible have any bad thoughts while thinking about a Doris Day movie? You're right dear readers, I just can't (oh you - I love the way you're just right there with me). Okay sorry, I promise I'm not going to do that again for the rest of the blog entry - I was just channeling those hosts on children's shows who pretend like they hear the audience answering their questions. It's just something I've always wanted to try.

My favorite passage came shortly after Dean left, when Jenny's mother and best friend came over to help her cope, "By ten o'clock the three of us were collapsed in the living room, eating take-out Mexican food and listing all the things we hated about Dean in hoarse voices: his UP YOURS t-shirt, his smoking (and his insistence that he wasn't addicted), the way he shushed everybody when a song he liked came on, his collection of Matchbox cars, his affection for ZZ Top, his unwillingness to see any movie he deemed "too girly," his love of Budweiser, his crooked bottom teeth, his use of the word dude ("Who says that?" Meredith kept saying. "Who talks like that?"), his pretentious handwriting, his love of the Three Stooges, his refusal to eat any vegetable besides ketchup, his occasional tendency to forget to flush, and, of course, his penchant for air guitar." - That's so healthy. I was raised to believe that there's no problem so big that a good session of trashing whoever is annoying you the most at the moment can't fix. And I stand by that belief - there's just something about trashing a person that's treated you like crap that just feels cleansing. Or is that just my family?