Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Misadventures in Reading

I was standing in the kitchen, playing an impromptu round of "What did I just step in?"
I do not like this game, but being that I'm inclined to walk barefoot in my home and live with three kids, a dog and a cat, this is a game that is thrust upon me quite frequently.
Tonight's rendition seemed too easy. The texture was slimy, the temperature warmish.
"Ugh, dog puke," I thought, as I picked up my foot to see what, indeed, I had stepped in, partly hoping that I was right (for the win!) and partly hoping I was wrong (cuz- ew, dog puke? Need I say more?)
I was puzzled, but pleasantly surprised, by the result. Canola oil. Because trust me, it could have been worse. A lot worse.
Just think of it like an abbreviated paraffin wax treatment, I thought at I dabbed at my afflicted foot with paper towell, which felt kind of gross as it oozed between my toes. I covered the oily splotch on the floor with a tea Towell, wiping it ineffectively with my foot.
Why there was warm canola oil on my kitchen floor, I wasn't sure, but left the matter alone. It's better not to ask questions sometimes.
Besides, the end result is the same.

I poured myself a glass of wine, which is what I had gone into the kitchen for in the first place, and returned to the living room. A few minutes later, I was interrupted by my kids. First the pouty cry of Payton, as she emerged from the bedroom holding her left arm. She was followed by Alex, who was also pouting.
"I'm hungry for a sandwich," he said, in a whiny voice that was not quite a cry, but verging on it.
"A sandwich?" I asked with a laugh, finding it strange that he would be asking for a sandwich at nine pm.
"And what happened to your arm?" I asked Payton, thinking the two incidents were unrelated.
"Alex bit my arm because he's hungry for a sandwich," she said, looking disgruntled.
I couldn't help but laugh at that.

Oil on the kitchen floor, the kids apparently cannibalizing each other out of apparent hunger.
What the hell was going on in my house, you might be asking yourself.
I'll tell you what.
I got my book shipment today from Amazon!!
I started reading, at noon, Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin. I was still reading it at nine, when said cannibalistic act took place. Maybe I have a problem, I thought, but then dismissed that.
What could be wrong with reading?
Besides, it wasn't my fault that the book was so captivating and engrossing that I couldn't, not possibly, be torn away from it, despite my initial misgivings.
I wasn't sure about the book in the beginning. The back jacket made it sound like there was some cataclysmic event, but then I found out a few pages in that said event was a boy burning himself while roasting marshmallows at a sleepover party. Now granted, his burns were somewhat bad.
But still.
This did not seem cataclysmic to me.
I realized with some shock and horror, that I had been fully expecting, and even hoping I think, that the boy would die. I felt oddly deflated when I discovered that no such death was forthcoming (what's wrong with me? I thought). But, in my defense, I mean, really? Four hundred pages about a boy who got burned while roasting a marshmallow?

I felt that I was the one who had been burned.

But then I found that that wasn't the cataclysmic event, but more or less the precipitating factor which led to this event- which as it turned out, was even better (or worse, because for me- the worse, the better) than I thought-
a cheating husband. This topic appeals to me, because I have often wondered why a person would choose to go down that road. It's a slippery slope, I've always thought. More like a series of small transgressions rather than one big one. And the book ended exactly the way I thought it should, which was nice. I hate it when I don't get my way in the end. But I have to say that even I was surprised that I was satisfied with the outcome. Well, I guess I can't say much more than that. Don't want to ruin the ending for anyone who hasn't read it.

Anyways, that was my day yesterday.


Stephanie Faris said...

I can't remember the last time I read a book for grown-ups. I'm always reading young adult or middle grade because that's what I write. This sounds fascinating, though. I'll have to check it out!

Pearl said...

Oh, funny. The children have been reduced to gnaw on each other!

That's the power of a good book for ya!


mom said...

Love it! Can just see that poor, but very cute, little bugger gnawing on hi beautiful big sis... sounds rough, I'll have a few openings here next wk, perhaps I could cook for them...Sometimes when u really love peoplew--U feed them! (sarcasm, 4 those of u who don' t see it)

tattytiara said...

Hm... I'm actually reading blogs while I try to figure out what to have for supper myself. What flavor is Payton, anyway?