Ok, there’s this thing in Newsweek where they ask some author about their favorite books, you know, “what they’re reading.” It’s called their “Five Most Important Books.” If you read the piece, the authors always try to sound important and end up sounding pretentious. Recently, some jackass listed the Odyssey as “the classic that, on rereading, was disappointing.” He just wants people to know he already read it once and was brave or stupid enough to try it again.
I am happy to admit that I have never read Dostoevsky or Nietzsche. I’ve never even tried, and I managed to graduate from college and live a normal life making a decent wage. I did not turn out to be some gun-totin’, rabbit-shooting redneck who stands in my front yard yelling at my dirty-faced kids, blissfully ignorant of how my life ended up the way it is. I don’t mean to judge or sound racist or “classist” (is that a word?), but c’mon, you know what I mean. SO, without further delay, here are my five most important books: (In no particular order)
- Five Smooth Stones by Ann Fairbairn – a great love and life story that helps you understand the way the world works.
- The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne – everything else I tried to read by him was pure rubbish. The only reason I put this here is because of the teacher in high school who made us read this opened me up to the world of symbolism and metaphor.
- Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris – I love a book where you can read about poo and it’s still considered literature.
- Does People magazine count?
- The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown – I read it three times. I want it to be true. It would give light and love and equality and humanity to a religion that is so mired in pompous bullshit.
- The Red Tent by Anita Diamant – behold the power of women and life.
Ok, that’s six. Oh, and when we go to little mom and pop restaurants, I like to read the history of the restaurant they sometimes print on the menu. Gives me something to do.
I fear for people. How dumb do pharmaceutical companies think we are? I saw a commercial this morning for Avodart, the prostate-shrinking drug. Near the end, during it’s “warning” phase, it says, “Women should not use this product. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should not handle this product.”
Ummmm, yeah. I had not entertained the idea of using the product because I DO NOT HAVE A PROSTATE GLAND. Thanks for the warning, though.
I have never spent so much time in the sunscreen aisle at Target. I had to buy some sunscreen for the bean who is now out and about most days a-frolicking in the sun. And, she is facing a summer alone with Dad at the pool to boot.
Having grown up in the 70s, I don’t think I heard of sunscreen until like, last year. I remember slathering on the baby oil or the Coppertone Deep Tan oil, or the holiest of holy, the Hawaiian Tropic Dark elixir. Then baking myself for hours on end with all types of reflective materials. At night, I would take a cool shower and anoint myself with aloe vera gel and subsequently choke on a cloud of some kind of healing sunburn spray. AND MY MOTHER ENCOURAGED IT. Then again, she smoked and drank while pregnant with me. It seems we’ve come a long way since then.
Anyway, I am a bit pale. Well, ok, I am Casper-ass white. My skin is so pale, it’s almost translucent. Mosquitoes bite me often only because they can SEE my veins. I am an easy target. I chose to bake my skin beyond measure growing up because tan people were cool. I never really tanned, I burned and then the burn faded and I swear it would turn a little brown before fading completely. Every time. Only in my LATE twenties did I actually start to shun the sun. I have a shitload of freckles and moles and am now starting to see weird mutations popping up on my face.* Maybe it’s payback for all the bad things I’ve said about people, maybe it’s just dumb luck with a dash of genetics. Either way, I am going to protect my baby’s precious little skin at all costs. Even if she smells like the summer of 1977 at the Mark Twain Apartment complex pool and rec center 24/7. Ahhh, the summer Elvis died, the summer my pre-pubescent frighteningly early boob popped out of my swimsuit during a greased watermelon contest, the summer I discovered Tab soda and the band Kiss. Nothing like it.
Oh, and just so you know, I settled on Aveeno Baby SPF 55. Coppertone was too stinky.
*Fear not, I do get regular checkups at the dermatologist. At least I have some sense now.
Now that’s how you do it. Miss America 1940-something kept an intruder at bay with a shotgun. This little ol’ spitfire was willing to blast the balls off some guy just to protect her property. That is MY kind of Miss America.
Not the whiny, rehab-visiting kind who “just needs a second chance.” Face it, girl. You just like to party and get wild and flash things and lick girls and “woohoo” into cameras until the wee hours. Sadly, that is the definition of an all-American girl. If she had just been upfront about it like Vanessa Williams and said, “Hey, I don’t really want to tape my parts together, smear Vaseline on my teeth and visit orphans anymore. I want to go back to my real life and shoot Jager with my best friends in Cabo,” we would all be much happier right now.