Friday, August 7, 2009

Que Sera, Sera

I didn't like reading The Hobbit. I know that is sacrilege for lots of people. And, how is it even possible?! What's not to like in the twisting, turning plot of tiny Bilbo Baggins and his little Dwarf compatriots as they come under attack from goblins, spiders etc? It's high adventure I tell you--how can I not like it?!

Yeah, except I don't.

I liked reading about Julia Child's time in France in her book coincidentally titled, My Life in France. My mom knew I would like the book she gave me because we had spent many a half hour watching The French Chef together during the 70's. From a very young age I knew how to flute a mushroom (although I can't do it very well), how to take a giant mallet and break up bones (although I haven't done this either... but, I could if I had to--that's how clear Julia's instruction was on her TV show), and had a basic understanding of what wine to pair with a cassoulet or a lobster bisque.

I'm currently reading Bill Bryson's hilarious book, A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail. His writing is soooo good. Read this excerpt where his son warned him off of embarrassing him when purchasing backpacking equipment for his upcoming trail hike:

My first inkling of just how daunting an undertaking it was to be came when I went to our local outfitters, the Dartmouth Co-Op, to purchase equipment. My son had just gotten an after-school job there, so I was under strict instructions of good behavior. Specifically, I was not to say or do anything stupid, try on anything that would require me to expose my stomach, say, "Are you shitting me?" when informed of the price of a product, be conspicuously inattentive when a sales assistant was explaining the correct maintenance or aftercare of a product, and above all don anything inappropriate, like a woman's ski hat, in an attempt to amuse.

Oh my God. I can reread that passage over and over again and still have tears streaming out of the corners of my eyes it is that funny to me. Simply hilarious, and I hope I have the good grace to recognize the humor in my own life when my children are teenagers and are filled with not a little contempt for how queer my husband and I are to them. 'Cause it's going to happen on some level somehow. The whole homeschooling we-are-such-an-intimate-family-so-close-knit lifestyle that we have will not preclude our kids from seeing us as fools from time to time, I'm sure of it.

These are the books I read and thoroughly enjoy. I do see, however, how someone could like The Hobbit. I get that. And I think it's great that my own son has recently discovered it and is devouring it as I would have devoured fluted mushrooms with my mother if I could have held the paring knife correctly.

He loves it. He finds it compelling and exciting and thrilling. What more could one want from a book? He really doesn't understand how I could not like it. It's a mystery and will probably contribute to some bit of contempt in his teenage years.

Oh well. Que sera, sera.

2 comments:

Deb said...

Oh, yes, you are too right, they WILL see you as fools even with all that family closeness. It probably won't be all the time, though. My own teenagers seem to like me about half the time, the other half I can almost see the thought bubbles emanating from their heads, concerning my obvious ineptitude and stupidity. Good times!

Laura said...

Yeah, I'm cringing a bit as I remember some of my behavior during my teenage years.

Karma is awful. I suppose I have it coming...

Your kids liking you half the time seems like a good amount--I think maybe you're lucky.

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