What does one read while wrapping up the chore that is moving?
Something light. Something brain candy. Something about someone who, you feel, could sympathize with you.
For example, you would not want to read Austen. Those girls never had to move a thing. Rich they weren't, but poor they weren't either. (Except Fanny in Mansfield Park. She might understand the pain of cleaning a bathroom floor that can never ever look clean.)
Biographies in general, and of any formidable politician specifically, would be all wrong. Jean Chretien definitely would not start to cry because the shelf over the kitchen sink fell down when you were dusting it. Neither would Sylvia Plath -- and yes, a volume of her complete diaries remain on my to-do list from a summer past.
(By the way, I have a feeling the heroine of any piece of self-respecting feminist literature would not have to call a man over to fix the whole shelf problem. Possibly the heroine of a chick lit novel would, but then it would go to the gutter rather quickly. Ew.)
And so, moving is a time to pull out your Weiner.
Jennifer Weiner, that is. (Excuse the bad joke. I'm really, really tired, and this will likely be my last blog entry for about a week.)
The heroine of one of Weiner's latest books, Goodnight Nobody, lacks confidence and common sense and, well, smarts. But she's quirky. And hilarious. When she finds a mom in her neighbourhood dead in the kitchen, she sets off to solve the mystery on her off-hours. Kate barely has time to take care of her three kids, let alone clean her house, or solve a murder mystery. But she's sleuthing, and it's hilarious, and the woman would feel my pain.
(My obnoxious, misplaced pain.)
Mixed up with memories of a crush gone bad from years before, the book's a light read. And it's sort of startling how Kate's marriage is a backdrop to the whole thing, but it's difficult to tell whether she's happy in it or not. Her husband is little more than a bit character, similar to Vera on Cheers....
One morning's wedded bliss:
".... What was his job?"
Ben turned his back on me, tossing last night's shirt into the closet, where it would join the knee-high pile of clothes I'd been meaning to take to the dry cleaner's for the past two weeks. Possibly three. "I'm running out of shirts." This remark was delivered under his breath, at a volume just loud enough for me to hear.
"I'll drop off the dry cleaning this morning." I hopped out of bed, bent over, and scooped dress shirts into my arms, hoping that the view would entice him to stay a few minutes longer.
"Insurance," said Ben. Score one for my black silk underwear. (p. 132)
It's like everything Desperate Housewives was supposed to be, but a helluva lot more witty.
And did I mention it could scare a girl off of having kids from 100 miles away?