Avidity

The worst thing about being an avid reader is that people think they can just hand you books that they loved and you will love them. Or, worse, they hand you books that someone they know “who just loves to read as much as you do” loved and assume that you will feel an unspoken kinship with their sister/travel-agent/brother/drug-connection/lover/former-classmate/friend/niece because you both ~*~read books~*~.

But books are not socks, or even bottles of wine. They aren’t one size fits all. I don’t want to read your torture porn or your eight hundred page vampire drama romance history or your guide to robotics. I want to read the next book on my to read list, not yours. Maybe I want to read it because my favorite author recommended it on her twitter, or because I love the cover, or because NetGalley gave it to me to review for free. Maybe I actually am reading a book you recommended. But wanting to read a book isn’t like settling for Coke when you really wanted Pepsi.

Wanting to read isn’t like having a hole that I fill with words. I don’t read because books exist. I read because I want to laugh, or maybe because I am in the mood to cry, or maybe I want to be scared, or see a person as in love as I am even though they are in an entirely different world.

I don’t like to mention how much I like reading to people. Not because I’m embarrassed, but because I don’t want recommendations. I am also made exceedingly uncomfortable by people who ask me for recommendations. It’s not that I don’t love you, it’s that I have no idea what you want. You may love the book that kept me up until 1am on a work night or you may hate it, and I don’t want you to hate me by extension (PS sorry, Minerva, for recommending Cinder, I just really loved it). If you want a recommendation, tell me what you love and tell me what you hate. Just don’t give me a recommendation in return.

Please.

Growing Up Is Great

I have to say, while lazing in my bed on a Sunday afternoon on crisp white sheets with the window open and brand new music that I just bought legally because I can afford it blaring from my speakers — I love being an adult.¬†I love drinking late on Friday nights and spending Saturday eating fast food and playing video games and watching Liebling¬†explain porn and conspiracies to my sister. I love fighting that turns into making love and I love falling asleep with the lights on because I know Liebling will turn them off when he comes to bed and I know that I will wake up wrapped around him because even asleep I crave him.

I love driving my car fast and making grocery lists and not doing homework. I love making eggs and coffee and sitting quietly reading a book while having breakfast. I love being old enough to say no and free enough to say yes.

I am so very lucky.

On Being A Big Whiny Baby

I am the absolute worst at being sick. I kind of treat it like the Five Stages of Grief, only without the acceptance part.

Step One. Realize I am feeling a little under the weather. Convince myself I am probably just hungover. This is usually effective, and pretty good reasoning, because there is a 100% chance I was drinking the night before, regardless of what day of the week it is.

Step Two. Sniffling, sneezing, coughing. Insist to my very toes that it is allergies. Time of year is irrelevant. It is only allergies.

Step Three. Realize I am sick. Dig in heels. Continue to do everything I normally do with a heightened grumpiness factor.

Step Four. Realize I am very sick and the whole not-resting thing is actually detrimental to my health. Throw self violently onto nearest comfortable surface (or floor, if none is available, because pickiness is not conducive to drama) and begin to moan helplessly. Curl into fetal position and demand blankets. Generally behave as if no one has ever been sick in the history of humanity. Continue indefinitely.

Step Five. There isn’t really a step five, as that would assume I have actually learned something from the experience. To insinuate any kind of personal growth in this regard would be a lie.

But this week has been a new low for me in terms of sickness. I managed to make it to my sister’s graduating class’ photography exhibit on Friday, but then missed her graduation Saturday and Mother’s Day dinner on Sunday. I dragged my pathetic, whiny body to work yesterday, where I proceeded to spend nine hours wishing death upon any client I had to speak to because my sore throat was so bad I was mostly just croaking.

Then upon arriving home I collapsed into bed to find Liebling already there because I had managed to get him sick too. “Nothing this bad has ever happened to anyone ever,” I whined. He kissed me in a please-be-quiet kind of way and we both watched the thunderstorm outside the window which was kind of poet and Dickinsonian, I thought.

The image was ruined an hour or so later when he came back into the room to find that I had woken myself up from the nap that the storm had induced in a coughing fit that resulted in my throwing up into his trash can. If you doubt that your true love is your true love, just do something horrible like get so sick you whine for four straight days and then throw up in his trash can and see what he does. Liebling not only cleaned out the trash can, he drove me to the ER so I could get antibiotics and a doctor’s note not to go into work. I didn’t actually need the doctor’s note, but it made me feel better. I’ve never called in sick to work before so this whole thing was a blow to my ego (see Step Four, above). I picked up my antibiotics and then spent all morning in bed, and then at about 1:30pm decided that it was too sad to spend all day in bed, so I migrated to the couch to be miserable in slightly different scenery.

If anyone has any better suggestions to deal with generic colds feel free to share. I probably won’t learn anything, but you never know.

My Kind of Fear

Here’s a secret few people know about me. I love being scared. I love kept-me-up-all-night-panicking-about-ancient-gods Lovecraftian horror and I love creeping-creeping-creeping-button-eyed-mothers Neil Gaiman horror and I love is-she-the-ghost-I-think-she’s-the-ghost-holy-fuck-is-she-or-is-she-not-the-ghost Nicole Kidman in the Others horror.

It should be noted here that I hate gore, I hate slasher films, and I hate jump out from the dark scariness. I don’t like jumping and screaming.

I like the chill that starts in your brain and creeps down your spine and through your knees until you are curling your toes under yourself and are pressed up against the side of the couch with all the lights on, the kind of scary that makes you look around you every few pages.

Just in case.

Banana Feet

I’ve had terrible blisters on my feet for a week. I tried to break in a pair of Doc Martens, but it was I who was broken and now I’m limping like the little mermaid each time I leave the house in something other than flip-flops. I have this problem where I keep buying shoes in the hopes that my feet will fit in them, and I am constantly disappointed. Then I assuage my discomfort by buying more shoes.

The problem is my feet. They are narrow and long and came complete with scrawny ankles. If you can picture a person walking with bananas in place of their feet, you would probably have an idea of why I am so clumsy. I can’t wear most boots because my feet wiggle around inside them like bunnies in slippers and I can’t wear heels without straps because my ankles slip out and I wobble drunkenly. (And I can do that plenty all on my own.)

I think next time I go to buy another pair of shoes, I’ll just call Liebling and ask him to carry me someplace. It is cheap and will probably make me feel like a real mermaid.

So You Want to Be an Astronaut

Today Ursula’s fiance asked if I could drive him home, because we all work at the same place (I know, I sometimes find myself shrieking IS THIS INCEST on occasion too) and Ursula needed the car. I like Ursula’s fiance, I genuinely do, and he drove me home a few times while my car Charley was in the shop last month so of course I said yes. Ursula’s fiance is an interesting mix of placating and sarcastic, and I think he shall be nicknamed Moray, because like a moray eel he can be fearsome but usually prefers to hide.

So, Moray and I jump into my sports car and I jet out of the parking lot with a delightful vrooming engine noise that fills me with glee. “Sorry,” I said, completely unapologetically. “Doing that just really enhances my ‘just left work’ feeling.” I have a Nicki Minaj CD in my car right now, so our conversation was frequently interrupted by my immature giggles and comments about how outrageous and delightful her tracks are.

We spoke about my move to Arizona as it was finally announced at work, and discussed how he likes the cold weather and I never have. This prompted me to ask him what he wanted to be when he was a kid.

“An astronaut,” he replied after a moment’s pause. His tone was surprisingly wondrous, as if he hadn’t thought about things like this in a long while. As a decidedly whimsical person, I tend to bring this tone out in people.

“Delightful!” I declared. “What did you go to school for?” He dropped out after a year or so, so I couldn’t recall. He answered physics, and I nodded and said that seemed appropriate.

“You know,” he said after another moment of Minaj’s wild lyrics caressing our ears, “I think I might still want to be an astronaut.”

The conversation turned to other things but I couldn’t help but wonder if I had accidentally ruined his life. If he moves to Orlando and leaves Ursula so he can become an astronaut, I am going to take a little bit of credit.