Saturday, February 11, 2012

What would the cleaner think...

Book Club Party of 2

I *think* I've mentioned before that I have a book club, party of 2, with my husband. I'm a lurker in an online book club, but outside of the 2 books I've already read on the group's list, I haven't really been an active member (and I guess already having read 2 of the books isn't being active at all, huh?)

Reading is such an integral part of our household, and I think my husband has a slight obsession with books. Not kindle books, like real, live, tangible objects you turn pages with your fingers...not a swipe. Although, we realized how we are not quite eccentric or well read enough to be considered bibliophiles when we mosied on into Atlanta Vintage Books on our wife and hubby date last weekend. Holy cats. Like real live cats everywhere. Holy hundreds of dollars first run signed copy of Catcher in the Rye. Holy 70,000 books. And holy wickedly well red husband and wife owners.

The problem is, nighttime, when we have any chance of adult reading, we are slammed with things to do; Eric is always working on lesson plans, cross country/track plans, or adult coaching business. Always. And rumor has it he's been doing lots of work on applying for a PhD program (so far so good!). And then there is Ali's work. Let's.just.not.go.there. But then there is, say, the housework: laundry (poopy underwear lots of times), cleaning up dishes, putting clothes away, et cetera et cetera. This is nothing novel for millions of us, and not sure why I even used blogging real estate to discuss.

Point is, at night, we are pooped, and not in our intellectual prime. Most nights I'm concerned that instead of reaching for the Tom's, I'll hit up Eric's zit cream instead, and bathe my pearly off-whites in acne medication. Rumor has it that someone in my family, let's call him Bricholas, mistakenly used some, uh, let's just say geriatric cream as his toothpaste at my grandparents' house one time by accident. See? I'm genetically primed to make this mistake!

But Eric and I are committed to having our own book club.

We've tried the arrangement of: you read a book, I read the book...discuss.

Fail.

So now it's: you read a chapter, I read a chapter...discuss.

And believe it or not, it's working pretty well. The only problem is that we both have a bunch of books going on at the same time, and only one in our book club. Throw in Words with Friends (rather, words with my husband), knitting, and Eric trolling letsrun.com and flotrak.com, and we aren't getting very far.

The other night I was looking at our room thinking, "what would the cleaner say about MY stack of books?"

Actually, first I was thinking, "we need to get a door on our bathroom. I think Miles is finally old enough to understand the word privacy, and I'd love a great private pee."


Let me interrupt myself and say, every time I mention having a cleaner, I chuckle. It's like I'm an adult or something. And like an adult who has disposable income to spend on such a luxury. Unfortunately, neither is true. Maybe by the calendar and government I'm considered an adult, but I still have moments of wanting my Mommy and many days wondering when this idyllic game of house will be interrupted by the call that it's time to do my homework. But as full time working parents, we decided at some point that we would sacrifice some savings for both a house cleaner and a monthly yard guy.

Life. Changing.

Currently, I'm working on 5 books--6 if you count my knitting book. But as I was looking at the stack, I was just thinking that someone would probably scratch her head and think, "this girl is intense. She needs some trashy fiction."

Little does that phantom person know I have a weekly subscription to US Weekly that I got for like 20 some odd bucks for the year.
Balance.

Our official book club book is The Wildlife of our Bodies. Predators, Parasites, and Partners That Shape Who we Are Today. Eric and I are really enjoying it. I LOVED Survival of the Sickest: The Surprising Connection Between Disease and Longevity, and this seemed to fall into that same kind of genre. Both Eric and I agreed that it isn't quite as compelling, but very well written and makes you really think about your body, germs, microbes, and gut bacteria.

Thrilling. I know. But this is what get our juices bubbling.


I'm also flipping through (and loving each of them):
I am totally devouring this book. Easy to read, scientific, and practical advice for parents. Plus, the baby on the cover was so stinkin' cute. 
This is one of Eric's course books for his history of happiness class next year at Marist, and I am trying to read all of the books so I can help him navigate his first year teaching this course.
Huh? You've got anxiety? Elephant in the room here. 'Nother time, 'nother post. But I'm totally that girl who wants to be a good "meditator", yogi, Buddhist, and regular acupuncture patient. This book has really allowed me to re-frame how I think about life's struggles and anxiety-provoking events. I mean, not that I have had ANY in the past (insert a thick blanket of sarcasm.)
 Finally...
This is a second time read for me, but I liked it that much the first time. Heralding from a family of educators, and being married to one who teaches at a grades-driven school, one would think that we are proponents of formalized education as soon as possible. But the truth is, all of the experiences of my family and husband have led us to realize that the longer our children have the opportunity for free play and imagination, the better. Eric's first question at every single PreK we visited: "how much free play do they get?" This would be asked immediately after Mr and Mrs Jones asked their umpteenth question about if they teach simple adding, writing words, etc. Of course, we are still battling bowel control, so writing one's name is the least of my concerns. Play is a dying art, and there are consequences to eliminating the opportunity for kids to explore, play, and imagine.
Insert ellipses indicating we are heading into the epilogue:

I think it's kind of funny that I'm worried what the cleaner thinks about my stack of books when one of those books is trying to get me to be less driven by external validation, and more in tune with personal acceptance.

Plus, I'm pretty sure the fact that we still don't have a door on our bathroom, and that our house is a safe haven for heavily reproducing dust bunnies, hair piles, and drops of oatmeal crusties all over this joint...she's got enough to think about and work on.

1 comment:

  1. Well I am looking forward to my summer reading list. My biggest problem with nighttime reading is that no matter how compelling the prose (Unbroken at this time), I nod off after a few pages. I like your list, though and look forward to reading them when you are done.
    I love Eric's question to preschools about free time (I would add outdoor time). I wish more parents would recognize the value of play "a child's work".

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