Me, Myself & Baby I

Out of the mouths of babes

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake

I heard plenty of interviews of Don Imus talking to Anna Quindlen while driving in the car together with my Dad. Good memories! Although I don’t recall ever actually listening to what they had to say. I was in my early twenties, so who could blame me? (Anna wouldn’t and you’ll understand after you read Part I’s “The Laboratory of Life” which made me teary-eyed) Now I understand full well what makes a Pulitzer prize author.

Unfortunately, Mom duty called and I was not able to attend the Anna Quindlen book event at Talbot’s on Tuesday, April 24th that was hosted by the fabulous Liz Gumbinner, editor of Cool Mom Picks.

“One of my literary heroes has always been Anna Quindlen. She’s not only an amazing columnist, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, hard-working mom, and now incredible author, she’s an all-around very cool, very inspiring woman,” said Liz.

Booked by Harriet described the event as “a lovely evening of shopping, champagne, cupcakes and LOTS OF CANDLES.”

Through my connections, I was able to arrange to get my hands on an autographed copy of Anna’s latest.

This book which has been beautifully described as “a warm, humorous take on motherhood, marriage, girlfriends, our bodies,” is a welcome break from ME continuing to read the 50 Shades trilogy. Apparently, attendees were asking Anna her opinion of the 50 Shades sensation. I so wish I was there to hear her response.

As a 34-year-old mom with two sons, her readers would respond, “You are writing my life.” I am envious that she was “fridgeworthy.” How I dream of hearing that about my writing. Her prose is so vivid and filled with such beautiful imagery:

“…You dream yourself a life out of bits of fantasy and imaginings, like cotton candy, pink and mostly airy.” (page 17)

The ending of the introduction is so powerful. “The fridge looks different now. The college calendar, the kids’ buisness cards, the number fo my Dad’s cardiologist, the invitation to the bridal shower for the daughter of a friend….What comes next? Who knows? it’s a long story, the story of our lives-the friends, the families, the men, the jobs, the mistakes we made and the ones we avoided, the tedium, the drama. Somethings I took a long time to figure out, and others I’ll never understand. All I can say for sure is that I want more.” (page xiii)

Other lines that struck a chord with me:
•”When I first married, I expected my husband to be all things: sex object, professional sounding board, partner in parenting, constant companion…” (pages 19)….”We’re two strong-minded people who have divergent talents and habits….He’s not the least bit interested in celebrity gossip; it’s a really bad habit and I’m sticking with it. He balances his checkbook…”(page 20)

•Sometimes I tell my children —well, frequently, I tell my children — that the single most important decision they will make is not where you live, or what you do for a living, it’s who they will marry.” (page 25)

•”…The thing about old friends is not that they love you but they know you. They remember the disastrous New Year’s Eve when you mixed White Russians and champagne, and how you wore that red maternity dress until everyone was sick of seeing the blaze of it in the office, and the uncomfortable couch in your first apartment, and the smoky stove in your beach rental. They look at you and don’t really think you look older, because they’ve grown old along with you, and like the faded paint in a beloved room, they are used to the look….” (page 162)

•Scarlett O’Hara had a seventeen-inch waist, but she couldn’t eat anything at the barbeque, and at the end fo the book, she’s alone. What’s so great about that?” (page 97)

One of my favorite chapters is “Push.” It’s about motherhood.

•”We live in a perfection society now, and nowhere has that become more powerful – and more pernicious-than in the phenomenon of manic motherhood. What the childcare guru D.W. Winnicott once called “the ordinary devoted mother” is no longer enough. Instead there is the overscheduled mom who bounces from soccer field to school fair to music lessons until she falls into bed at the end of the day, exhausted, her life somewhere between the Stations of the Cross and a decathlon.” (page 113)

I could go on and on and recite more and more quotes. But I must stop myself. Get a copy of the book and let it speak to you the way it did to me.

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One thought on “Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake

  1. Jenny on said:

    I saw that this book is being reviewed by Elaine Charles on her radio show “The Book Report” (www.bookreportradio.com) on Mothers day. In anticipation I have been looking around the web to see what the various reviews say. They are all good and I am certainly looking forward to reading this book. You can always catch Elaine’s archived shows on her website.

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