Sunday, April 16, 2006

Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia! - Charles Wesley

I give up on Inkheart. It BORED me. And in a blinding flash of defiance and liberation, I realized – I do not need to finish this book, slogging through it regardless of my true feelings. It can go back to the library, mostly unread. Now you’d think a novel about a book restorer and his spunky daughter, caught in a web of intrigue and adventure, revolving around a mysterious book which said book restorer can READ into life, would enthrall me. But no. I am BORED.

So I started Kage Baker’s The Garden of Iden, yet another Badger recommendation, and then this afternoon, because I was lounging on the couch in the library and it was right there on the shelf to hand, Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique.

Now, I consider myself as much a feminist as the next chickie, but the first chapter of this book really put me off. I need to know – who can tell me – did Ms. Friedan have hard data to back up all this “Women go to college now [1950/60s] to marry and breed” malarkey? I just don’t buy it wholeheartedly. As with most sociological books - Reviving Ophelia, Katie Roiphe’s The Morning After, Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth, and most relevant to me, any of the “mommy” books out there: Wolf’s Misconceptions, Judith Warner’s Perfect Madness, even novels like I Don’t Know How She Does It - this book seems to cater to, for lack of a better phrase leaping to mind, the least common denominator, and the LCD happens to be the image of the downtrodden, overworked, martyred mother and wife. Yawn. I am indeed tired, and overworked, and often bored, but not because of societal pressure. It’s because I CHOSE to have three children and work only part-time, because this is the combination that makes me happiest at the moment, and the only other way I could possibly “have it all” would be to oppress other women into cleaning and cooking and laundering and shopping for me. Am I fulfilled? I don’t know. But who is to say that not having kids and/or a husband and having some engrossing career, or having others care for my kids full-time, would be any more fulfilling? I guess I am just a little fed-up with all the analysis and finger-pointing and blaming, while I am just trying to live my life and get through my days as pleasantly as possible. Perhaps I am making Friedan’s point for her….but halfway through the first chapter of The Feminine Mystique, I thought, It’s the same old story, only I suppose Friedan gets credit for being among one of the first to think and talk along these lines. I’ll keep reading and get back to you if or when any of Friedan’s assertions and observations ring true to me.


Our Easter was very pleasant. The Easter Bunny brought baskets – each boy got an Easter coloring book, some fruit snacks, a plastic egg with some change in it, a lemonade juice box, a bottle of bubbles, and a little kit to make bug soap. (That’s soap with plastic bugs in it, not soap with which to launder your household insects.) Then they had Egg Hunt #1, with the eggs they’d dyed at the church yesterday. There’s still one egg rolling around somewhere they couldn’t find, and that H couldn’t remember where he’d hidden. I fear the cats will find it and then we’ll know where it is all too soon.

I went for a run, only bad thing being that the coffee shop was closed so I couldn’t finish off my run with my usual latte. It was fun to watch all the little old ladies in the neighborhood totter off to church in their Easter finery – hats, gloves, purses, the whole kit and caboodle.

Then we all got ready for church, all my men looking very handsome. We even have photographic proof that they were wearing ironed shirts. Gasp! Pigs are flying! The ice rink in Hell will open shortly! Between that and H’s new, very short haircut, his mom was going to be in seventh heaven! I wore my new black tulip skirt, with a fitted lavender blouse and black sling-back pumps. I looked JUST like an Easter egg, shape and all.

Church was PACKED. Because we only live half a block away, we sauntered in at 2 minutes till 11, as usual, and were met with – NO SEATS. Somewhere, somehow, folding chairs were conjured up and we sat. And stood. And knelt (only I don’t kneel – having been raised a Baptist and all, kneeling just raises my hackles) and prayed. And sat. And stood and read. And sat. And shook hands with everyone around us (I only wish I’d thought to bring the Purell, Blackbird!) And stood and sang. And sat. The Episcopalians are all about aerobic health, I tell you.

Then after church was Egg Hunt #2, in the churchyard. The eggs were pretty much just scattered around on the grass rather than hidden; also evident from some smashed eggy bodies on the ground was the fact that not ALL the eggs had been so hard-boiled. The scattering-rather-than-hiding strategy caused this hunt to wrap up mercifully quickly and we went home for waffles and naps.

After everyone woke up we went up to Grandma’s for Easter dinner. Ham, broccoli-Velveeta casserole, artichoke heart casserole, potato salad, twice-baked parmesan potatoes, Hungry Jack biscuits, ramen noodle cabbage salad, rigatoni, meatballs, baked ravioli, lime jello mold, the list goes on and on. Nary a real vegetable to be seen anywhere. Guess the Easter bunny ate them all up.

Then Egg Hunt #3. Instead of real eggs, which I will let my children eat (can hard-boiled eggs carry salmonella?), there were plastic eggs with candy in them that I will throw away right before Halloween next fall, and at least some cash, with which the boys will be taking ME to the coffee shop this week. (Primo is off till next Monday, and activities are planned…zoo, museum, yearly photos.)

Then the sweet little Terzo with wonderful endearing timing started to yawn and I volunteered to head home with him and put him to bed.

I even scored the hambone - split pea soup of the gods, here we come!

As my mother-in-law would say, Buona Pasqua!

But I have one question:
What the HELL am I supposed to do with three dozen hard-boiled (we hope) eggs?


andrea said...

egg salad, chicken salad, macaroni salad, tuna salad...

and you were right, we had MUCH better food and not a ham to be seen anywhere ;)

avi ate the rest of the matzoh ball soup for lunch today or i would bring some for you when i drop off garner tomorrow.

blackbird said...

Throw them OUT!

I like that you all got gussied up and went to church and had three egg
And that meal!
And weren't you just telling me about H's hair?

sounds like a perfect day.

Suse said...

Egg curry! My favourite.

Or mash em up with mayonnaise and make egg & lettuce sandwiches. My next favourite.

Sarah Louise said...

Oh good. Now I don't have to pretend I'm interested in Inkheart.

And 3 egg hunts? I didn't even pretend that the Easter Bunny had visited (since I broke into my stash a week ago.)

Don't worry--I have no hard boiled eggs, just chocolate. And I will share!

Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

... but the chocolate? where was the chocolate BB?

two of my three have eaten the bodyweight of the third (littlest) in chocolate this weekend. littlest is like me and just not a chocolate fiend.

nor are we boiled egg fiends, so I;m with Blackbird - throw 'em out!

Lazy cow said...

Sounds like a luverly Easter, so much more civilised than mine! I can't get over the Easter baskets. We just don't do that here, but I usually buy the kids a book each, instead of chocolate bunnies, as they get so many from other people.
Chuck out the hb eggs.

BabelBabe said...

H and I are a bit psycho on the subject of what our kids eat. So I saw no reason to give them chocolate I wouldn't let them eat alot of anyway. Cruel, I know. I have to hide my chocolate-habit from them. I do let them eat sweets, I'm not that cruel. Just not tons.

and SL, you do not have to pretend you're interested in anything. Just for the record. As you so often point out, it takes all kinds. Embrace the variety, dear - it IS the spice of life.

BabelBabe said...

also, i had NO intention of doing Easter baskets, but every other child my boys know pretty much went on and on about the easter bunny. I pilfered our pantry for the fruit snax and juice box; printed the coloring book out on our computer; swiped the plastic eggs from their play kitchen and put in a quarter, dime, nickel, and penny. I had bought the bug soap for someone else at somepoint and never given it to that child, so I regifted. The only thing I bought purposely were the bubbles, at the grocery store last week.

I know people who treat Easter like Xmas and I am NOT interested in that.

Miz S said...

I'm with you on the easter basket thing. My kids are too old for easter baskets now, but I'm baffled as to how it turned into a gift extravaganza. Back in the day it was just some jellybeans and a chocolate bunny and a few peeps, and we ate ourselves sick before breakfast.

Joke said...

You could make Scotch Eggs.

Or a BARREL of Salade Nicoise.


Katya said...

About Betty Freidan, Katie Roiphe, et al -- I think when they make these sweeping statements such as " women who claim they are date raped just don't want to face up to having made a bad choice," that they are talking about women they know or have heard about -- there is no hard data -- at least they aren't using it to back up their assertions.

I'm Catholic, my husband is Baptist and he won't kneel either -- I always thought it was just him being weird. Now I know better.

Sarah Louise said...

BBabe, thank you for liberating me from the need to be interested in the "cool" books--I luff you! And I have chocolate for you, but I'll wrap it so your sons will think it's a book...


jess said...

We just stand. In church. None of that knowing when to sit, kneel, stand, etc.

Also, I hold you entirely responsible for the dream I had last night that involved a massive display of G&B's chocolate.

Potato salad, egg salad...I like them plain, too, for snacks, with a little S&P.