I read, therefore I despair
When I was a young(er) man I picked up Robertson Davies’ Deptford Trilogy because I seemed to see it everywhere and it looked “interesting”. Now I have what I consider to be a bad habit which is that, once I start a novel, I have to finish it no matter how bad it is (a recent exception being The Emperor of Ocean Park which was horrendous beyond belief). And so it was that I read and read and read Davies’ trilogy only to finish one day and say, “What the fuck was that about?” Okay, maybe I just didn’t get it but, crap, I was reading the Williams (Gass & Gaddis) and Borges at that time, and I didn’t have any trouble with them. And yet there was this cult thing about Davies in those days so I just nodded and smiled and called Deptford “complex” and directed the conversation elsewhere lest I be found out.
Which brings me to today’s America’s Worst Mother™.
I don’t get it.
I mean, all the usual elements are there: the kids (Jamocha, Lovecraft, Colander, and Glabella) being strainingly semi-cute, Mr. Meghan being semi-wise and helpful, the odd anglicisms (“mummy”, “porridge” – does anyone else in America eat porridge? Jesus, would it kill her to give the kids a friggin’ Eggo?), the kid gibberish:
â€œDid you know?â€ Paris interrupts, â€œCaroline is part chicken. She likes chickens and she likes to act like a chicken, so sheâ€™s part chicken.â€
My husband and I laugh. Molly rolls her eyes.
â€œSheâ€™s really a chicken?â€ Violet asks interestedly.
â€œWhat about you?â€
â€œIâ€™m part cheetah and part monkey,â€ he says firmly, and drains his glass. â€œPatrick says heâ€™s part machine gun, but I donâ€™t really believe it.â€
…and we wonder why she’s going to homeschool him.
And, of course, the smug “my kids may only have fun if it’s educational and that makes me a better mom than you” moment:
â€œOf course he will,â€ Molly interjects, with a sidelong look at me, â€œAnd not only that, but I bet in Canada the Easter Bunny will be able to give us Kinder Eggs.â€ These, if you havenâ€™t had the thrill, are hollow German chocolate eggs filled with tiny toys that one assembles oneself, and that donâ€™t seem to be available in the U.S.
Anyway, I give up this week. Life’s too short to try and make something out of nothing. Not that that has ever kept Meghan from making her deadline every two weeks…