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Monday, February 4, 2013

I'm Not a Flake. I'm Sensitive.


Guess whose boy and his gal bought their first house this weekend?  That's right -- mine!  Now guess who didn't write last night so she could help them clean?  Again:  me.  :-)  Please enjoy this re-post, originally posted in February of 2012...

Some people buy tools. Others buy shoes.

I buy books.

My sister is staring at the stacks of them on the floor of my living room.

“What?” I say.

She picks one up. “Are these your I’ve-read-these piles or your I’m-going-to-read-these piles?”

“Those are the unread.”

She shakes her head. “You’re never going to die, are you?”

“Don’t you read?”

She shakes her head again, chuckles. “Not like this.”

She puts the book down. “What are you reading now?”

“I just started White Guard by Mikhail Bulgakov.”

“Gesundheit.”

“Thank you.”

“And what did you read before that?”

“Why do you ask?”

She shrugs and tilts her head to the left, a movement reminiscent of our mother. “You called that beggar outside the theater a schnorrer.”

I smile. “The last book was a collection of short stories by Sholom Aleichem. Fiddler on the Roof was based on his stories about Tevye the Milkman.”

“Really,” Karen deadpans.

“What?! The guy acted like he was entitled to my leftover malted milk balls! Why should I give him my malted milk balls?”

Karen stares at me.

“The word fit,” I say, emphatically. “And anyway, so what? I’m reading! What should I be reading if not the books I’m reading?”

“Is that accent you’ve just developed courtesy of the collection of Yiddish short stories, too?”

“Maybe,” I say, evasively.

There is a moment of silence.

“You do that, you know,” she says.

“Do what?”

“Remember when you read The Great Gatsby?”

I stare at her.

“Afterward, you wanted to go clamming or some dang thing! You wanted to lay around the house in period dresses and drink room-temperature gin!”

“I’m sensitive,” I say, perhaps a touch defensively.

“And what about when you read The Kitchen God’s Wife? Isn’t that the book that made you say “Ai-eeee” all the time?”

My eyes shift to the right, then to the left. “Maybe.”

She starts to laugh, and then we are both laughing. “You thought you were Chinese,” she says, wiping her eyes with her sleeve. “Oh, my God.”

“I said I’m sensitive, dammit!”

“Oh, yeah," she says. "Sensitive.”

“I am! Shaddap.”

A decision is abruptly made in Karen’s head, and she grabs her purse, roots around for her car keys. “Hmmm. I’m thinking lunch,” she says. “I’m thinking either deli or Chinese.”

“Ah-HA!” I say. “Now look who’s sensitive!”

She smiles. “Aw, shaddap.”

22 comments:

Shelly said...

My list of books tbr will outlast me by a couple of centuries, at least.

I, like you, take on the persona and mood of the books I am reading. My next book on my list is one I've never read and I hope Moby Dick doesn't have me heading down to the marina and setting sail...



Pearl said...

Shelly, we have to be careful what we read. :-)

jenny_o said...

If the Boy and his gal are close enough for you to get there to help clean, that's good, right? because they are CLOSE by his mama.

I hear you on the books. And yes, it's called being sensitive. What else could it possibly be?!

Simply Suthern said...

Believe it or not I just took up reading. Just read a biography on Benjamin Franklin and am wearing Bifocals now. Well actually was wearing them before but am more thankful for them now.

Esther Montgomery said...

Only thinking, earlier today, how I no longer try to emulate the people I'm reading about. This lack of identifying has crept up on me by chance. But it makes life a lot less painful.

Indigo Roth said...

Hey Peg! This is why I've avoided 50 SHADES OF GREY. And anyway, you mean you DON'T lay around the house in period dresses drinking room-temperature gin?! Another fantasy shattered... Roth

Sausage said...

Thanks to the big man for refrigeration cuz room temperature gin makes me boke!
cheers, Sausage...

joeh said...

THis is WHY I bought Mrs. C the 50 shades trilogy.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

I read way too many mysteries and find myself trying to cover my tracks all the time lol.

Joanne Noragon said...

Bet you have lots of paint flakes in your hair this morning.

Good for them. You'll be busy with curtains and mother stuff. Oh, wait. Other stuff.

River said...

Their first house!
wow.
They're really grown up now.
As for the books, I plan to be reading even in my grave. Just bury my kindle with me.

Macy said...

Congratulations to the boy on getting his first house - is he needing spare books for his new bookcases maybe??

Daisy said...

Books will do that to you, and in my opinion, that is perfectly fine!!

Congratulations to the boy on his first house. How exciting!

Susan Kane said...

I find my persona matching the story line as well. Not to the extent you go, but I do understand.

Roshni AaMom said...

I think I'm not going to die either! :D
Congratulations on the new house!!

Kana said...

Sensitive! I'm downright moldable. I pick up the speech patterns and word choices of any book I read...and keep it for weeks, or until I've started reading another book. Gods help me if I read a trilogy; I imprint like a baby duckling.

Daisy said...

Congratulations on their home, May peace be there, and much happiness.

Gigi said...

I'm totally with River - I'll still be reading on the other side. In fact, I hope that then I will FINALLY be able to read without being interrupted.

Austan said...

Congrats to boy and gal!

I remember this post, because I completely understand. I have too many books for one person and every week the mail carrier brings more. I'm one of the unfortunates who'll never be a reasonable reader. I read books the way a femme fatale goes thru lovers. Some to linger in, some read a bit and tossed, some remain in a "maybe one day" pile, some I couldn't have lived as well without knowing.

HermanTurnip said...

I think we're on the same wavelength. It's not "I can't be broke, I still have checks". It's "I can't die yet, I still have books to read".

Pat Tillett said...

Congrats to them about the house. That is an exciting moment!
I have SO MANY books sitting around the house to read and so many waiting for me on my Kindle. That doesn't even include the ones I have that I want to re-read...

Suldog said...

MY WIFE and I do the same thing, except it's after we've finished watching British comedies on public television. We go around speaking like characters from "Are You Being Served" until somebody tells us to stop being so annoying.