Tuesday, June 9, 2009

July's Pick

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is an enchanting tale that captures the magic of reading and the wonder of romantic awakening. An immediate international bestseller, it tells the story of two hapless city boys exiled to a remote mountain village for re-education during China’s infamous Cultural Revolution. There the two friends meet the daughter of the local tailor and discover a hidden stash of Western classics in Chinese translation. As they flirt with the seamstress and secretly devour these banned works, the two friends find transit from their grim surroundings to worlds they never imagined.

What I Learned at Book Club This Month: vol. 6

Once upon a time when I was a stay at home mom, I was a fastidious housekeeper. In fact, some were even known to call me a little neurotic about my cleaning habits. Back in the good old days, I mopped twice a day, cleaned the bathrooms every day, and steam-cleaned my carpets at least twice a month.

I really loved my clean house. I mean really loved it. But I have to admit that perhaps, on the rare occasion, being fanatical about a gleaming, spot-free shine, might have made me the tiniest bit hard to live with. I suppose in retrospect that I didn't need to throw a big fit when there were crumbs left on top of the toaster--while it was still toasting, and maybe it was over the top to start wiping off the table--while my family was still eating.

Once I began working and didn't have as much time at home as I used to, I decided to consider my declining state of home cleanliness a statement of personal growth. As if a dirty kitchen was proof that I had overcome my OCD. Goodness, at this point in my life, I'm so healthy that I'm lucky to dust the front of the TV so it doesn't look like there's a snow storm inside the halls of Seattle Grace. The thing is though, I've found that there is a fine line between personal growth and just plain laziness. And after book club last night, I've had a wake up call.

You see, I was the hostess for last night's book club. In my new and improved state of mind, I decided to consider it courageous to let one of my guests use the "Restroom of Questionable Cleanliness", and innovative to let them eat the peach cobbler even though it appeared to be half-baked, and humorous to discover that I had my shirt on inside out. Basically I was a hot mess, but I didn't let it faze me. And that my friends is some serious personal growth.

It wasn't until all my guests had left though, that I discovered the Thing that's making me rethink my new attitude. You see, I have a basket on my counter for my fruits and vegetables. Plus, I have a zuchinni and a yellow squash plant that have both been in production overload the past two weeks. I just kept adding zuchinni to that basket and truthfully I hadn't seen the bottom of it for at least two weeks. In my desire to share the zuchinni bounty that is ours, I set that basket on the table and invited all the Sorta-Naughties to get it the h*** out of my house. And they nearly emptied the basket, bless their hearts. But in so doing they revealed, at the bottom of the basket, this monstrocity:

I can't tell you for sure what that is (although ironically, I think it is a peach), but I can tell you what it isn't. It is not courageous, innovative, or humorous. There does, however, appear to be a notable amount of growth going on there--just not the type I was aiming for.

So, what did I learn at Book Club this month? Listen people! I don't have time for any life lessons right now. I've got to get cleaning!