Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Books As Old As You

A couple of months ago, Good Housekeeping published a pretty cool slideshow called "The Most Popular Book the Year You Were Born."

It covers the years 1930 to 2016. I'm not sure how many babies born this year are already reading popular literature, but for those who are, you best get your chubby little hands on a copy of Ron Chernow's biography of Alexander Hamilton, pronto.

There's so much more than his famous duel
with Aaron Burr! Also, I made poopie!
I bookmarked GH's list because I thought it would be fun to read every book on it that I haven't already made it through. For the record, I've read only 15 of them, which kind of stinks, although many of the ones I haven't read have been on my reading bucket list for a long time. That...sort of counts? No, it doesn't. I'm lame and way behind on my reading. Hence my bookmarking.

The most popular book the year I was born was John Updike's Couples. I've never read it, although I've read a couple of Updike's Rabbit novels. So I'll be seeking that out pretty soon. The most popular book the year Precocious Daughter was born was Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. She was amazed to learn that the Harry Potter books predate her. Apparently the universe began when she was born, which I guess is a pretty normal attitude for a 16-year-old.

I'll let her believe it while she can.
Anyway, I thought it would be fun if you guys checked out the list and then shared which book was most popular the year YOU were born. And whether you've read it. Or want to. It would be crazy cool to hook someone up with a new favorite book this way. Also, I'll get to find out how old/young my Drunkards are. Then I can leverage that data into...Fuck it, I don't leverage data. I'm just nosey curious.

How about it? Let me know the name of the book that defined your birth year, and whether it defines you or just seems like a sign that you were born in messed-up times. (Spoiler alert: We were all born in messed-up times.)

Ready, set...go.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


I just read a random clickbait article about "moments when people's lives changed forever" or some such thing. I'm not linking to it because clickbait articles are glitchy, slow to load, and riddled with pop-up ads. So fuck clickbait. But it was interesting.

Enjoy this amusing cartoon instead.

And it got me thinking about those watershed moments in my own life. I came up with four of them. I'm going to share them now, and invite each of you to share yours. Because I love to hear about the life events that shaped you. It makes me appreciate our differences as well as our similarities. And if we can all do that, maybe we won't turn out to be right-wing assholes who want everyone to be exactly they way they are.

Here we go.

1. For Sale

It was the summer of 1982. My older brother and sister and I were chilling at home - which was pretty unusual, since brother had enlisted in the Navy and sis and I were doing our best to cultivate social lives - when there was a knock at the door. Our parents were at work, so one of us answered the door. It was a realtor holding a "For Sale" sign, who said, "Hi, I'm just going to put this sign in your yard, OK?" Later our dad called from work to explain that, yes, he had been transferred and we were moving from Milwaukee to Plano, Texas. Life changed forever.

2. First Date

My (now) ex asked me out after we had had a few classes together in college. I almost said no, but then realized that I had recently concluded a brief, unhappy relationship and didn't exactly have suitors lined up at my door. I had a good time on my date, but there was no real spark. I'd already decided I wouldn't see him again and, therefore, wouldn't kiss him good night. On the other hand, I'd had a couple of margaritas, so when he moved in, I let him. The kiss was electric. We became a couple and married two years later. I regret nothing about that kiss. But it changed my life forever.

3. APT

After almost a decade of marriage, my (now) ex and I decided to start a family. When I didn't instantly become pregnant, I was very depressed. But when I took a pregnancy test in April 1999 (just a few days after the death of my beloved grandmother, and at the exact same time my Bestest Friend was giving birth to her daughter), and it indicated I was pregnant, I dissolved in tears. They...they weren't happy tears, Drunkards. I had the most acute feeling of my life: that my existence was forever changed, maybe or maybe nor for the better. It was so scary. I did quickly embrace my pregnancy, and now I'm certain that Precocious Daughter is the very best thing that has ever happened to me. Yet when it comes to drawing a thick line between "life after," nothing beats a positive pregnancy test.

4. Closer

Here is a story I'm still not ready to fully disclose. Suffice to say that one night in 2011, I told Drummer Boy that he was a half-step behind my spouse in terms of my feelings, and he admitted that "closer [than a half-step] must be a nice place to be." When I realized that the love I'd felt for him for decades was mutual, my entire life changed. I'm now committed to the love of my life, living as an independent single woman for the first time, and happily divorced. Judge me if you must. I'm happy. Are you?

OK, those are my four life-changing moments. I'd love you to share yours (one, two, three, or more, whatever). GO.