Thirty Year Old Women Do Not Always Come Home

Winegardner, Mark. “Thirty Year Old Women Do Not Always Come Home.” That’s True of Everybody.New York: Harcourt, Inc., 2002.

How often do you think about bowling? If you aren’t a member of a league, probably not very often. So, when I read “The average American home, Harry had read in a magazine, no longer contained a bowling ball” (p 3) I thought to myself, I’m sure he’s right. No home of mine has ever had a bowling ball. But, in “Thirty Year Old Women Do Not Always Come Home” Harry has a reason for being worried about bowling balls. As the owner of a bowling alley in Cuyahoga, Ohio if he wants to stay in business, he needs to care. He has two daughters, one is an artist in New York who only paints phalluses and is married to a man with whom Harry has a passive aggressive relationship. His second daughter, Jane, helps with the bowling alley. The real meat of the story centers around the disappearance of Harry’s new hire after two weeks on the job. It becomes his private obsession. “Thirty Year Old Women” is a slightly depressing story. You can’t help but feel sorry for Harry. He is an overcompensating wimp who couldn’t be more accommodating to the people in his life.

Funny line to remember, “The penis, Harry thought, truly is a sad, slouchy little guy. (p 7).

Reason read: June is short story month.

Author fact: Winegardner is the director of the creative writing program at Florida State University (or, at least he was, in 2002).

Book trivia: Like most short story complications, some of the short stories have been published elsewhere.

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Good Things Come in Small Packages” (p 104).

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