By the River Piedra…

Coelho, Paulo. By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept: a Novel of Forgiveness. Translated by Al;an R. Clarke. New York: Harper Perennial, 2006.

Reason read: July is the month of summer romances…or returning to one. One of the most romantic places on earth, in my opinion, is Monhegan Island, Maine. Ten miles out to sea there is something about the smell of the salty ocean, the cries of gulls and crashing surf amidst summer wildflowers and dusky fireflies. Boats rock in the harbor shrouded by early morning fog. I was able to read the novella By the River… in two nights amidst all this on said island.
By the River Piedra romances its reader from start to finish. Protagonist Pilar is twenty eight years old and making her way through life as an independent and capable young woman in Spain. By coincidence she reunites with her boyfriend from eleven years ago. He has turned into a handsome spiritual guru who happens to be a much trusted healer. Together they rekindle their romance while on a journey to the French Pyrenees. Age and time have given them a fresh perspective on love, forgiveness, and spirituality.

Author fact: Coelho also wrote the more famous novel, The Alchemist, which is not on my list for whatever reason.

Book trivia: By the River Piedra… was an international best seller.

Nancy said: absolutely nothing.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Latin American Fiction” (p 144).


November Numbness

“Live a life steeped in experiences.” That’s what my tea bag therapist said this morning. I’m not sure what to make of that advice, considering I have been passing each day as if waiting for something, but not exactly sure what.

I keep going back to the hospital for x-rays and answering mind-throttling questions like, “when did you break your back? How long have you been having extremity nerve pain?” Nearly passing out from lack of comprehension, I didn’t know what to say. I still don’t, but at that moment I sat there in silence with a stuck-in-dumb expression on my face. Yes, my back hurts from time to time, but broken? Yes, I have been complaining about my hands and feet falling asleep, but pain? I was there to get my protruding rib cage scrutinized. Now they tell me it’s a nodule on my lung and abnormally high white blood cell counts. “Probably a viral infection,” the nurse said of my white blood cell count. This was before the nodule on my left lung (25% malignant cancer) was a reality via CT scan. Are the two related? Am I falling to pieces? Sure feels that way. In the meantime, I have buried myself in books:

Fiction (Lots of books for kids and young adults):

  • David and the Phoenix by Edward Ormondroyd (AB): a book for children, added in honor of Fantasy Month.
  • The Pinballs By Betsy Byars: another kids book added in honor of Adoption month.
  • Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko.
  • Martin Dressler: the Tale of an American Dreamer by Steven Millhauser.
  • The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (EB).
  • Foolscap, or, the Stages of Love by Michael Malone.
  • Patience and Sarah by Isabel Miller.

Nonfiction:

  • She’s Not There: a Life in Two Genders by Jennifer Finney Boylan.
  • The Caliph’s House by Tahir Shah.
  • Expecting Adam: the Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Magic by Martha Beck (AB)

Series continuation:

  • Scales of Gold by Dorothy Dunnett.

Patience and Sarah

Miller, Isabel. Patience and Sarah. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 1969.

Reason read: Alma Routsong was born in November; read in her honor.

This is such a fascinating story. Isabel Miller learns of two real life pioneering women, Mary Ann Willson and her partner, known only as “Miss Brundage,” and has to write about them. Willson and Brundage set off to find a place where they could live as an openly homosexual couple. Their courage sparked a story in Miller and Patience and Sarah was born.
To meet the women: Sarah Dowling was raised as a boy; taught to shoot a gun and chop firewood like a man. In Patience’s mind, Sarah needed rescuing from that existence. Patience White was a demure and quiet painter, but it was she who started planting the seeds of running away early in her relationship with Sarah. “But could you take it pioneering with you?” Patience asked of the ax Sarah was wielding.
Patience and Sarah was originally published under the title, A Place For Us. The book ends with Patience and Sarah leaving their old lives behind to find a new place where they could be themselves as a couple. Their love endures ridicule and prejudice and even among themselves they harbor doubts. Sheer courage carries them forward.
Patience and Sarah could be considered the very first lesbian historical novel.

Lines I loved (and there were many), “Women might peck at her with their sharp mean noses” (p 18), “There would be no way out except through” (p 49), and, “…but as soon as he kissed me I knew I could not live a life where that happened all the time” (p 102).
Lines about love, “I keep thinking every shadow is you” (p 47), and “I felt my heart melt and drip off my fingertips” (p 105).

Author fact: Isabel Miller is a pseudonym for Alma Routsong. Alma took her mother’s maiden name (Miller) and an anagram of the word lesbia (Isabel) to form her pen name. Another interesting fact is that Isabel left her husband and four children. Luckily, they all forgave her.

Book trivia: The American Library Association honored Patience and Sarah with its first ever Gay Book of the Year Award in 1971. Another last piece of trivia: the book was made into an opera in 1998. That seems a little odd to me.

Nancy said: Pearl said it would be “interesting to compare” The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall to Miller’s Patience and Sarah. (Book Lust p 94).

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Gay and Lesbian Fiction: Out of the Closet” (p 93).


May is a Month

What about May? May was a month of personal disappointments and private pain. I weathered all without much fanfare. Running was nonexistent but I can’t say the same for books:

Fiction:

  • Landfall: a Channel Story by Nevil Shute (EB)
  • Main Street by Sinclair Lewis (AB, EB & print)
  • Martin Sloane by Michael Redhill (EB & print)
  • Bruised Hibiscus by Elizabeth Nunez (EB & print)
  • Adrian mole: the Cappuccino Years by Sue Townsend (EB & print)

Nonfiction:

  • Into Thin Air: a Personal Account … by Jon Krakauer

Series continuations:

  • Jade Island by Elizabeth Lowell (EB & print)
  • Last Seen in Massilia by Steven Saylor (EB & print)
  • Angel at My Table by Janet Frame (EB & print)

Early Review from LibraryThing:

  • 1968: — edited by — Aronson

Added – Plays:

  • Medea by Euripides ~ in honor of the best time to go to Greece.

 


Martin Sloane

Redhill, Michael. Martin Sloane. Back Bay Books, 2002. http://archive.org/martinsloanenove00redh

Redhill, Michael. Martin Sloane. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 2001.

Reason read: May is known as missing child month in some parts of the world. Choosing this book for recognition of missing child month was a little tongue in cheek because it’s actually an adult who goes missing, but his childhood plays a big part of the story. In a way, he has been missing since childhood.

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself. I love that song.) I had to feel sorry for Jolene. At the tender age of 19 she becomes a pen pal to a man 35 years her senior. At 21 she becomes his lover and loses her virginity to him. Think about that for a second. He’s old enough to be her father. She dedicates her young life to a man 35 years older than her, teaching him how to drive and caring for him like a husband, all because she fell in love with his artistry at first sight. Little object-filled boxes of life. His life. They intrigued her, then captivated her.
Irish born artist, Martin Samuel Joseph Sloane is a conundrum. When he suddenly leaves his and Jolene’s home in the middle of the night, Jolene is left with his little boxes and a million questions. What follows is a quest for love. The themes of loss and forgiveness are unmistakable but what bubbles to the surface in the end is maturation and grace.

Quotes to catch my attention (and there were a lot of them to chose from), “I’d had my share of exquisite humiliations before, but never with someone I actually liked (p 27), “And we continued to learn the other like explorers expanding their maps of the known world” (p 34), “I learned to live with this spectacle of concealment” (p 52), and my favorite, “Love provokes all kinds of behaviour and in retrospect it all seems warranted: you have to allow for passions” (p 93).

As an aside: I think I have said it before, but I like it when a book introduces me to new music. This time it’s new old music, “When Day is Done.” I found a really sultry version sung by Clint Walker on YouTube.
Another aside: I had never been to Watkin’s Glen, New York before meeting my husband. Redhill inserts a minor character from Watkin’s Glen living in Ireland.

Author fact: Redhill wrote many other novels, some under the pseudonym Inger Ash Wolfe, but I only read Martin Sloane for the Challenge.

Book trivia: Martin Sloane is Redhill’s first novel and it nominated for the Giller Prize.

Nancy said: Pearl called Redhill’s book Michael Sloane instead of Martin Sloane. It’s indexed that way as well.

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Maiden Voyages” (p ).


Pharos Gate

Bantock, Nick. The Pharos Gate: Griffin & Sabine’s Lost Correspondence. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2016.

Reason read: because Nick Bantock is one of my favorites.

I can’t remember what I said in my Griffin & Sabine review way back when except to say I know I mentioned my ongoing love affair with this series. How could I not? It’s evocative of a very sensual time in my life. I was introduced to Griffin and Sabine by a passionate summer romance. This man made mixed tapes, baked cinnamon scones, read Shakespeare and even wrote poetry, one word at a time, on rose petals. He took me shelling, canoeing and on searches for sunsets. He made my friends want to puke from jealousy. We read to each other as Griffin and Sabine. But, I digress..

Griffin and Sabine. I sigh to hear their names. Their backstory is such: Griffin is an artist in damp and dreary London. One day he receives an unusual postcard from a woman claiming to have the ability to see his art as he is creating it…except Sabine is somewhere in the South Pacific. Trying to make sense of her unusual voyeurism into his creativity before it is fully formed forces Griffin to continue a correspondence with her. Soon they fall in love without ever meeting. [Been there.] Subsequent volumes have Griffin and Sabine trying to cross the enormous divide to see each other face to face, but like any decent romance, their efforts are thwarted at every turn. In Pharos Gate the star-crossed couple discover a safe place to meet: at Pharos Gate in Alexandria. With the help of a friend Griffin sets off across the globe to reach his love. And reach her, he does. But! I haven’t really ruined it for you. Supposedly this is the final book in the series and yet Bantock leaves his audience hanging once again…Yes, they meet but then what? We don’t know. I adore it.


Tear Down the Mountain

Skipper, Roger Alan. Tear Down the Mountain: an Appalachian Love Story.  Brooklyn: Soft Skull Press, 2006.

This is a tragic story about love in hard times. Sid and Janet’s love story. To describe Janet is to think of a quiet running stream. She is shallow and it is easy to see to the bottom of her personality. Sid is more like a deep rushing rapid. He is turbulent and complicated. The violence that springs up between them is defiant and born out of a survival mode of sorts. They meet as children, innocent enough, outside of a church. Both come from volatile homes so it’s only natural they continue that chaos as a couple. Everything about their relationship is tragic. As children the tragedies start small but as adulthood and poverty put them into a stranglehold they have no choice but to lash out in violent ways. What surprised me the most was how Janet’s violence altered Sid’s emotions more than Sid’s violence got to Janet. She could hurt Sid without even trying.  One of the heartbreaking things about Sid is his heart was in the right place but he couldn’t catch a break. Ever. He kind of reminded me of my cousin in that respect. Most of the story is told from Sid’s perspective and only at the beginning and end do we know what Janet was thinking or feeling.

Line I liked the best, “Like kicking tires, your feet delivering what your tongue couldn’t tote” (p 36).

Reason Read: there is an old time fiddle fest in the Appalachian mountains that takes place in September. I am reading Tear the Mountain (set in Appalachia) in honor of the festival that I would probably never attend.

Author Fact: Tear Down the Mountain is Skipper’s first book.

Book Trivia: While finding reviews of Tear Down the Mountain I came across these words from Barbara Hurd, “…write simultaneously about building up and tearing down…” and that fascinated me to no end.

As an aside – when I did a Google search for Tear Down the Mountain the lyrics for “And I’m Telling You” came up. Love that song!

BookLust To Go: From Book Lust to Go in the chapter called “Approaching Appalachia” (p 22).


Kristin Lavransdatter

Undset, Sigrid. Kristin Lavransdatter: the Bridal Wreath. Translated by Charles Archer. New York: Alfred A Knopf, 1922.

The first thing I have to point out is there were two things going against this book (for me, anyway). One is sheer size. The entire novel is a trilogy, well over 1,000 pages. Add another sixty pages if you want to include the author’s notes. And the print is small. Real small. The second “negative” is that it is a translation, originally written in Norwegian. It seems I never do well with translated works. It’s almost as if the translator, no matter how hard he or she tried, lost something essential to the flavor of the book. I can’t explain it other than something always gets lost in translation. I know that’s cliche of me to say, but in this case I mean it literally, 100%. Note: I just found out that there is another, more recent translation that seems to be superior to the one I read. Darn.
Having said all that I should also point out (again) Kristin Lavransdatter has three volumes: The Bridal Wreath, the Wife and the Cross. I decided to read The Wreath in June, The Wife in July and The Cross in August. My chances of actually finishing the thing are much better when broken out this way. Another confession: while this might be a lengthy tale it’s also very good and easy to read.

I read this book because a) June is the best time to visit Norway and if you haven’t guessed by my tirade, the author is Norwegian; and b) June is the best month to get married (or divorced) in and Kristin is about the marriage of Kristin…eventually. The book starts with “The Bridal Wreath.” Kristin is a very young child traveling with her father across Norway. In true 14th century fashion Kristin is betrothed to a wealthy, reputable man in a neighboring town. As Kristin grows up she becomes increasingly rebellious, so much so that when she is nearly raped her community has doubts about who is telling the truth. As a result her family decides to send Kristin away to a convent to hide out until the rumors die down. While at this convent she falls in love with the dashing Erlend, a man who has reputation problems of his own. Excommunicated by the Catholic church because of an affair with a married woman, Erlend manages to seduce Kristin as well. Before they can be married Kristin becomes pregnant. The title of this section of Kristin Lavransdatter is in regards to the wreath wears on her wedding day. It is supposed to signify virginity but Kristin wears it with shame, too embarrassed to tell anyone it is a lie.

Author fact: Undset was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1928.

Book Trivia: Kristin Lavransdatter was made into a movie in 1995.

BookLust Twist: From More Book Lust in the chapter called “Digging Up the Past Through Fiction” (p 79)’, and Book Lust to Go in the chapter called “Norway: The Land of the Midnight Sun” (p 162).


“True Love”

Szymborska, Wislawa. “True Love.” Poems New and Collected 1957 – 1997. 1998. Trans. Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh. San Diego: Harcourt, Inc., 2000.

I couldn’t help but think of Natalie Merchant singing “Jealousy” when I read this poem for the first time. It sounds spiteful and catty. It could have been written by someone sitting alone on prom night or someone with no one to kiss on New Year’s Eve. That wallflower with the mad-enough-to-spit-nails attitude. It’s sad and snarly. The echo of longing for a relationship is loud and resonating and clear and yet, the poem speaks of true love being a farce, a joke, something he or she cannot possibly believe in.

As an aside…I have been struggling with what to say at my cousin’s burial. Don’t get me wrong. I loved the guy. It’s the love that has me livid. I’m thinking if I had been a little less loving while he was alive this wouldn’t hurt so much NOW. There is truth to not believing in love.

BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in the chapter called “Polish Poetry and Prose” (p 188).


February ’12 was…

Considering the tumultuous way 2012 started February was a bit gentler and definitely easier to get through. I think celebrating a birthday definitely helped. It’s always good to have something to celebrate!
Here are the books read (or listened to) in February:

  • Mornings on Horseback by David McCullough ~ in honor of President’s Day (even though this had very little to do with Roosevelt being president of anything). This was an audio book and a real pleasure to listen to.
  • Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban ~ in honor of Hoban’s birth month. This was an oversized kids book!
  • Personal History by Katharine Graham ~ in honor of February being Scholastic Journalism month and this was all about Graham being involved with The Washington Post for nearly 60 years. This was a book left over from the Public Access to Library Services program.
  • Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien ~ a continuation of the series that I started in January. I have two more books that I will read through March and April (Two Towers and Return of the King).
  • A Far Cry From Kensington by Muriel Spark ~ Another audio book that was extremely funny.
  • Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley with Ron Powers ~ in honor of the day in February (the 23rd) that the American flag was raised on the island of Iwo Jima in Japan.
  • Blues Dancing by Diane Kenney-Whetstone ~ in honor of Black History month AND Valentine’s Day. Yes, it was chick lit, but yes, it was also very good.

For the fun of it I read Book Lust To Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers by Nancy Pearl ~ a gift from my sister.

I also did a little housekeeping and realized I never reviewed The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I’m not sure how that happened, but it happened. So, while I didn’t read it this month I am including it in the list.


Blues Dancing

McKinney-Whetstone, Diane. Blues Dancing: a Novel. New York: William Morrow and Co, Inc. 1999.

We had a long weekend to laze around and do nothing so I decided to spend part of that time lazing around with a really easy book to read. Indeed, I read it over the course of three days.

To say that the plot of Blues Dancing simple doesn’t do McKinney-Whetstone’s novel justice. The plot is pretty straightforward but the substance of it is, at times, difficult to read. At the center of the story is Verdi. We bounce between her naive life as a young college student and, twenty years later, her adult life as a professional in the field of education. Young Verdi is dating Johnson. Mature Verdi is dating Rowe. Johnson is a college student one year her senior while Rowe is a college professor twenty years older…guess where they met? Throughout the plot Verdi’s over-the-top, willing to do anything passion for Johnson is revealed and her reasons for being with stoic, stodgy, stick-in-the-mud Rowe twenty years later are at best, murky. It isn’t until the past and present collide that it all makes sense. Along the journey we learn that Johnson introduced Verdi to heroin and being so eager to love Johnson allowed Verdi to love the drug even more. Rowe’s presence during this time is shadowy, progressively coming more into focus.

Author Fact: Diane McKinney-Whetstone won the American Library Association’s Black Caucus Award for Fiction twice, once in 2005 and again in 2009.

Book Trivia: There was a lot of music in Blues Dancing (beyond the title of the book). Artists like Johnny Hartman, Louis Armstrong, Roberta Flack, The Temptations, and Sarah Vaughn perform within the pages.

BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in the chapter called “African American: She say” (p 12).


Fine and Private Place

Beagle, Peter. A Fine and Private Place. New York: Viking, 1960.

For starters I have to say I love first novels. It’s that “dammit, im gonna do it” book. That leaping off point of either ‘no return and so I write’, or ‘that failed so I go back to whatever it was I had been doing before I put pen to paper’ (or whatever method they use these days). In Peter Beagle’s case I think A Fine and Private Place was a huge success.

A Fine and Private Place is haunted yet humorous. It takes place in a cemetery with a talking black bird (a sarcastic one at that) and a homeless man as its residents. The dead have issues with remembering yet have no problem complaining to the living man lurking in their midst. That man would be Mr. Rebeck, the one time druggist who now spends his days (and nights) in the New York cemetery. In fact, he hasn’t left the grounds in nearly twenty years. A Fine and Private Place delves into what it means to have a soul, even if it gets lost from time to time. It’s the story of different relationships struggling to make it despite the differences. Throughout the story there are minor mysteries. Why, for example, is Mr. Rebeck living in the cemetery? Did Michael Malone’s wife really murder him? And, what’s with the talking bird? Don’t expect a lot of action from A Fine and Private Place. The majority of the story is filled with introspective musings and the plot is centered on character development and how those characters interact with one another.

Two of my favorite lines, “He had begun to tell her about the raven when he realized that Mrs. Kapper’s credulity had been stretched as far as it would go and would snap back at the slightest mention of a profane black bird bringing him food” (p 145), and “He hastily subpoenaed a sleepy smile” (p 158).

BookLust Twist: Perfect for Halloween, although it wasn’t scary – from More Book Lust in the chapter called, “Gallivanting in the Graveyard” (p 96).


Student of Weather

Hay, Elizabeth. A Student of Weather. Washington D.C.: Counterpoint, 2000.

A Student of Weather is a car without brakes. No. A Student of Weather is a car without brakes set at the top of a very tall hill. No. A Student of Weather is a car without brakes set at the top of a very tall hill…and someone gives it a push. This is what is was like to read Elizabeth Hay’s first novel. It started off easy enough, slow enough, gentle enough, harmless enough. Then, without any warning at all it is careening crazily almost out of control. Impossible to stop. Stopping the read proved impossible, too. I seriously couldn’t put it down.

As mentioned before, the story starts out simply. Maurice Dove is a researcher, come to study the weather of Saskatchewan. He stays with the Hardy family – Ernest and his two daughters Lucinda and Norma-Joyce. Both daughters, despite being very young, fall in love with Mr. Dove. From there, simplicity comes to a halt.  A Student of Weather is a novel full of contrasting themes. While Lucinda is fair-haired, beautiful and virtuous Norma-Joyce is dark-haired, impulsive and outspoken. While both sisters find ways to fall in love with their visitor, both also find ways to hate each other. Even the landscapes within the story are contrasting. Norma-Joyce’s childhood prairie home cannot compare to the bustling city of her adulthood, New York City. As time progresses and Norma-Jean grows to be a woman with a child of her own, even her child is a conflicted in personality – both shy and loud simultaneously.

On the surface this seems like a love story – two sisters vying for the affections of a traveling man who loves neither of them. Digging deeper it is a story of betrayal and survival. It is the story of pain and loss and the idea that not every broken heart gets mended.

There were many, many, many favorite lines. Here are some of the best:
“Had she been able to , she would have kept the water he washed in, the skin that flaked away, the warm breath that hovered in the cold air above his head, his footprints in the snow” (p 96). I love how each item becomes something less obtainable. Had I written the line I would have reversed the order of the last two items.
“Maybe that’s all anyone wants in the end, to be remembered rather than overlooked’ (p 112). Simple line, but I loved it.
“She understood that you can pass from summer to winter in someone’s mind without even leaving the room” (p 172). Tragically beautiful. Been there, but who hasn’t?
“But returning is never easy, and nor is September” (p 283). Since I can add a car accident and a death to September sadness, I agree. Completely.

BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in two different chapters. In ” Canadian Fiction” (p 50) and again in “First Novels” (p88).


Look You in the Eye

So small

I had a funny thoughtquestion yesterday. It came out of someone else acting tougher than need be. When is it okay to say you need? When is it okay to lean on someone else for support even though you know damn well you can do it all by yourself? If my father had his way for my life he wouldn’t have wanted me to need anyone for anything. “Figure it out for yourself” he would have said. Be tough, be strong. Be blahblahblah.
Wrong.
I have this friend. This amazing friend who I sometimes complain to, bitch to, vent to, rant to. She listens with every fiber of her being and then tells me what I already know. I need her in my life to keep me sane. I may think I’m having an insane moment; a very insane moment, but she’ll reel me back in and tell me what’s logical about my lunacy. I don’t need her yet I do.
I have this husband. This wise-azz, smart, sensible husband who I sometimes whine to, cry to. I ask him permission to buy spooky signs, giant pumpkins and haunted villages. I need him in my life to keep my budget grounded. I may think I can afford every ghost, cat, witch and skull that comes along but he’ll reel me back in and tell me what’s illogical about my yearnings. He tells me what I already know. I don’t need him yet I do.
I have this life. This funny, crazy, vulnerable life which I sometimes think isn’t worth bothering with. I see black clouds and glass-half-empties all the time and often I find myself asking what’s the point? It’s then that I realize I need this life just the way it is, just the way it turned out. I can look you in the eye and say it. I need you.


But You Love Me Anyway

Rock Love
New love has quirks that are considered cute and lovable. Those things that a new lover says and does that are oh so different and revealing and disregarded. Those things are even adorable for a little while. Then, reality bites. Hard. There comes that time after the dust of desire has settled and new love matures into you and me, not one without the other. A given that you and me will be together. That’s when quirky becomes quite something else. Confusing. Contradicting. Infuriating. How we deal with these things that were once so lovable is a good indication of new loves maturity into real love. For me, adding up the quirks and realizing you are still with me is how I know you still love me. Regardless.

I was on the phone with a friend so I couldn’t quite comprehend the conversation occuring without me. I heard something about shoes. Something about a wallet. You were laughing. I knew you could only be discussing my quirks. With my friends no less. Some of whom have a whole wealth of stories on their own. I brought this on myself. I know I did.

It started innocently enough. It was last week. I was cooking curry turkey burgers and had somehow put the buns together wrong. Top with a top, bottom with a bottom. Still edible in my mind – just not pretty to look at. I’ve done it a hundred times before. You came down the stairs in time to hear me swear, in time to watch me try to flip bottom bun for a top. I turned to you and hissed through gritted teeth, “I will always leave my shoes in the middle of the floor. I will always misplace my keys. And. I will ALWAYS put the wrong halves of the buns together! So. You’ll just have to deal with it!” Instead of taking the bait. Instead of picking the fight I was wanting to have, you smiled at me and said gently, “I know something else you will always do.” Forgetting to be angry I dropped the fight and stopped dead. “What?” I wanted to know. “I’ll give you a hint” you replied as you proceded to close every cabinet door in the kitchen. What can I say? I was cooking like a fiend and didn’t have time to close cabinets!

I like tallying the quirks. I like seeing the oddities add up. The longer the list, the more I know you love me. Despite it all you love me anyway.
For the record:

  • I take my shoes off wherever and just leave them for kisa to trip over
  • I leave cups of half finished coffee in odd places, fully intending to finish them later (until they mold)
  • I lose my wallet, keys and/or phone on a regular, sometimes daily, basis
  • I leave cabinet doors open
  • I cannot put burgers together correctly
  • I hand material objects to random people and won’t remember it later
  • I have to cover restaurant food with a napkin when I’m finished
  • I cannot open resealable bags without somehow ruining the ziplock

To the love of my life. Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for being my lover. Thank you for making me strive to be a better person. I may have my quirks but my life is perfect with you in it. Happy anniversary!
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo