About Me

Ithaca, New York
MWF, now officially 42, loves long walks on the beach and laughing with friends ... oh, wait. By day, I'm a mid-level university administrator reluctant to be more specific on a public forum. Nights and weekends, though, I'm a homebody with strong nerdist leanings. I'm never happier than when I'm chatting around the fire, playing board games, cooking up some pasta, and/or road-tripping with my family and friends. I studied psychology and then labor economics in school, and I work in higher education. From time to time I get smug, obsessive, or just plain boring about some combination of these topics, especially when inequality, parenting, or consumer culture are involved. You have been warned.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

#47: Dedication

Dedication, by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus (New York: Atria Books, 2007)

"What if your first love left town, without a word to anyone, days before graduation?

"What if he went on to become one of the biggest recording stars on the planet and every song he’s famous for is about you? What if, after thirteen years of getting on with your life – walking past his face on newsstands, flipping past his image on TV, tuning him out on the radio – you get the call that he has landed back in your hometown for an MTV special two days before Christmas?  What if you finally had the chance to confront him?  What would you do?

"Kate Hollis finds herself on the threshold of her thirtieth birthday, about to discover that the only way to embrace life as a fully-fledged, well-adjusted adult is to re-visit seventeen."

Opening Lines:
"'He's here.'
 "'Laura?' I ask into the phone, disoriented, voice sandy with sleep."

My Take:
Saturday of my first weekend in Boston was wet, wet, wet. As in, the 40 days and 40 nights kind of rain. OK, maybe it was closer to 4 hours, but I still don't think I could have gotten any soggier even if there had been an ark instead of just a parade of duck boats swimming by. It only hit me that morning that I'd left both my raincoat and all my umbrellas back home in NY.

About 5 minutes later, it dawned on me that I might would get wet if I went out anyway, but I was about as certain to get weepy and fragile and withdrawn if I just sat here alone in my conveniently-located but poorly lit apartment, and ... well, wet stuff dries. So I set off down Charles Street with an adventurous spring in my step, snapping artful pictures of puddles and park benches with my iPhone. I fueled up for my trek beneath the tin-punched ceilings of Panifico and vowed to walk off my delicious but generous plate o' hash before I went back home. I fell in love with Commonwealth Avenue and its memorials on every corner, flanked by the hundred-year-old townhouses with their curved fronts and indecorous flower boxes who seem to be Boston's true grandes dames. I stumbled across a Marshall's incongruously planted between a Talbot's and a La Perla, finally brought an umbrella after I was drenched enough for my hair and jacket to drip a path through the store, and told myself the funny looks I imagined getting from the Back Bay Brahmins (well, any who'd wandered into Marshall's by mistake on their way to the Kate Spade in the next block) would make for a colorful story.

And since I was right there on Boylston Street anyway, and it was a rainy day, I found myself in Copley Square across from the Boston Public Library, which just happened to be having a book sale that day. You can guess where this is going. For a dollar or in some cases (i.e., if you ain't too proud to read anything from the paperback romance boxes) a quarter apiece, I could stock up on fun reads aplenty. Most are still in the apartment unread, but I did read Dedication (you knew I'd get there eventually, right?) a few weeks ago.

Decent, but I fear McLaughlin and Kraus may always suffer from the fact that they'll never write another Nanny Diaries. Dedication was pretty good, a fun read ... but I felt like I was meant to empathize with Kate a lot more than I did. Wondering about an old flame, especially if he's gone off and become famous? No personal experience but I can imagine how it might work. But the degree to which it's become an obsession, and to which it's been The Only Thing Jake seems to have written about over the years? Not feeling it. Worth what I paid for it, I guess, but not really funny or moving enough to keep it on my shelf long-term.

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