karen's Reviews > Outside Beauty

Outside Beauty by Cynthia Kadohata
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May 06, 2011

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bookshelves: why-yes-i-ya, thanks-for-prezzies
Read on May 06, 2011


as i review yet another book about spectacularly irresponsible parenting!! like Lullabies for Little Criminals, these four girls grow up with a parent blissfully ignoring their parental responsibilities in order to live in some sort of hedonistic wonderland. in lullabies, the relationship was drug-addled romping, where the two of them behaved like children together until it all came tumbling down. this book is less dangerous than that, but helen kimura isn't going to win any parenting awards...

she is like a less vengeful miss havisham,training her girls to be sex-bombs to be able to live a life of leisure and not have to have a job and still get expensive jewelry, but she isn't plotting anyone's destruction, she's just teaching her girls how to be perfect and beautiful; so they will be successful in life. awesome. did i mention that she has four daughters by four different men?? now, i'm not saying she is LGM or anything, this is only important as a plot point, because they are all feverishly devoted to one another in their little estrogen-hive, until SOMETHING HAPPENS, and they get scattered to the winds, each having to go to her own father's house, and how this affects their close-knittedness and their understanding of the broader world.

there are a number of reasons i don't have kids. and one of these reasons is that i don't do anything half-assed. and if i was going to have a kid, i would be, you know, involved in its life, to raise it into a courteous and useful human. and frankly, i don't have time for that.

but it doesn't stop other people from breeding.

yesterday at work - in the bookstore - we had a concert from noon (jasmine says 9) to 7 of young precocious children and their violins and pianos and shit. the music part was fine, but when each child finished its performance (and please do that math - seven ten hours of performances equals a shit-ton of kids) they were just let loose onto the floor, like some musical catch-and-release program, unsupervised, running and yelling and throwing themselves under tables and laying down in front of shelves, not caring about being respectful towards the music of their peers. i saw two little boys, about seven years old, carrying a very expensive photography book of nudes between the two of them, like in one of those cartoons where people carry panes of glass out in public and you just know it is going to end badly, running and grinning about the chance to look at illicit boobies in public like a couple of old perverts and barreling into customers with this very expensive book(oh, yes, the store remained open throughout this debacle) and where were the parents?? of any of 'em?? no one knows. we took turns yelling at other people's kids all day. and i don't get hazard pay for this kinda day - they just expect me to do my job on top of everything else.is hard to be me.

so on this mother's day, don't be a junkie and think that being a best friend is the same as being a parent. don't pick up hitchhikers when you have a car full of your daughters and you are running away from your latest insane boyfriend, don't think that just 'cuz your kid can play a sonata or two that they know how to behave themselves during a bookstore-concert.

make me some better adults, please.
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Comments (showing 1-27 of 27) (27 new)

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message 1: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine the concert started at 9am actually

karen seriously? holy shit - they told me noon. we opened early for that shit??

message 3: by Jasmine (last edited May 08, 2011 08:26AM) (new)

Jasmine the little book says 10, but they were here and there was an adult playing long before we ever opened.

I almost tripped over a couple running through fiction when I was trying to do upstocks at like 9:30

karen even after they left i could feel them there and hear their shrieks...

message 5: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine yeah fucking awful.

message 6: by Max (new)

Max Renn word.

message 7: by Bill (new)

Bill yeah, that kind of thing drives me crazy...you go out to a restaurant for dinner and little kids are either screaming their heads off, or are allowed to wander around to other people's tables, and the parents just sit there completely oblivious. i never got away with that kind of shit when i was a kid, believe me!

message 8: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine i feel like one of the rules of being a parent should be being smart enough to know the fact you can ignore your children doesn't mean they aren't pissing off everyone else in the room

karen it is hard for a kid who is reading to make noise. give your kids books...

message 10: by Bill (new)

Bill amen to that!!

message 11: by Miriam (new)

Miriam And don't bring your kids wine-tasting.

message 12: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Now you see why I drank chamomile tea Karen. lol.

karen and why i hoard painkillers.

message 14: by Courtney (new)

Courtney oh yeah. but the chamomile tea didn't work. i was still mildly agitated. damn you chamomile tea.

message 15: by Nicole (new)

Nicole At my Borders, some kids from a nearby swanky boarding school used to come on a FIELD TRIP one Friday night a month. Zero adult supervision. I say kids but I guess maybe they were about high school age. They would linger in the sex and erotica section, throw books around, make out in the stacks, share one coupon between 30 of them, and oh god the yelling.

And I wasn't allowed to throw them out.

I think there should be a support group for booksellers/librarians who have been scarred by children in this way.

karen yeah, we host a ton of bookfairs and field trips. they love manga, gay fiction, and boobies. very broad tastes.

they never go to the math section.

message 17: by Nicole (new)

Nicole We had a lot of nerds in that group. Not even the physics section was safe.

karen god, we never get any nerds....

karen hahaahahahaa - but you are grown!we get plenty of grown nerds! but i can't wait anyway!

message 20: by Jen (new)

Jen karen wrote: "it is hard for a kid who is reading to make noise. give your kids books..."

I agree.

message 21: by Laima (new) - added it

Laima karen wrote: "it is hard for a kid who is reading to make noise. give your kids books..."

I completely agree! That will not only keep them quiet but they will do so much better in school in the long run.

message 22: by Midnight (new)

Midnight At least you don't have to go to school with these kids i have to deal with this everyday! and i am one of them. ugh i hate my age group. -_-

karen hahahahahaa

message 24: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Midnight wrote: "At least you don't have to go to school with these kids i have to deal with this everyday! and i am one of them. ugh i hate my age group. -_-"

That's how I felt. Even in college, mostly :(

message 25: by Midnight (new)

Midnight darn it. I was hoping that they would be more mature in college. :/

message 26: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Well, there's a larger minority of mature and/or interesting people.

Make sure the college of your choice does not appear on any lists that include the word "party" or "alcohol".

message 27: by Midnight (new)

Midnight hehe got it. :P

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