what i learned from this book / promises to my daughters, who are far too young to read this review and far too smart to ever misread ethan frome
1. repression is not the answer. i will not move to idaho and sell vitamin-infused drinks. i will not marry a man who is as weak-spirited as i am and i will not let either one of us convince the other that accepting a blond jesus as our personal lord and savior is the answer to loving and fulfilling life. i will not accept self-help gurus as my personal lord and savior. i will not put the responsibility of my personal happiness on anyone else and i will not selfishly cast aside the ones i love in order to find myself. oh hell to the no.
2. i will not read a book written by aforementioned self-help guru, move to utah, learn how to rock climb, abandon my daughter(s) in her junior year, just as she begins the most important romantic relationship of her still-young life.
3. if my best friend ever calls me and informs me that she plans on blowing up a poodle, i will act quickly and decisively.
4. i will never let my daughters date anyone whose last name is also a holiday.
5. i will let my mother buy the girls proper underwear and shoes that fit, if i feel that i am somehow incapable of handling such a task myself.
6. if my daughter tells me that she is planning on spending the day working on a research paper about an obscure explorer who drowned for the third time in one year, i will ground her ass, knowing full well this is code for "i'm off to lose my virginity."
7. i will not let my daughters misinterpret any great work of literature as "this is a sign from above that i should have sex! now!" because that, i'm sorry, is just stupid.
8. when having "the talk" with my girls, i will reiterate that solid relationships cannot be founded on lies. and that there's nothing shameful about drinking apple juice and being a total spazz.
9. i will get trained on how to deal with both aggressive and defensive bears in the wilderness. just in case.
10. i will not be a crazy bitch. i will NEVER suggest that we "blow up" someone who has hurt our feelings/blown up our stuffed poodle with a firecracker and then spell out the word PRETEND so that the other people in the room don't think i'm homicidal. i will not push my kids down a hill in a sled so that they are forced to come to grips with their bad decision making and confront literally their mistaken metaphoric reading of "Ethan Frome". i will not leave my girls home alone on any major holidays and i will not confuse playing "Password" as foreplay.
11. if i ever write a book, i will not leave it open-ended and inconclusive so that the reader can choose the ending they see fit. in their heads. because that shit will not fly. no, no, it will not fly.