Tag Archives: literature

A moment of senseless snobbery, with Laura Jane

I’m reading a book called The Lace Reader by a woman named Brunonia Barry.

First off: Brunonia???  Sweet fancy Seinfeld, I hope that’s a family name.

Second: The premise of the book *seems* intriguing.  It’s supposedly about a family of women who can read futures by dangling a bit of lace in front of someone’s face, squinting their eyes and seeing shapes and stuff.  Supposedly.

I see two lawn gnomes doing a russian folk dance. Wait no, I see Darth Vader in ballet sllippers.

But I’m 137 pages in to this puppy and THERE’S BEEN NO READING OF LACE.  I’m a third of the way through the book and I’m still wading through exposition.

Painful, monotonous exposition.
And the dialogue (FOR THE LOVE OF JUSTIN BIEBER) is killing me.  At one point, I had to rest the book on my lap and massage my temples in a fit of literary despair.  My critique at that juncture was (and I quote) “I’ve read more intriguing dialogue in Harlequin novels.” Of which I’ve read, approximately 3.  Out of curiosity.  I swear.

I was going to make a snarky comment about how I could come up with a better tagline....but then...I couldn't.

So, I hopped on Goodreads.com.  I went to see if there were any other reviews of this book that could tell me whether I should stick it out or ditch the paper brick.  The VERY FIRST review was a one star review by (and you’re going to love this) a woman who writes Harlequin novels.  But wait, there’s more:  She’s an author of Harlequin novels who does Tarot card readings for her characters.


Of course, I had to ask her to be my friend.

I’m still undecided about The Lace Reader.  There are so many other books to read in the world.  But I hate putting down a book once I’ve started it.  I’ll let you know what I decide.  I know you’re sitting on pins and needles about this one.


Years ago, a friend and I had an inside joke.  He’d seen a T-shirt that had the letters “EGBOK” on it.  He asked the person what EGBOK meant, and they said it stood for “Everything’s Gonna Be OK.”

Wow did we spend a lot of time laughing at this terribly naive person who was clearly delusional and out of touch with the tragedies and unpredictabilty of life.

(Friend, if you’re reading this now, you know who you are.  And there are no hard feelings here, just personal realizations, and you are a part of this story, and there’s love for you :) )

But the problem was

(and I think you’re going to think this is funny, if you read my previous post)

that up until my friend thought that was funny…I was the kind of person who believed that everything would


be OK. 

And I didn’t want to seem naive or stupid to him.  And that changed a part of who I was: wrapping my brain around the fact that maybe… just maybe everything *wouldn’t* be ok.  In fact… that it probably


almost definitely

it would NOT be ok.

That inside joke… which wasn’t such a joke in the end, changed me.  Changed how I saw the world, and what I took out of certain situations. It changed what I thought about God.  It changed my relationship with everyday events.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot more about life.  I’ve learned that the person wearing that shirt may not have been as naive as we thought.  I’ve learned a lot more about God and what I’ve learned is that no, not everything is going to be our version of OK. 

But sometimes it is. 

And usually, OK is in the eye of the beholder.

We can’t go through life expecting things to not be ok. 

So, I’ve been trying to rewire my brain. 

And for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been focusing on the awesome.

I’ve been needing to complain less and focus on the awesome more.

And I found evidence – cold hard facts – that my attitude shift is working.  I just took a look through the pictures I’ve taken over this time and … it’s kind of awesome. Instead of pictures like this from before:

I’ve been taking screenshots of funny “Damn You Autocorrect!” moments which become a part of NEW inside jokes with friends,

and pictures from when I got excited finding out there is a freezer version of my favorite traditional Danish pancakes at Trader Joe’s (Okay, but for reals, abelskeever were a part of my growing up. This kicks incredible amounts of ass.),

and pictures of bowls full of melty butter and sugar and chocolate,

and sweet orange peel pie crusts,

that combined forces and became a chocolate pecan pie.

I took pictures of gin bottles that got turned in to flower vases,

and of myself trying on new eyeglasses after I stepped on my old ones, (see!  I’m smiling! Kinda!)

and pictures of hail and sunshine at the same time which is one of God’s truly nifty magic tricks (even though you can’t really see it in this picture, believe me, the hail was awesome),

and of spaghettipuppies who curl up in soft blankets,

and fresh mushrooms and herbs that became delicious soup,

and a seriously awesome book title that could be poetry in and of itself,

and pictures of my amazing sister who got to visit for a week and got us hooked on cheesy TV shows and made us meatballs.

And sure, these are little things, but they are awesome little things.  Big things are just billions of little things clumped together.

I’m excited to keep cataloging the awesome.  Because if I spend the next 20 years expecting things to not be OK,

they won’t be.