And Then I Stepped in Gum . . .

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

A Good, Old-Fashioned Vent

Dave, don't read this. I'm not pissed at you, but I am pissed.

Next week, Alexander McCall Smith is coming to town. He wrote the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, which I read and really enjoyed. I can't imagine that internationally renowned bestselling authors come to Mobile all that often. I've been looking forward to going to the talk he's giving at the local library (just down the block!) for about two months, ever since I heard about it. I made my mom send back my copy of the first book in the series so I could get it autographed.

Lately, I've been reading Cry, the Beloved Country and enjoying that also (well, I was, until I reached page 192 and it skipped to page 129, right in the middle of the crucial trial, because of a misplaced signature -- I still have to get to Barnes & Noble to rectify this). Between this book, set in South Africa in the 1940s, and the Precious Ramotswe series, set in Botswana, I'm getting a feel for a foreign continent about which I know almost exactly nothing. I've been very interested in issues of race and white paternalism in African countries. I'm especially intrigued by the fact that both of these authors, Alexander McCall Smith and Alan Paton, are white men writing about black or "native" African culture. Are they representing it accurately, or are their descriptive and narrative efforts affected by not belonging to the society they are illustrating? How would/have native/black Africans relate or react to these books? I don't know if I have the nerve to confront McCall Smith with accusations of racist paternalism in a book talk setting, but maybe someone will bring it up.

Well, now I may not get a chance to find out. Dave has been suddenly ordered to NY to do some filming at Brookhaven National Lab and Cold Spring Harbor Lab -- our old stomping grounds. Never mind that he's gotten to go away twice in the last couple of months, leaving me doing the single parent thing (though I admit, this is less daunting these days than it has been in the past). Never mind that he gets to fly on an airplane, alone, reading books and magazines and dozing, something he and I were just fantasizing about the other night in the hot tub. Never mind that he can't even think of anyone he wants to visit, right there where we used to live, and I would love to get together with a couple of my friends. But the trip overlaps with the book talk! So unless I find a babysitter, I don't get to go. And we don't exactly have a babysitter yet, though I have a couple of leads. I guess I'll be hunting those down. I'm just so pissed that something I've planned for and looked forward to for so long, something that's really important to me, is getting shafted because of a last-minute thing.

There is a lunch that day, during which I would have childcare, but it's downtown and costs $25. I may go anyway, if I can find the contact info, because it would be easier (and maybe even cheaper) than finding a babysitter. But damn! I really wanted to go to this library talk!

That's it. I don't know if I feel better for venting or not. But I've got to go straighten up a bit before our new nanny's first day. Cross your fingers it works out, and remind me to blog about filling out the nanny application and struggling to resist the urge to channel Jane and Michael Banks.

1 comment(s):

TKG says:
I am going to have to be blunt here about your plight. The hot tub thing - even if the irony was intentional (which, since it's you, I'm supposing it is) -- leaves the reader no choice but to say, out loud, "Hot tub! She's in a hot tub fantasizing about being on an airplane?" And said reader loses all sympathy for said plight.

Anyway, I'm glad it worked out. And I hope the nanny has rosy cheeks and no warts.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:50 PM  

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