May 7th, 2008

Chick-Lit Ruined My Life

It used to be that clumsiness and ineptitude was just embarrassing, and best kept to yourself. Then Bridget Jones happened, and it was so great to have a book about being self-conscious and semi-insane over your own secret faults—someone else had written it, better and funnier than I would have, so now I didn’t have to. Then there came the strange cultishness of chick-lit, where self-obsessed ramblings came to be packaged in book form all-too-regularly without a hint of irony, or context, or humour. Women engaged in subtle self-deprecating one-downsmanship at parties, and it seemed that there was always a more glamourous way to fall off a chair than the way I was doing it.

And now it comes to this: defeated by the cello bags at the grocery store. Opening these has always been a challenge, and one day it finally proves impossible: the bag remains aggressively two-dimensional, a sheer limp sheet of cello no matter how much I try to rub, tug, and blow (sorry) it into three dimensions. Finally, I have no choice but to sidle back to the bag spinner and get a new one, nervously tucking the failed case into the tie cup. I look up, sure I’m being scrutinized, either by my bitchy blond nemesis from work, or my stand-offishly handsome grouchy boss, or perhaps a quirky cute butcher with a raised eyebrow and a penchant for clumsy girls. Or perhaps the bag stand is about to be knocked into the grapefruit display by a grocery-robber run amok and I’ll be taken hostage in a great big televised misunderstanding that all my friends will see.

But no. What actually ends up happening is that I can’t open bag number 2, either, and I have to put the bag and the loose apples separately into my basket and take the whole thing with me as a kind of long-term project, and after about five minutes in line, finally get the whole thing sorted.

What an anti-climax.

We were the high-priests / the keepers of the backbeat

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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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