August 17th, 2011

Addenda

Addendum to Myths of the Full-Time Writer
Myth #5: If I’m free during the day, I’ll run all my errands during the quietest times in stores, banks, post offices, etc., and save tonnes of time. Nope. As it turns out, the stores and banks aren’t empty at 10am–they aren’t packed, but they are populated with another breed of people–people who are self-aware enough to know they are inefficient, annoying shoppers, and are trying to stay out of the way of the busy 9-to-5ers. These folks include people in wheelchairs and scooters (very hard to navigate in the narrow aisles of urban grocery stores, inevitably snagged on half-a-dozen things before they hit the dairy case); parents with small children (who are hard to navigate, period, and inevitably want to push their own strollers directly into the bread shelves and then stand in front of it, wailing); people who do not speak English but have a complicated transaction they need to request at the bank; shut-ins hoping for an in-depth conversation about current events with the bank teller; and people for whom simple tasks like remembering one’s PIN or selecting a yam are deeply unsettling and hard.

These people try to do us a favour by shopping at 10am, and I found that if I showed up at the grocery store also at 10am, I had to forbid myself from impatiently rolling my eyes at the lone parent completely outnumbered and overwhelmed by her children, who let them throw bananas on the floor because who could stop them. I didn’t cough aggressively at people who had *no idea* their credit cards had chips in them, and I never once glared (I don’t think) at someone who was simply standing in the middle of a crowded thoroughfare, blinking at the sky.

The daytime is for shoppers for whom efficiency is not the first priority, if indeed it’s even on the list of priorities. It’s wrong to bother those people when they try to avoid the crowded times, just like it would be wrong for them to show up at the post office at 5:30 and ask the pros and cons of bubble wrap vs. a padded envelope. You can run errands during the day if you want (I did, just to get out of the house), but it won’t save you much time.

Addendum to The Cohabitational Reading Challenge We both agree that *A Prayer for Owen Meany* falls off a bit in the second half, though I think, for a while at least, I was more dysphoric than Mark about the whole thing. I really love the high-school lit class discussions of *Tess of the D’Urbervilles* and *The Great Gatsby,* because I love a good close reading. But if you don’t, then those passages aren’t very well integrated and are too long–not good novel writing, even if good literary criticism. They exist mainly to unsubtly instruct the reader on how to read Irving’s own novel. Nick Carraway anyone? Ugh. I think Irving is a fine writer and deserving of respect, but no, not deserving of comparison with Fitzgerald. Yucky that he would suggest it, in my opinion.

In vaguely related news, I’ve ripped the cover partways off my copy, ensuring that Mark’s copy will be the one we keep. If you need a paperback of *Owen Meany* and don’t mind a ripped cover, I can get you one in about a week–for keepers!

2 Responses to “Addenda”

  • ron says:

    Never read it. Sure, I’d love a copy!

    -Ron


  • Rebecca says:

    Hi Ron!

    It’s yours–message me your address in the contact form above and I’ll send it before the end of August. Or if you are around town, I can hand it off to you at a reading or something.

    Cheers,
    RR


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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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