Devouring Books and Shoes


Urgency Day: 490

500 Things Item 10:  The Associate by John Grisham (hardcover)

  • From my mom to Paul after she read it
  • Value: see below
  • No parting pain
  • Donate to library sale

500 Things Item 11: Brown flats

  • Purchased on sale
  • Reminder not to buy things impulsively on sale
  • Not too painful, but they are cute
  • Donate to FHF client

My mom may be the most prolific reader I know. Admittedly, as a retired person, she’s got plenty of time to devote to reading, but it’s not just the amount of time or number of books she reads that’s impressive. It’s the kind of books she reads. She loves, she devours history. Big fat biographies are her candy. It’s really very cool.

So when mom recommends a book, we pay attention.

Recently, she encouraged me to read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (I think that’s right). Of course, this isn’t a big fat biography and strictly speaking isn’t even history. But in the fashion of the best historical novels, the period details provide a fascinating backdrop that lingers and provokes curiosity well after the names of the characters have gone hazy. I am grateful for this suggestion and enthusiastically share it.

But no one bats a thousand, right mom?

Around the same time she was encouraging me to get on the hold-list at my library for the potato peel novel, she actually brought Paul a copy of John Grisham’s The Associate. High praise, indeed. She gave it to him saying she was really interested in talking about it with him. Without delay, Paul dove into a rarely chosen mass-market page-turner, eager for a bit of mainstream escapism and a good “book club” chat at the end.

We were sitting on our yellow couch when he turned the last page. Puzzled, he looked at me, then at mom sitting in a nearby chair, and asked,“Joyce, did you like this book?” In her most earnest voice, she replied, “No, I hated it! The ending was awful!”

Now my sweet husband knows he got a good deal in the mother-in-law department, but he looked pretty exasperated at that moment. “Joyce, why on earth did you want me to read this terrible book?!” “Because, sweetheart, I trust your opinion. I wanted to know if it really was as bad as I thought it was. I mean, it’s a John Grisham book!”

The purveyors of brand name products everywhere smile smugly.

Item 11: Brown Shoes: I can hear the collective (mostly) female sigh.

I have the shoe-thing. Not at Imelda Marcos levels (now I’m dating myself) but bad enough. I firmly and unfortunately believe that the perfect outfit can be absolutely ruined by the wrong shoes. And there are certain whole categories of shoes that call to me:

  • Summer wedges
  • Strappy black sandals
  • Tall suede boots
  • Brown flats

They call to me, incessantly. I’m working on specialized ear muffs.

The pair I’m parting with is hopefully going to fit my Families Helping Families client. She also has size 6 1/2 feet and a shoe-thing. Recently, she gave me a great pair of mid-calf, chocolate brown leather boots with The Cutest silver buckle. She said her feet have changed size since having her son, and these just don’t fit right anymore. She got lots of commiseration on that sad fact. But I love them! And that made her happy.

It just proves, you can’t always be at the receiving end.

She will be starting a new job soon, and I think a cute like-new pair of espresso brown flats may put the perk in her employed-again step.



One Response to “Devouring Books and Shoes”

  1. sydney Says:

    Let’s remember to talk about the Guernsey book, which was recommended to me by my own mother! We enjoyed pinpointing where we thought one writer’s voice ended, and the other began. I very much enjoyed the portrayal of island life during the war, and the stories of the islanders. I’d never considered that part of England was occupied by the Germans, silly me!

    I love Joyce so much.

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