Maybe love was a myth anyhow, a brew of hormones and fantasy, evolution's way of getting men and women together long enough for them to procreate, back in the day when girls got pregnant at twelve, were pregnant or nursing for the next twenty years, and were dead of the plague by forty.
The girl, Gary's girl... would keep bowls of Hershey's Kisses on the coffee table, and she'd decorate the house for all the big holidays and most of the small ones. Probably she'd be class mother, and PTA president, and she'd deliver meals to the elderly once a month. In bed, she'd be exuberant, and would take it as an endorsement when Gary sweated all over her.
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Rose leaned against the bathroom door. Here it was - her real life, the truth of who she was, barreling down on her like a bus with bad brakes. Here was the truth - she wasn't the kind of person Jim could fall in love with. She wasn't what she'd made herself out to be - a cheerful, uncomplicated girl, a normal girl with a happy, orderly life, a girl who wore pretty shoes and had nothing more pressing on her mind that whether ER was a rerun this week. The truth was in the exercise tape she didn't have time to unwrap, let alone exercise to; the truth was her hairy legs and ugly underwear. Most of all, the truth was her sister, her gorgeous, messed-up, fantastically unhappy and astoundingly irresponsible sister.
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Cram your head with characters and stories. Abuse your library privileges. Never stop looking at the world, and never stop reading to find out what sense other people have made of it. If people give you a hard time and tell you to get your nose out of a book, tell them you're working. Tell them it's research. Tell them to pipe down and leave you alone.
I've learned a lot this year.. I learned that things don't always turn our the way you planned, or the way you think they should. And I've learned that there are things that go wrong that don't always get fixed or get put back together the way they were before. I've learned that some broken things stay broken, and I've learned that you can get through bad times and keep looking for better ones, as long as you have people who love you.
Maybe love was a myth anyhow, a brew of hormones and fantasy, evolution's way of getting men and women together long enough for them to procreate,back in the day when girls got pregnant at twelve, were pregnant or nursing for the next twenty years, and were dead of the plague by forty.
I think every person who is single should have a dog. I think the government should step in and intervene: If you're not married or coupled up, whether you've been dumped or divorced or widowed or whatever, they should require you to proceed immediately to the pound nearest you and select an animal companion.
Addie, please." More tears dripped down her cheeks. "Don't be so hard." "Oh, please," I muttered...and that was as far as I got. 'You broke my heart' were the words that had risen to my mouth, but I couldn't say them. That was what you said to a boyfriend, a lover, not your best friend. She'd laugh. And I'd had enough of being laughed at. I'd worked hard to get to a place where it didn't happen anymore, where I didn't move through life like a walking target, where it was just me and my paints and brushes and my big empty bed every night. "You weren't a good friend," I said instead.
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I could have told him that nothing was safe and that no matter how careful you were and how hard you tried, there were still accidents, hidden traps, and snares. You could get killed on an airplane or crossing the street. Your marriage could fall apart when you weren't looking; your husband could lose his job; our baby could get sick or die.
I think it's a very old and deep-seated double standard that holds that when a man writes about family and feelings, it's literature with a capital L, but when a woman considers the same topics, it's romance, or a beach book - in short, it's something unworthy of a serious critic's attention.
This is the meanest thing anyone's ever done to me," I said, through my tear-clogged throat. "I want you to know that." But even as the words were leaving my mouth, I knew it wasn't true. In the grand, historical scheme of things, my father leaving us was doubtlessly worse. Which is one of the many things that sucked about my father?? he forever robbed me of the possibility of telling another man, This is the worst thing that's ever happened to me, and meaning it.
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It's as if the fasion designers decided that once a woman hit a certain weight, she'd have no need for business suits, for skirts and blazers, for anything except glorified sweatsuits, and they tried to apologize for dressing us like overaged Teletubbies by silk-screening daisies on the tops.
Okay, I thought. Here you are. You are here. And you move forward because that's the way it works; that's the only place u can go. You keep going until it stops hurting, or until you find new things to hurt you worse, I guess. And that is the human condition, all of us lurching along in our own private miseries, because that's the way it is. Because, I guess, God didn't give us any choice. You grow up, I remembered Abigail telling me. You learn.
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This is so much harder than I ever thought it would be...because the thing is, even if you're just working part-time, your boss is going to expect a full week's worth of work, no matter how understanding she is. That's just the nature of the working world-things have to get done, babies or not. And if you're like me-if you're like any woman who ever did well in school and did well at her job-you don't want to disappoint a boss. And you want to do a good job raising your baby...It's not like you think it's going to be
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As the days piled up into weeks, and the weeks turned into months, and fall slid into winter, I realized one of the great truths about tragedy: You can dream of disappearing. You can wish for oblivion, for endless sleep or the escape of fiction, of walking into a river with your pockets full of stones, of letting the dark water close over your head. But if you've got kids, the web of the world holds you close and wraps you tight and keeps you from falling no matter how badly you think you want to fall.
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They wouldn't have believed me, and if they had they would have wanted me to explain. And I had no explanation, no answers. When you're on a battleground, you don't have the luxury of time to dwell on the various historical factors and sociopolitical influences that caused the war. You just keep your head down and try to survive it, to shove the pages back in the book, close the covers and pretend that nothing's broken, nothing's wrong.
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She thought of what it would be like to grow up without the one certainty that every baby deseved - when I'm hurt or cold or scared, someone will come and care for me - and how that absence could warp you so that you'd lash out at the people you loved, driving them away when all you wanted to do was pull them closer.
I decided.. that I could go on being scared forever, that I could keep walking, that I could carry my rage around, hot and heavy in my chest forever. But maybe there was another way. You have everything you need, my mother had told me. And maybe all I needed was the courage to admit that what I needed was someone to lean on.
I wished that my job was baking muffins in a muffin shop, where all I'd have to do was crack eggs and measure flour and make change, and nobody could abuse me, and where they'd even expect me to be fat. Every flab roll and cellulite crinkle would serve as testimony to the excellence of my baked goods
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