Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Snotty Question

"What are you reading?" 

This is considered a rude question in my original family.

Why rude, you ask?

It has been used as a weapon in the past.

My wicked little sister asked this question to my husband-to-be when I first brought him to meet the fam.

It was obvious my blue collar, black finger nail fiance was no reader.  He was rough.  Rugged.  Tattooed.  Sported a shaved head and an enormous chip on his shoulder.

I found him in Provo, Ut.  He paved roads for a living and pretended to attend the community college.

I was a snotty junior attending the private and prestigious BYU.  I drove a red Porsche 944.

My sister, Coral, was disgusted with my choice.  She found it incongruent with her expectations.

She wanted me to marry my boyfriend of three years who desired to be a writer when he grew up.  But that long time boyfriend was far away in Poland serving a 2 year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I still feel badly about the Dear John I sent all those years ago...

"What are you reading?" was the question on Coral's lips at Mr. Pistol's first dinner with my book nerd family.

All eyes were on the future Mr. Pistol.

He stammered.  He stuttered.  His eyes shifted from me to my evil sister in a confused fashion.

"Well, I... read a lot of magazines..." came his reply.  He read weight lifting mags and my brother dubbed him "The Circus Strong Man."

The discomfort at the table was palpable.  Coral's narrowed eyes held a victorious gleam.  Her lips were upturned in a smug hint of a smile.  I wanted to kill her.

Since that time my husband has come to understand the importance of reading as a basic survival tool. He reads now. In addition, I read classics to him as bedtime stories and during long road trips.

My husband is also the very first in his family to have earned a college degree.  Quite an accomplishment.

He doesn't join my siblings and I in impromptu book discussions for the sheer principle of the thing.  We are book snobs.  Some of us worse than others.  Michelle is the most discerning.  In her humble opinion, if Dickens did not write it it must be tripe.

Guess what though?

My lovely and once conniving Coral has recently married.

Her new husband came to meet our lovely and now accepting family for Christmas.  (The refiner's fire has made us all for more grateful and loving than previously.)

My mother generally raised the fateful question at the dinner table,

"What are you reading?"

It was not, this time, directed toward the newest family member, Ray.  We all now know the cruelty in this inquiry when one is caught unawares.

We discussed books and authors until our husbands' eyes had glazed over completely.  Ray and Mr. Pistol were in the same boat.  Nice to have you aboard, my friend.

I've heard tale that Coral is reading the classics to Ray as he works on fancy classic cars in the garage. Classic. :)

Soon Ray will be confident and prepared to answer,

"What are you reading?"

I need a new book.  I'd like your suggestions.

I'm in dire need of a fluffy, fun romantic book and will make my heart race but not too fast... Let's keep this PG-13).  I want to laugh, grin like a fool and maybe even cry a bit. And I don't want to have to think too hard with this one.

Whatcha got?

And to answer the question, What are you reading?  I will share I am reading the following,

Fahrenheit 451  -I listen to this in the car as I run errands and on the way to work. I love it.  I am obsessed!

Oliver Twist-  I read this in the bathtub a little at a time every night.  It inspires me to adopt a child every time I pick it up.  I'm not kidding.

I Am Number Four- I am reading this for a book club.  It's not my first choice.  I don't really dig alien invasion books much.  I do a big deep sigh every time I pick it up.

Scripture-  Right before bed to center myself.  Stay in tune with God.  Not lose my ever lovin' mind.  Remember why I'm Here in the first place.

I need a fluffy book!