I don’t think I’ve told you about the first time I read Tale of Two Cities. It was Language Arts III, I think. My mom was the teacher, and she took us through it line by line as we worked to figure out what the heck the knitting women were doing and what it means to be “floppin’ again” a person.
And I don’t know how it’s possible, but I didn’t see it coming – the end I mean. So when it all came together, and we realized it was Charles Darnay in the carriage at the end and that therefore Sydney Carton had done the unspeakable – the ultimate sacrifice – I LOST IT. I burst into tears. If any teenage girl ever actually burst into tears, I did it then. I’ve never been quite so affected by any book I’ve ever read since. Lucie Manette became one of my favorite heroines, Charles Darnay the picture of manhood, and Sydney Carton the first unregenerate I ever saw redeemed.
Thus, my immediate respect for any book that references both Anne of Green Gables (oh yes it did) and Charles Darnay. And it was Sunday afternoon while that beautiful book sat untouched by my side as I attempted to work on my own novel that I decided something. I am a CRAZY PERSON. I am missing good books, great movies, and brilliant mediocre television all the time because I’m trying to create instead. I mean, People, there are plenty of other crazy ones out there adding to the books and movies on my to-be-experienced list. And I’m pretty sure I could fill every waking moment just enjoying those. (Exhibit A: The new t.v., Just imagine Pride and Prejudice on this baby.) And that’s not all. If for some reason I got to the bottom of those lists, life would provide. There’s no way I’d ever be bored. Especially with all these kids and dishes and laundry piles around. I mean, I’m set here. I’m SET.
But the thing is, the creation of Charles Darnay was pretty much brilliance all by itself without Marisa De Los Santos writing that book I’m reading in order to point it out to us. And yet she did it. Because she had some other story to tell that I’m pretty sure I’m going to thoroughly enjoy as well. And I can’t stop either. So I’m going to press on. But I just wanted to get it out there that I’m really kind of put out with myself about it.
I miss Milk Duds because I’m pretty sure they’re the food that broke my tooth one night at the movies that eventually led to the Great Drilling-a-Go-Go that recently made me wonder what Jack Daniels tastes like because I was thinking the effects of it might be the only way I’m getting back in that dentist chair EVER. So now, in light of that horrendous experience, I think it’s time to say goodbye to the candy that saw me through The Little Mermaid when we all breathed a sigh of relief that Disney. Was. Back. And Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, which led to an Everything-I-Do-by-Bryan-Adams obsession so great I used to haul my boom box into the bathroom when I took a shower lest I miss one of the three dozen times it played on the radio in any given day. While You Were Sleeping only days before I got my own “first stamp in the passport”, Steel Magnolias with my mother and a passel of other women who personified the characters in the movie, and Titanic. Three Times. And that’s not even all of them from that decade.
My only consolation? Is the Reeces Pieces. They may have just as much sugar, but they’re very easy to chew.
*the book is Love Walked In by Marisa De Los Santos