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Posts tagged ‘judy blume’

Margaret Gets Her Menopause

It’s been more than two years since I undertook the most daunting literary experience I’ve gone through on 101 Books.

Was it Infinite Jest? A daunting experience, indeed. Nope. Was it my year-long read of A Dance To The Music Of Time? That was also brutal. But, no, that’s not it either.

My most daunting experience since starting 101 Books has been reading Judy Blume’s Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. That book challenged this 37-year-old man in ways I never knew I could be challenged.

Let’s just briefly recap one of the critical passages from Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret:

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101 Books: The Movie

If you will, imagine with me:

A man, mid-thirties, brown hair, sits on a couch. In his hands, he holds Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret with a mild expression of pain and discomfort on his face. He looks puzzled. The soft sounds of a SportsCenter anchor eminate in the background.

A 3-year-old boy runs past, pushing a plastic lawnmower out of which the lower torso of an upside-down Buzz Lightyear pertrudes from the plastic gas tank.

The man’s lovely wife, now seven months pregnant, asks the man if he will bring a laundry basket downstairs. He replies, “Honey, can’t you see I’m reading Judy Blume here?”

[Fade to black.]

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Repost: Book #15: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

I’m taking my annual week-long summer hiatus this week, which means this is a “Best of 101 Books” week.  I’ll return live on Monday July 8.

Today’s post originally appeared on the blog on April 4, 2011.

Unspeakable things happen in a labor and delivery room. I’ve been there. I’ve seen it. With my eyes.

June 16, 2010 was the day my wife and I welcomed our first child into the world, a little boy. On that day, I was certain, absolutely certain, that I would never again–or at least until we have a second child–experience what it means to be a woman like that.  Lights. Voices. Blood. Fluids. Apparatuses. God only knows what else.

This whole giving birth thing is pretty intense, I thought.  I could never do that. Thank God for women.

So I thought I had pretty much experienced the essence of womanhood. But, oh no. Dear Lord, no. Thanks to Judy Blume’s epic tale, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, I learned that there’s much more to being a woman than childbirth.

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Revisiting 2011: Book #15: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

This week, I’m revisiting some of my favorite posts from 2011 while I take a one-week break from writing and simply focus on reading and spending time with my family. This post was originally published on April 4, 2011. 101 Books will return live on Monday January 2. See you then!

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Unspeakable things happen in a labor and delivery room. I’ve been there. I’ve seen it. With my eyes.

June 16, 2010 was the day my wife and I welcomed our first child into the world, a little boy. On that day, I was certain, absolutely certain, that I would never again–or at least until we have a second child–experience what it means to be a woman like that.  Lights. Voices. Blood. Fluids. Apparatuses. God only knows what else.

This whole giving birth thing is pretty intense, I thought.  I could never do that. Thank God for women.

So I thought I had pretty much experienced the essence of womanhood. But, oh no. Dear Lord, no. Thanks to Judy Blume’s epic tale, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, I learned that there’s much more to being a woman than childbirth.

Read more

Repost: One Old Guy’s Approach To Reading Judy Blume

This week, we bring you “101 Books’ Greatest Hits.” Today’s post was originally published on March 30, 2011. Revisit my experience reading a Judy Blume book–uncomfortable, indeed. 101 Books returns live on Monday.

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When you’re a 35-year-old guy, you don’t just walk into a Starbucks carrying a Judy Blume book, do you?

Well, I don’t. That’s just weird. And awkward. And downright creepy.

As I mentioned in my post about finding time to read, I do a lot of my reading at lunch. So whatever book I am reading becomes my tag-along for a week or two, or whatever length of time I take to read it.

Now, that’s usually not much of a problem at all, unless I’m carrying around a book with a 12-year-old girl’s painted toenails on the front cover.

Here's a guy that just might read Judy Blume books in public. (Meddy Garnet/Flickr)

So I had to come up with a reading strategy for this book. Here were my options:

Bad Options

The Creepy Guy in Public: An old guy walks into a Panera Bread towing a copy of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. He sits down at a table, next to a soccer mom and her young daughter. The daughter, after noticing said book, comments to her mom: “Look, mommy, I have the same book that strange man is reading.” The mother quickly grabs her daughter’s arm and moves to the other side of the restaurant, far away from this weird man who reads books for young girls.

The Creepy Guy in Private: What’s creepier than an old guy reading a Judy Blume book in public? How about an old guy reading a Judy Blume book in his “man cave,” by himself, at night, in his pajamas, under a faint lamplight? Need I say more?

Better Options

The Audio Book: Every Saturday, the old guy (that’s me) takes a long morning run through the neighborhood. This Saturday, he’s got an 11-miler. While jogging, he could listen to the incriminating book while all the neighbors think he’s jamming to the tunes of Pearl Jam and Kings of Leon. Genius.

The Digital Reader: Yes, the old guy has admitted his disdain toward digital readers. But, in this instance, maybe they would serve a wonderful purpose. He could download the incriminating book and read it at lunch, at home–wherever. And no one would ever know! He’d have to keep them at an arm’s length, though. Who wants strangers seeing an old guy reading about menstruation cycles? That’s a lose-lose situation for everyone.

The moral of the story: Old guys shouldn’t read Judy Blume books unless they have 12-year-old daughters or are reading through some ridiculous 101 book project.

That said, I went with the “Creepy Guy in Private” strategy. Yeah, it was obviously the worst one, but I had already ordered the book via Amazon, and I didn’t want to cough up more dollars for an audio or Kindle version. I made sure to leave all the lights in the house on and made sure my wife was nearby in case I passed out from reading certain detailed and uncomfortable passages.

At least this 35-year-old guy now feels enlightened, although a little creepy.

Have you ever read a book that made you feel a little, let’s say, uncomfortable? Do share.

Your Search Questions Answered, Volume 1

Before I start today’s post, I’ll openly admit I’m totally copying this idea from The Good Greatsby. And I like it so much, I think I’ll make a reocurring series of posts from it. I’m sure my version won’t be near as funny and insightful, but I’ll give it a try.

Here’s the deal. The cool thing about having a blog on WordPress is that you see all of the search terms that people plug into Google, Yahoo, etc to find your blog. About one-third of my daily blog traffic comes from search engines, so I always see some wacky and random questions and weird search terms pop up.

So I’ll attempt to answer these questions–in all of their unedited glory–to the best of my ability. These are actual search terms that found my blog. Let’s begin.

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Book #15: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

Unspeakable things happen in a labor and delivery room. I’ve been there. I’ve seen it. With my eyes.

June 16, 2010 was the day my wife and I welcomed our first child into the world, a little boy. On that day, I was certain, absolutely certain, that I would never again–or at least until we have a second child–experience what it means to be a woman like that.  Lights. Voices. Blood. Fluids. Apparatuses. God only knows what else.

This whole giving birth thing is pretty intense, I thought.  I could never do that. Thank God for women.

So I thought I had pretty much experienced the essence of womanhood. But, oh no. Dear Lord, no. Thanks to Judy Blume’s epic tale, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, I learned that there’s much more to being a woman than childbirth.

Read more

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