“Considering how anti-intellectual most of the world has become, how blissfully ignorant of world history, it’s incredible to see the insatiable appetite we still possess for old objects. It’s as if people no longer wish to understand the past, but still ache to touch it or own it.” (114)
“Reunion is the opposite of protection; it’s confrontation. It’s renovation. And we both require helmets and gloves.” (61)
“On a basic level, people don’t want you to be able to cope. They want to pity you, feel sorry for you, have you turn your skin out for their view.” (164)
“But, as with any breakup, I want to be clear on who is leaving whom.” (137-8)
this one is a good one to end the year with, as i can really identify with the sentiment of surrogate mothers only being charitable as long as you’re no trouble, but as soon as it gets messy, or you think you’re safe enough to reveal yourself-they’re out. it’s cool, because surrogate daughters are, too. but relationships work for as long as they do, and then they don’t. sometimes, they cycle back. but don’t hold your breath.
it’s also a good one to start the year with because it’s been on my list of things to do now, this whole finding my mother bizness. or at least reconciling somewhat so that i can move on. i like this one because it’s a story of how the “closure” doesn’t work out very well at all, but the daughter was probably better off before.
“…A woman who lives her emotional life through projection is not the kind of woman who will make you fall in love.” (244)
“My mother’s gift to me was accepting me to come; my gift to her now is staying.” (235)
“My mother’s soliloquies reek of so much hyperbole that it would be naive of me to take her word for truth.” (129)
“…my mother lives in love, but always one step removed, like an expatriate who never relinquishes citizenship.” (69)
“Talking. Talking. Her talking is a form of torture. If I endure, can I too claim martyrdom?” (112)
is it out of line to put on a dating profile that you’re looking for someone whose family is dead? desperately seeking orphans..but seriously though, it’s easy to romanticize the parent who left and demonize the one who stayed, because their faults and failures are real. but what if the one that bounced turns out to be a jerk, too. what then?
“And I would hug my deteriorating father, clinging to him as if he were a life jacket, not a discarded hole-ridden unfixable raft.” (66)
“Phantom dreams as achingly futile as phantom limbs.” (146)
“Or perhaps we need to face the fact that some dreams are meant to die.” (254)
i read this months after i saw the author talk about it at the north york central branch of the library and i have to give it up to her for so graciously taking the offensive and presumptive (don’t know if i just did a president bush/shaq word there) comments from the audience in attendance that night. do people just not know that they don’t have the right to say such things? or that they’re being hurt-full and just plain rude? no home training? too much anthropology? i’m just saying-i’ma box someone if i get any shit in a q&a-i’ll be ready to fight like some ’90s knicks. charles oakley and anthony mason-i was looking for your socks this past weekend. no avail. but hopefully you’ll be kicking around for all-star weekend. i’ll be checking for you.