Tuesday, April 04, 2023


WWW. WEDNESDAY asks three questions to prompt you to speak bookishly. To participate, and to see how other book lovers responded, click here

PS I can no longer participate in WWW.WEDNESDAY via that link because her blog won't accept Blogger comments. I mention this only to save you the frustration I experienced trying to link up.

1. What are you currently reading? Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry. This memoir was published to tremendous media attention last fall. The blitz made me almost afraid to read it. I was concerned that it would dampen my enjoyment of Friends. As Chandler might say: Could I love the show more? Could Matthew Perry be a bigger part of it? But I needn't have worried. There really isn't that much detail about Friends in this memoir. 

It is, however, sad and breathtaking so far. Sad in all he endured as he battles addiction, breathtaking in its honesty and self-revelation.

2. What did you recently finish reading?Madam President by Nicolle Wallace.  Our first woman President, Charlotte Kramer, is in her second term. Her first was marked by marital and family scandal, and she has hopes that her last four years will be have less personal drama so she can do her best and make real change for the American people. No such luck. Just as she begins to move confidently forward, the country is attacked by terrorists.*

This is political chick-lit, and I love it. President Kramer is surrounded by smart, powerful women. Melanie Kingston is her Secretary of Defense. Dale Smith is her Press Secretary. As they efficiently shape domestic and foreign policy, they deal with (respectively) a disinterested husband, a high-risk pregnancy, and a suitor who is too ready for marriage. They also compare/contrast Eileen Fisher and Jil Sander, weekend at Camp David, and attend a Sondheim production at the Kennedy Center. 

Nicolle Wallace is my fantasy Republican BFF. She worked in the George W. Bush White House and her insider knowledge shows. She's also spent a decade in TV and she knows that world, too. She cleverly imagines what the world would be like if Regis and Kelly had moved from daytime to evening to become "serious" network news anchors. (She changed the names, but it's Regis and Kelly, and it's wickedly funny.)

3. What will read next? The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene. Yes, I'm revisiting the first Nancy Drew book! Country Dew said she'd reread them recently, and I'm following her lead.

*That would be foreign terrorists. This book was published in Spring 2016, before anyone could even imagine MAGA nutjobs attacking the Capitol. Oh, I'm sorry. Do you actually believe 138 police officers were injured during a routine tourist visit?


Turns out I'm not Mary after all

I grew up on Mary Tyler Moore. First as Laura Petrie, then as Mary Richards, she represented everything I aspired to be, thought I should be, believed I was. Caring friend and coworker, competent, on time, kind and nice. The one you never have to worry about. However, unlike Mary/Laura, I'm a slob. (In that way, my sitcom doppelganger is Oscar Madison.)

Also, unlike Mary/Laura, I don't want a best friend dropping in at all hours. Mary had Rhoda, who lived upstairs. Laura had Millie, right next door. Many times, on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda would drop in as soon as she heard Mary was home from work. On The Dick Van Dyke Show, Millie was always coming over to gossip over coffee or compare notes on the carpool. 

No thank you. I would hate that. First of all, I'm a slob and my home is not visitor-ready at all hours (OK, it's never ready). Secondly, I value my alone time. Too much perhaps. I've learned since covid lockdown that just because something is comfortable doesn't mean it's good for me. 

Which leads me to Elaine. I think she wants to be my Rhoda or Millie. Or, since she's just a couple years older than me and likely grew up on MTM, too, maybe she wants me to be her Rhoda or Millie. 

We saw each other a couple weeks ago for her birthday. It seems that every day since she's got ideas of other things we can do together. She's nice, she's interesting and imaginative, we have many common interests. So all this is nice, right?

It just feels like too much. If I see one of my friends once each week, that's plenty for me. (This week it's Nancy. I think. She may cancel, and if she does, that's OK.)

But Elaine is a good person, and her heart is valuable. So today I'm going to send her a nice long email to keep the dialog going and to let her know she matters.

I'm not Mary Tyler Moore after all. I'm really a cat. I'm loving and devoted, in my way.