105 Ways to Give a Book

A Fourth Story

I wasn’t going to write this story, but then I looked at the line-up of posts I have. Go ahead, scroll down and look in awe. Or maybe a couple of notches below awe. There’s the ALA post with mucho comments. The new Knuffle Bunny exclusive. Two great book recommendations and one book slam. So even though this story is a little late, it feels right to include it and knock the one weak post off the page.

So I had a great Independence Day. At midnight, I was re-reading The Other Boleyn Girl, and I read until 2:00 a.m. for no other reason than I wanted to. I love this series, because though you know it might be trash, the historical aspect allows you believe that it’s good for you. They’re like the book equivalent of Lunchables.

I slept late, and then played around with my digital photos for a while. The family decided to give the community pool party a try, and even though I was worried that it would be too crowded, it was very fun. The kids played games diving for change, racing for soda, and swimming a relay race. There was also food and little star-spangled knick-knacks to buy. At the end, they had a beer dive for the adults. All the kids probably enjoyed that more than anything, because there is something very amusing about watching grown-ups make fools of themselves to get a beer. Adults call that “college.” We went home and Bill cooked out while I snuggled on the hammock with my younger daughter. We ate inside just as the storm went through, meaning the night would probably be fine for fireworks.

At the local fireworks display, we met up with our friends and set up a spot on the ground. After music and visiting, the show was about to begin. Now I didn’t think of the fireworks as a fake war, as noted by John Green at Brotherhood 2.0. It never crossed my mind. But he is an intelligent Printz-winning author, and I’m a blogger who just about wets herself with glee for using “bitch-slapped Tinkerbell” in a post, so maybe that’s understandable. What I’m saying here is that I was moved by the pretty lights and the crowds surrounding me. There was music playing during the display as well, and it was not your standard 1812 Overture, but pretty much any pop/country/rock song that featured the words “America” or “U.S.A.” Yes, we could question the wisdom of including Carrie Underwood’s “Independence Day,” which is about abuse, arson, and perhaps murder, but it was crazy-fun to sing out the chorus while the fireworks lit up the sky. “Let freedom ring! Let the white dove sing! Let the whole world know that today is a day of reckoning!”

Beside me was a man who was cheering on the display like most men would yell at a football game. Given the profusion of Spanish I heard uttered earlier, I’m going to make his story that he and his family recently came to America and were very excited to be here. With the fireworks, and the music, and the exuberance, I was touched. I thought it was one of the best shows I’d ever been to.

Suddenly the fireworks stopped. Technical difficulties. Much more like my luck, especially given my fantastic day. I mean, how much longer could things go well for me? But I was upbeat, and took my girls to the bathroom while the band played and we waited for the show to get back on track. While I was in line, a cute guy — shirtless and built and twenty-fiveish — started chatting me up. He even did the conversational arm-touch thing! I was in complete internal conflict between “Does he think I’m someone else?” and singing “Stacy’s mom has got it goin’ on!”

At that point, the announcement came on that the fireworks could not continue. Show over. Given my incredible day, with the hot guy flirting with me, the universe had clearly had enough. I blew some kind of karmic fuse.

I feel bad for the rest of the audience who paid for my mistake, but what can I do? If you believe The Secret, we all attracted that kind of luck with our negative energy, so maybe we’re all to blame.

And that leads me to the slight — very slight — book connection. At the end of next week, I’m bringing out The Secret. Brush off your copy, or skim it at the local bookstore, and we’ll talk the good, the bad, and the insane aspects of this bestseller.


Kelly Fineman said...

*Stacy's mom has got it goin' on*

Loud brainradio going now. Your fault.

web said...

Sniff... that's right... wait til my husband's been away for 3 days and then write about HIS FAVORITE SONG!

Sara said...

Now, MR, when we had that talk at Kid Lit Drink Night, I didn't REALLY give you permission to go THAT young. Besides, guys who chat you up in the bathroom line are stoned. (I learned this from Bonnaroo reports.) On the other hand, twenty year old guys who chat you up while you are busting the hell out of a punching bag at the gym on your fortieth birthday because they can't see your wedding ring under your boxing gloves, yeah, well, THOSE guys are all right. (Snort)

But I would like to have you make a country song out of all this.

EM said...

Yegods. I have swiped THE SECRET off the holdshelf a couple times and browsed through it, only to cower in the face of its remarkable crapitude. I Think it's the Random Capitalization that really Tans my Hide. Can't wait.

Nancy said...

"I feel bad for the rest of the audience who paid for my mistake"

That is hilarious!

Lady S said...

Just here to say I love The Other Boleyn Girl and the other books by Philippa Gregory that I've read. Sadly though, I don't own them, so I can't reread them at leisure.