"The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they're okay, then it's you."
Rita Mae Brown
The Bitch in the House
Cathi Hanauer, Editor
William Morrow, 2002
I've just come up for air after an intense engagement with a book--The Bitch in the House. This is a must-read for any woman who has ever felt rage, happiness, confusion, pleasure, guilt, joy, loneliness, exhaustion, euphoria, or who even draws breath.
This book is a collection of essays, compiled by Cathi Hanauer, with the subtitle, "26 Women Tell the Truth about Sex, Solitude, Work, Motherhood, and Marriage." The contributors range from 20-somethings to women in their 60's, most of them writers and editors; all of whom have something important to share about being women.
The best part of reading this book was the many A-HA moments I experienced. "Wow--I'm not crazy or, if I am, so are lots of other women."
So, I'm not alone when I:
- Go into psychotic rages when I walk in the house after work and the sink is full of dishes, or when I'm the only family member capable of remembering when garbage day is.
- Become guilt-ridden upon using the phrase "not now, I'm working" or when my children eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner (on Wonder bread).
- Burst into tears as an appropriate response to "Mom, I have a match tonight--an hour away."
- Make time comparison charts of how much time I spend doing housework or parenting as compared to say oh--writing my Pulitzer Prize winning novel or enjoyably wasting time
- Feel personally responsible for the health, happiness, and well being of every human being on the planet.
I read parts aloud to my significant other, to close friends, to my mother, to the kids (well, to their backs as they fled for their lives), even to the dog, who, being a loyal sort, kept his eyes open for sentences at a time.
If you are a woman, or a man who sometimes wonders what the hell is inside the brain of the woman in your life, The Bitch in the House get it at Amazon and read it. Please
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