Please check out our other book club members (in no particular order): Charlie at Life Happens, Jen at Jen's Corner, Jamie at Three Cheers for Literacy!!, Nicole Rene at Home Grown Me, Erika Lynn at Kiss My Book, LilyofDarkness at Lilium's Realm, Jamie at the Book Junky's Bookshelf, and, of course, the lovely Book Vixen.
After reading the book for a week what are your first impressions? So much of this part of the book is about Liz’s battle of modern vs. traditional, where do you fall on the spectrum. Are you married with children or do you never want to get married, or like most I would guess are you somewhere in between?
First impressions: I was really enamored by the structure of 3x36. It's a small detail, and simple, but there's something very romantic about it. Plus, when I'm busy, it's easier to pick up the book, read 2 story-ettes, and set it back down without feeling like I need to keep reading at that exact second. But it's also engrossing enough that I want to keep going back to it.
And her word choices frequently make me smile. That's all.
Modern v. Traditional: I recently read the vignette in which Liz discusses the Italian love for passion versus the American inability to really experience it. This hit home with me. Sleepy reflection showed me that I am, indeed, one of these poor souls (those of you who know me in person are probably giggling right now at my overdue realization). I rarely want to sit on my porch and drink a glass of wine just because (the fact that our yard is a mosquito's heaven doesn't help). I don't always get the idea of taking a walk just because the weather's nice. I even remember one time a friend and I were driving through the country to our classmate's isolated home, and she remarked (something to the effect of), "This is so beautiful, driving through this tunnel of autumn leaves in every hue." Honestly, I hadn't even noticed. I glanced around quickly while also trying to keep my eyes on the windy road, but I took almost no time to savor it.
So, I tried to imagine myself in Liz's shoes, alone in a foreign country, desperately trying to learn a language, meet new people, and find my way. And I couldn't imagine myself able to avoid finding "work" of some kind. Something to keep me busy. Something to keep me from sitting on the edge of the fountain and staring up at the cathedral and wondering at it's centuries-old architecture.
What I find amusing about this is how I relate to characters in film and fiction. For example (especially for anyone out there who's a Joss fan), I must admit that Firefly/Serenity are not my favorites. But, of all the characters in the show/movie, I don't love River—the subconsciously trained, psychic superninja—or Mel (though I won't deny the hotness... sorry, honey). But I love Kalee—the carefree, naive mechanic who finds pleasure in everything she does. Or maybe it's fitting that two of my favorite literary characters are similar: Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's and Natasha from War and Peace. Now, I'll happily admit that Holly's got all kinds of baggage, but don't we all? But both of them simply enjoy being, living, celebrating the people around them... pleasure. They may not call it as such (especially in reference to Tolstoy), but it is what it is.
If I'm so drawn to these characters, why aren't I more like that myself? I feel like I'm the antithesis of it, really. I know I've made huge steps in moving away from my OCD, type A+ personality over the past couple of years, but I do have a long way to go. Having Liz's example will hopefully help.
The Significant Other: Yes, I have one. And he's amazing. I'm super lucky, and believe me, I know it. Obviously, it's not all roses and candy, but he's supportive in my mental teeter-totter when I feel like others would have gotten fed up with me long ago. Thank you, honey!
PS--After reading a few other people's posts, I want to add to mine. I think I'm connecting to this on many levels, including the depression and the always putting other people before myself. It took twenty-eight years and the death of my father (yeah, I was definitely daddy's little girl) to finally look at myself and focus on me first, all through the "therapy" of bawling on the bathroom floor/the kitchen floor/in bed/everywhere. I'm not too good at focusing on me yet. It's a daily struggle, I admit. This is yet another reason that I am happy to be reading this book right now, and trying to follow Liz in her quest for passion.