Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I Miss Holden

I have a foggy memory of hearing someone my age talk about how much they loved The Catcher in the Rye. I was about 11 years old. I think this was in hebrew school-- we all went around and said what our favorite book was. I remember whoever was leading the class mentioning that they were surprised that someone my age loved and understood that book. I didn't think too much about it, but from that point on I have been curious about this mysterious book that I would have to wait to be ready to read.
Thank goodness the time has come. I few weeks ago my english class and I began reading the book. And you know something? It is my new favorite book. If I had to go to a desert island and only bring one book I would bring this one. If I had to pick one person I wanted to always have around me it would be Holden Caulfield. (Or Aaron Rodgers.) If I have a baby boy some day I will name him Holden.
The hardest part about sitting here and writing this entry is the fact that there is so much to say. Maybe even too much to say. I guess I just have to pick one theme and try to control myself from talking about every other part of the book.
I think the thing I love about Holden so much is how misunderstood he is. How rare it is for me to find people that love him. This is what makes Holden so unique. He doesn't say everything point-blank. You have to find the meaning for yourself. At one point in the book Holden seeks advice from an old teacher of his, Mr. Antolini. Mr. Antolini says that if you want something, you have to get it. I took that to heart when I read The Catcher in the Rye. Someone can read the book easily and see our friend Holden as a whining bored freak. But if you take what J.D. is giving to you, I swear you can get something so beautiful from this book.
Poor Holden doesn't want to grow up. He doesn't want to grow up because he never even got a chance to be innocent and free and safe. His brother Allie died when he was so young and Holden's childhood was completely ripped from his as a result.
No child can come back from something like that. Someone who is a key part of their life being taken away forever? How would Holden or anyone be able to know how to handle any of it?
So Holden walks around by himself for three whole days. In New York City. Where an observer like Holden can look around and find something to criticize everywhere he goes. And unfortunately for Holden, people who see him do the same thing. Of course. Holden is different. He is a kid trapped in an adult's body and he is an adult trapped in a kid's body. Holden doesn't know who he is and who he is supposed to be. He doesn't know right and wrong because he never got a chance to experience both!
And of course, worst of all, Holden has such a hard time finding people who he can relate to and who can relate to him. Holden is living this complex life that is rare and hard to follow. But similar to what Mr. Antolini said, if you want something, only you can go get it.
That's what breaks my heart. If the characters in Catcher could just look at Holden and think about him maybe he wouldn't be so alone. If Holden could just look at everyone else in a not-so-negative way, maybe he would have the ability to let people in.
In the end of the book, thankfully, Holden becomes more optimistic and positive. But I and hopefully everyone who has ever read this book knows that changes and healing are not things that happen over night. Holden does not end the book as a perfect person but he does instill hope in you that it is going to be okay. Our job as readers is to just trust him. To promise him that his life isn't over and so maybe more challenges are in store, but that doesn't mean that he isn't going to be alright.

Holden is going to be fine. But what I have come to learn from reading this book is that reading is joint effort between the character and the reader. The only way that I can come to terms with the fact that Holden is going to be okay is if I allow myself. Holden tells me his story and I take it from there. If I want it, I have to get it.
As a reader of Holden's story, I can only be sure if Holden is going to be okay if I help him through it.
We have a responsibility as readers in this world. My friend Holden Caulfield taught me that.
I miss you, Holden. I know you're doing great though. I can feel it in my heart.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


In 5th grade I was known as the girl who never got writer's block. I could write for the whole class time and not have to stop and think about what would come next in my story. The ideas were already written in my head and all I had to do was set my pen to the page and write.

Tonight of all night's I had to get writer's block.

I knew I had to write about The Little Prince and so I spent all week thinking about the narrator of the story but it never occurred to me to write about the little prince. And the amazing thing was- once I thought about the little prince all these ideas came to me about the narrator and there I was again, ready to write.

I began thinking about parent-child relationships. And how at first you think that the parents are in charge of everything... They influence the child and are the number one role model to them. The adult is where the child goes to learn new things, hear new stories, and pick up new life lessons. But then I thought about how much of an influence children have on their parents. Sometimes I wonder what my parents want when they ask me how my day was and what interesting things happened at school. Do they want to learn something from me?

Then I think about when my parents are sick and I want to take care of them... I think about how magnificent it really is that a parent-child relationship can be mutual and not just one feeding off of the other.

That's when I started to think about the little prince and the pilot, and how both of them meet each other as people who don't know what they are, a kid or an adult, and by the end of the story they both turn out to be a care taker and someone who needs to be cared for.

The narrator is someone whose age labels them as a grown up but his heart tells him that he never wants to be big and always wants to live in the innocence and safety of a child. As a kid, he looked for attention and acknowledgment from the grown ups but nobody understood where he came from or what he was trying to achieve. He associated adults as bad creatures who didn't understand life or how to live it. And although his body was growing old his heart and brain weren't allowing itself to.

We don't know much about the little prince's background, just that he was alone when we found him. What I respect so much about him is that he will always be a kid but he still lives on his own and takes care of himself.

I thought a lot about what both of the characters needed or don't have. The little prince needs someone to be there for him, someone to take care of him and keep him company. The pilot needs to have some kind of adult figure that he never had, someone to hear his ideas and his thoughts. But I also believe that one of the biggest steps in growing up is when you find yourself in the position of taking care of another person. Near the end of the book I started to realize that while both characters needed someone to take care of them, they needed to take care of each other, too.

The little prince managed to make the pilot feel like a kid again while the pilot also got an opportunity to feel grown up by wanting to be there for the little prince. The pilot was able to make the little prince feel like a child at the same time that the little prince got to be there for the pilot.

It was during these moments that the little prince didn't feel so lonely, the pilot got to experience the childhood he always needed, and both of them could be the grown up in different situations.

Once both of these characters embraced each of these roles they learned that in life you don't just have to be the parent or the child. I believe that you can honestly be both.

I don't provide the money in my family and I don't have a job. But I do know that regardless of whether I'm a daughter or a parent it's important that I take care of everyone how ever it works for me. In a family, we can all do something for each other. No matter how cheesy that may sound.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Who Are You To Cry?

As the tears ran down my sister's face on Sunday night I couldn't make out the words she was blubbering. It was hopeless. It was just noise that was leaving her lips and red that was building in her cheeks. Something about being left out and wanting to play with the Barbie she wanted to play with. I knew in the back of my mind that if my sister were given the Barbie that she wanted, the tears on her face would magically vanish and no one would have known that she had been crying only seconds before.

I think a lot about the little things that change us... The moments that we lose our innocence and the times that we realize everything in life isn't perfect. For some reason I keep returning to the concept of crying, and I'm starting to believe that it is the one thing that really signals our growing up.

When Finding Nemo was in the theatre I went to go see it with my mother and my sisters. I was still young, still under the impression that everything in life is perfect and that nothing could ever go wrong. The simple image of a shark scared me more than the fact that it killed Nemo's mother and all his siblings.

I remember the moment in the movie where Nemo is hurt, and Marvin, Nemo's dad, picks him up and holds him. He says over and over the thing he said when he found Nemo was the only fish the shark in the beginning of the movie did not kill. Marvin holds Nemo in his small egg and says that he wouldn't let anything ever hurt him. But there he is holding Nemo, and he knows that he hasn't kept his promise.

At the time, I didn't understand what was so hard about this scene, but mother did. At this point in the movie I was frustrated that I was there seeing it. It had a scary shark and had emotional moments that I simply wasn't ready to handle yet! So I turned to my mother to complain, and notice that she's crying.

So many questions ran threw my mind... Why wasn't she kicking and screaming? Isn't that what happens when you cry? And why was she crying? She's an adult! Adults don't cry. She's a mommy. Mommy's don't... cry.

I associated crying with babies. I would look at a baby and anticipate them crying. Isn't that what babies do? I was little... I cried. I knew that my sisters cried and I knew that other little kids cried but mommy's? Mommys just don't cry.

It was then that I was exposed to the truth. Crying was a complex emotion that changes as a person grows up. It changes from crying because you're hungry and don't know how to say it, to crying because someone took your Barbie, to crying because life isn't fair and everything is annoying, to crying because an intense feeling from a movie hit you.

I'll never forget the feeling I had in the movie theatre... Being so excited to have my first crying experience. I knew then that if I cried in a movie, it would be a symbol that I was growing up. That I, Audrey Bachman, was mature enough to understand grown up things in a movie and then have a grown up response. My destination from that point on was to cry during a movie, and not even have to try to do it. To just... cry.

All of a sudden it became immature to cry because you wanted something. But it became mature to cry for a much more sophisticated reason.

NOW. How on Earth does this relate to my coming of age book? I will tell you.

The Little Prince is a small book about a man whose plane crashes and lands in a strange world and greeted by a little prince. Together they go on small adventures and share opinions on life and adults and children. The little prince reminds me of Peter Pan in the sense that it seems like he will never grow up. As we know though, everyone must grow up. So I have come to the conclusion that when the little prince grows up he will still have the same opinions as he does now, that children are far more wiser and more interesting than adults.

The little prince and our unnamed explorer meet a switchman at a certain point in their story and what started out to be a casual conversation turned into something that made me want to write all over the page in my book. (I'm sorry, please forgive me. I just had to.)

Below is the section that got me thinking on crying and what about it symbolizes growing up:
"They're not chasing anything," the switchman said. They're sleeping in there, or else they're yawning. Only the children are pressing their noses against the windowpanes."
"Only the children know that they're looking for," said the little prince. "They spend their time on a rag doll and it becomes very important, and if it's taken away from them, they cry . . ."
"They're lucky," the switchman said.
This got me thinking about crying in general... Later I got to my bigger thoughts about maturing crying and immature crying, but in that moment I thought about something else. Something that was vaguely mentioned in the beginning my post.

I thought about what the little prince said... About how all children do when something happens that they don't want is they cry. That's all they can do, that's all they know how to do. But it's not the fact that they can't physically do anything else, it's the fact that the answer to something bad happening is to cry about it.

When something happens that triggers tears for an adult, the two things you can do are going out and fixing it, or moping around and sulking. Like my sister on Sunday night: Once she got what she wanted the tears went away and no one would have known that she had been crying.

When adults cry, something hangs over them. Some kind of gray cloud follows them around all day. I'll never forget that not only could I look at my mother in the same way after I saw her crying, but she looked different physically for a while after the movie, too. Like someone had touched her heart in side the walls of the movie theatre.

No one saw it coming, my mom didn't know the movie would be that tear jerking and I didn't know that by entering the building of the theatre I would lose a little bit of innocence. I would soon learn that adults cry, and that there's more to scary sharks then jus their scary looks.

I didn't know that an animated fish could make a person cry, especially a grown up. A big person.

In Stand By Me, Gordie realizes that he didn't cry at his brother's funeral. Gordie feels like a bad person, a failure, because of other complex feelings, but it all leads up to his regret of not crying during a funeral. Then and only then, does Gordie cry.

Gordie isn't crying because the toy he wanted to play with got taken away. Gordie is crying because in that moment he hates himself and he hates the world. He is angry and sad and frustrated. Helpless.

A baby isn't helpless when they cry... I like to believe that the only reason that child cries is in hope that they will get the attention of some one and that person can get them what they want.

Gordie isn't asking for anything. He's just feeling emotion. My mother wasn't crying because she wanted something. She was crying because a feeling was filling up inside her. A feeling more than just wanting to be heard.

So in some ways kids do have it easier. All they have to do to get what they want is to open their mouth and scream. Let the tears fall down their cheeks. But my mom took something that day when we watched Finding Nemo. Crying gave her the sensation of feeling life and the unfairness that comes with it. So maybe when it comes to crying adults have it easier... Because all babies take from crying is a soar throat.

My mom left the movie theater that day with a memory. And I left with an image that I would try to live up to until I could have my own experience with crying because I was really feeling.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I LOVE TINA OMG (Sorry Ms. Robbins I know I'm not supposed to use 'text-slang' but it was mandatory for this title.) Anyway, I Love Tina.

Tina Tina Tina Tina Tina Tina!

I think I'll make a shirt that says "I Love Tina" on it and wear it every day. Okay just kidding, that's creepy!

Tired from a long day, I got home from school a couple Tuesdays ago and threw myself on the couch in my family room. I closed my eyes, only bothering to peek them open for one teeny tiny moment. I squinted so that I could read the time on the clock. 8:30. I had homework, I had dinner to eat, and I had Glee to watch. (DUH)

I had only wanted to have my eyes open for that split second that it would take for me to read what it said on the clock. But of course: Life happened. And there was a twist in what I hoped would be my future. So instead of closing my eyes again, I felt them leading its way to "Bossypants," Tina Fey's new book. It was resting on the coffee table. Before I knew it my hands were holding it and my eyes were reading it and my mouth was constantly open so that I could laugh.

I had that feeling where you find yourself in a moment that is so perfect you never want it to end.

I was tired. I didn't want to do homework. I didn't want to do anything. But it didn't occur to me: I wanted to read. So not only did I get to feel much better by fulfilling the thing I wanted to do most, but I also found a new book, too.

Every time I turned a page I gained more respect for Tina. I loved her sophisticated jokes and her sarcasm, and I also loved the fact that she isn't just some famous person who decided she wanted to look deep so she wrote a book. Tina clearly invested her time in this book and put a lot of heart into it. It's brilliant and funny and so insightful.

The thing that interested me the most about Tina's book was something that I haven't paid a lot of attention to in my life. Her views on sexism and how women are treated differently from men in the world, especially in Hollywood disgusts her, and she wasn't afraid to let us know.

She described such real situations where she had to deal with being smaller than other people because she was a woman. While working at Second City and doing stand up comedy, Tina remembers a time where a legitimate sketch was considered to have more men in it than women. Because women couldn't really be funny. Because women couldn't do anything better than men.

I respect how much Tina believes that women can be funnier and simply do things better or just as good as men can. And the best part, is that through all of her talking and describing, she uses humor to do so. This makes it not just amusing to read, but you see that she is also proving her point as you are reading her very words.

Tina is funny. She's hilarious. And one of the greatest things about this book is that it's opened so many doors for new books for me. I'm interested in reading more about people's lives right now. I'm interested in reading comedic books. My father and I share a love for comedy and stay up way too late watching Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

As I read Tina and as I watch Larry I realize that you have to have a certain talent to really make people laugh. May that be sophisticated and harsh like Larry's, or just plain out funny and sarcastic like Tina's, I love to hear their words and read them. It makes me want to write comedy, as well. I don't know if I'd be any good at it... But just like how this blog connects reading to writing, I figure that reading books should improve your writing and influence your style.

My parents always tell me, "To be a writer, you have to read."

I think about this a lot: When I first really started writing in 3rd/4th grade I was in the middle of my big obsession with Judy Blume. I remember after giving my mom a piece that I wrote for her to read, she commented on the fact that the voice of my story sounded similar to Judy's character's voices. I figured I was taking on the qualities of who I was reading.

From that point on I didn't really experiment with other genres. I experimented with other voices in 7th and 8th grade, but I never broke away completely from the realistic fiction realm.

It wasn't until after I read Tina that I was inspired to read memoirs and to read comedy. Who knows what that will lead to in my future writing career???

All I know is that every one has a story to tell and Tina proved that every story is worth hearing, especially hers. She also has taught me that comedy is a lot harder and more intense, and that you have to take it very seriously if you want to be successful as a comedian.

Okay, so maybe I will make a shirt that says "I love Tina" on it. No big deal, right?


Thursday, April 7, 2011

It's Not Weird To Read On Your Way To Class, Even If You Bump Into 20 People Doing So.

Don't forget.

Don't ever forget that feeling you have when you finish a book.

I did, and I'm mad at myself.

As a reader, I have recently come close to failing. I hadn't REALLY gotten into a book since Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Maybe I was in denial because I was scared to find a book that was better than it. But no matter what happened, I had stopped really reading.

My mom would give me short stories from the New Yorker and I would stay up late reading those. But then it'd be over and I'd think, "Oh well!" It's killing me. How did this happen??

Finally I remembered the one thing that will never change when it comes to reading books. Reading a book that's below your level once in a while is NOT a bad idea. It really isn't. First off, if you're a thinker like me you'll like easier books because ideas come to mind faster, and then you can spend more time thinking about them. Second of all... It's fun! They are simple to understand and in my most recent case, beautifully written.

My sister, Lois, is in a book club. (Woohoo using today's comma lesson in my blog what what?!) I am extremely jealous of her, as I was in a book club when I was her age too. Of course we got to Middle School and everyone except me and the moms wanted to end it. I guess they were busy or something. Whatever.

Anyway: The book they just finished was Ida B. Emily Mendes stopped me in the hallway just to tell me that that was her favorite book in fifth grade. The only fear I have of reading books below my level are people thinking that I am lazy or stupid. But really, I'm not. I just adore them. I don't care what anyone else thinks.

Ida B is an incredible character. Incredible person, actually. She is real, I know. She is home schooled by her parents and spends her free time speaking with the trees that she has named and created personalities for. Everything is perfectly perfect until Mama gets sick and Ida B has to go to school where everyone calls her Ida and no one gets how everything is messed up and ruined.

As I read the book I felt like reaching out and holding Ida B's hand. Not in a way to say, "Poor you!" but to be with her. Because the greatest thing in this book is that you come to know and love Ida B so much that you refuse to let anything get her down. And now the worst part: I had to accept sooner or later that Ida B was just living on the pages of the book in my hands. Which slowly became the best part again. I remembered that feeling, the feeling that I had with Oskar. When I thought he was real and although there was some invisible barrier separating us, I remembered how to feel like I was with her the whole time.

And that's when it came to me. I love to read. I love it. I had forgotten that for a while but Ida B allowed me to remember it. I love to read!! I love love love it!!! Now that Nora is gone forever and I have no one to talk to... I turn to books! It's so fun!

(I do realize this blog post is now going no where but I just need to be happy for a little.)

In science, when class was over, instead of going to talk with people, I pulled out my book... and read. Wow. I realized that all the times that I just go and talk to people for no reason I could be reading. Not to say that you should never be social or talk to people. I know that. What I am saying never waste time to read. Read your heart out. I'm so excited now. AH!!!! And the best part of today in science was that I didn't care if people looked at me and thought I was weird for reading my book while I could be mingling.

Sorry sorry sorry.

Lastly I come to the inspiration for the prompt I'll share with my creative writing class in a couple Thursdays. When I finished Ida B.

When I finished Ida B I remembered one more thing.

How you feel when you finish your book.

I felt like I accomplished something. I looked back at all the pages in the book, all three hundred and something of them, and I thought, I read all of this. My growing, thinking brain ate it up and loved every bit of it.

I felt annoyed. Why didn't I get to find out if her mom gets better? Does she stay at school? Hmph.

Why couldn't it follow Ida B all the way until she was 100. Why? It's so sad.

But most of all: Pride. I get to hold the book up and say, "Why yes, yes I did read this book." It's that feeling you have when you recommend a book to someone because you read it and loved it. Or when someone asks to read the book your reading when you're done. And when you give them the book its your way of saying, "Done. I read it."

BUT: It's not about bragging. (Not completely that is.) It's about the feeling you get when you read the last word and the only pages beyond that is the About The Author.

My dad bought me a book all about the Green Bay Packers winning the Super Bowl. On the back is a quote from Aaron Rodgers talking about how now that they've won, they don't know what to do. And that's when he says: "Let's go get another."

So the main lesson for this week, (thank you Aaron Rodgers <3 <3 <3 <3) is that when you finish a book, you have every right to want to sulk around and be upset. But. Don't be sad for too long, you're wasting time to read another great book.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

When Is Daddy Coming Home? I Hope Soon.

The average person doesn’t have the ability to choose between their two parents. It just can’t be done. Even at a time in our teenage lives where it’s easy for us to scream, “I hate you dad!” Which is why I think that Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a perfect book for us to read at this time. Although very mature and intense, there were many moments where I thought about my relationship with my parents, and God forbid what would happen if one of them were gone. My past blog on this book was a disaster because there were so many ideas to juggle and I didn’t know which one to focus on. I began to narrow down all the ideas until I got to the one that I thought was most devastating. Oskar and his mother.

All alone: Both of them without their other half. Of everyone in the world, I like to think that Oskar and his mother miss Thomas the most. Killed in The World Trade Center in 9/11, nobody was prepared for anything. I thought a lot about poor Oskar, a child, who doesn’t have his daddy anymore. How hard it must be for him to do all the things only him and his father used to do alone. And how much more upsetting it was when he would do those things with his mother.

This is where I started to ask myself, is it possible to choose between a parent? It killed me to even have to think about something like that. My mom walking out the door to go to work and not coming home? It’s unreal. Death is unreal, especially death of a person that you love more than anyone else in the world.

I thought a lot about, and still do think about how not only Oskar was at a loss. And what it means that he is the person that supposedly missed his father the most. As the book is narrated by Oskar, you feel his pain. You live in the grief and the confusion that he is going through. Although I don’t prefer to hear how much pain my Oskar is feeling, it’s easy to because it’s his words that I’m reading. I wondered if there were any other characters that felt as much pain. Soon after I remembered Oskar’s grandma, his father’s mom, I thought to myself, “Of course. How could I not think of her?”

I recently was talking with my dad about grandparents, and how people say that the happiest moment in a person’s life is when they hold their grandchild. I thought about Oskar’s grandma and how unfair it must be for her to see her son’s creation, and know that her son isn’t there. My dad said that the reason that is the best moment in a person’s life is because it’s the moment that they see that they brought two lives into the world. When a person says, “This is my grandchild.” They are also saying, “Look! I brought one life into the world, and he brought another! I am responsible for two human beings.” Can you imagine the confusion Oskar’s grandmother must be feeling: Not only is her son gone, her baby, but her baby’s baby is left all alone.

Then I thought about Oskar’s mother.

Her true love. Her family. It’s all gone. But sometimes, I became frustrated with her because she kept all her feelings inside.

I wouldn’t want to cry in front of my child, but I feel that something Oskar needs most right now is to know that he’s not alone. To know that it’s not weird to have the feelings he has.

It’s not normal and it’s not fair that you will have to lose a parent at such a young age. But guess what- It happens. And the thing that I would need most in that time in my life would be reassurance that I’m not alone and that my feelings aren’t unusual. I would need someone who could sit with me and share with me all the things that they are feeling. Someone who could tell me that they are thinking the same things, I’m not alone. That other person needs to be the other parent. I expected so much from Oskar’s mom and I never got anything.

Sometimes, I would close the book and imagine the perfect scene: Where his mother and him would just cry together. They needed each other. They really, really did. Of their family of three they were the only ones left. And they needed to use that feeling of emptiness and bring them together.

That’ when I wondered why they weren’t bonding an extreme amount. Maybe I was being unfair to assume that something like death could be used to someone’s advantage. But I didn’t mean it like that at all.

Really, I didn’t.

What I meant by wondering about that was my way of asking myself, what would happen if the situation was reversed? How would things turn out if Oskar’s mom died instead of his father? Before Thomas dies you see him and Oskar together, you see how close they were. Jonathan Safran Foer doesn’t really describe any activity with his mother, all you can see is how much Thomas loved his son and how much Oskar loved his dad.

It kills me to say this, Oskar and his dad were perfect. Which is why it was so devastating to see him go and have Oskar, young and unsure not know what to do. And then it was just his mother who always seemed to be with her new friend and letting Oskar do... Whatever.

I want to know so badly how Oskar and his mother were before Thomas’ death. Something so powerful as death can change a person, many people. I wonder if Oskar and his mother were perfect too, and the fact that they lost the only other person that they loved more than anything else in the world is gone ruined everything.

We don’t know what Oskar’s mom is doing in her room. We don’t know if she’s crying or just carrying on. I can understand if she doesn’t want to be upset in front of her baby, but at some moments I think that Oskar needed to see that his mother was just as hurt as he was.

As his mother gets closer with a man who also lost his family they are with eachother more. And as any sensible child would think, Oskar thought that he was his father’s replacement.

Not okay.

I was so excited to hear that his mom had found an adult that she could relate to. SO happy. But it killed when Oskar saw them together, and his mother looked happy. I knew that her way of grieving had to be done in front of another adult because her son was still... her son. And a child. And not only did she not want to upset him with her tears, but I think she didn’t want to overwhelm him with the big ideas of death and grief.

Little did she know that Oskar is brilliant and his emotions are far beyond his maturity level.

If his mother were able to see that, maybe things would be different.

But I’m not saying in any way that it’s his mother’s fault that they aren’t close. It’s the situation’s fault. It’s not fair. It’s just not. It’s all about the plane and how it crashed and how Oskar’s daddy died. That’s whose fault it is.

But because both Oskar and his mother were so caught off guard none of them knew how to handle everything. And soon, he just snapped and that’s how Oskar said what he said.

¾ into the book Oskar tells his mom that he wishes she was the one who died so that it was still his father who was alive.

That’s when I cried. I cried because that’s the worst thing anyone can say to anyone. And second of all, that’s when I found my answer.

I was so overwhelmed at that moment. I love Oskar. And to tell you the truth I was angry with his mother. But at that moment I just wanted to jump inside the pages and give his mom a hug. I realized that she didn’t know what she was doing. And while maybe it was intentional that Jonathan Safran Foer showed Oskar and his father together before he died to make you think that he was a better parent, I don’t know if he would he would be any better at what his mother was trying to do.

To anyone who will ever come across this small piece of writing: It is NOT possible to choose between a parent. I promise, and I’ve never been more about something in my entire life, that Oskar would have said the same thing to his father if he were the one living.

It’s a fact, that once you know you can’t have something you want it.

Oskar may have hated his mother at that moment. But. if she were gone than he would want her the most. He would hate his father for being there like he wanted. It’s not fair and it’s not okay to be as young as dear Oskar and have to live with one of two parents. I can’t sit here and watch Oskar have to choose.

And the pain is, he doesn’t. No one is asked him to choose, it’s already been chosen.

Nobody had control over who went. Oskar didn’t have to choose. In most situations you don’t choose. You’re not supposed to. That’s the tragedy of this book: Although Oskar wished that his mother had died at that time, if he had to sit down and choose while both his parents were alive I guarantee that he wouldn’t be able to.

Please. Read this book. I’ve never been more in love with a book in my entire life. It changes everything that you know about parents, no matter how old you are. If you’re an angry teen, and confused child, or a mature adult.

Everybody hurts.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

He's Not The Main Character For No Reason. Everyone Loves Him!

Poor Romeo.

He's so innocent, loving Rosaline because she's so beautiful when he doesn't even know what love is.

Poor Romeo.

Rejected by his one and only love. The most perfect girl in the world. "The all-seeing sun ne'er saw her match since first the world begun."

Oh- but then Juliet comes along and it's goodbye Rosaline and hello Juliet!

I don't think people realize how perfect Romeo and Juliet is to read at our age. Not only is Juliet exactly our age, but it completely relates to our new feelings about love and just being a young person in the world in general. Romeo is 16 and thinks he loves one girl and one girl only. And then all of a sudden Juliet comes out of no where and all thoughts of Rosaline are lost.

Let's be honest here- how many times has this happened, and will happen to us in our adolescent lifetime? Or just our life, when you think about it.

I love how normal Romeo is. Behind all the unusually young marriages and people who are so much older than you asking to marry you and the crazy sword fights that break out, all the things that are weird for us and hard to understand, there is Romeo.

I sometimes wonder if Shakespeare intentionally created Romeo as a normal person. But what is "normal" for us? Everything else written in this play was considered "normal" back in that time period. Was Romeo supposed to be the "not normal" person? Was Shakespeare keeping in mind that times were changing and soon what was normal wouldn't be? Maybe he knew that, and knew that Romeo would change from the different person to the person who was easiest to understand and relate to? Or maybe he didn't mean anything at all.

It's quite possible.

All I know right now is that underneath all the confusion and frustration you can find Romeo. And once you translate his language into something you can understand, you can say, "Thank goodness there is some one so innocent and sweet, someone I can relate too."

And by the way... Has anyone else noticed that Romeo has been the only person who hasn't picked a fight yet? While watching the movie and class, and even again when reading I kept asking myself during the fight scene, "Where is Romeo?" Just another reason why he is so perfect.

My advice, just try to forget about how hard everything is... just for a little. And read some Romeo. He is so peaceful, so easy, Luhrmann, so cute. :)

Romeo is an excellent character... I wish he were real.