I’m not reading “Woe is I,” by Patricia T. O’Conner.
It came my way via an abandoned textbook pile, which is also how I was able to matchedly outfit an entire wall of white wire mesh cubbies. I don’t normally engage in dumpster-dive, but over the years, semester-end in Ann Arbor has provided a few useful hardly used items, apparently not graduated-student worthy enough to haul and retain. An impeccably clean garbage can price sticker intact, a delightful 6 foot faux-bamboo, a very nicely nearly-new floor lamp, the assembly required standard dorm cube fare, all have found a home with me. Along with the book that has become the bane of my stubborn existence.
Garrison Keillor adds his faith right there on the paper jacket, purporting clarity, usefulness, and embarrassment saving. I keep picking it up and putting it down. I spent three days re-reading the first four meaty sections, then hopefully paged to 182 in search of something else I could decipher. It didn’t matter. I just don’t get it. I can’t even recognize what it is I am supposed to be processing.
No, really. I know all the words, but the arrangements are foreign. Designed to be a simple to-do or not-to-do guide for what has become acceptable and what will remain formal, I’m apparently in possession of a brain no longer agile enough to follow through lyrical little ditties, and gyrations of text. This is not O’Conner’s fault; I haven’t failed Keillor’s expectations, either.
I must have known these things once. Or, not. I think I struggled through grammar in school. I can’t remember. I do remember branch diagrams, unfondly. I’m pretty sure my limited taken-for-granted knowledge was learned absorbedly (or learnedly absorbed) from reading books and books and books of proper authors writing proper sentences.
I guess the good news is that I don’t have to absorb all this propriety. It’s not like I’m going to fail a major final. The WordPress editor feature disagrees with me a lot. I don’t care. At least I don’t care enough to try and figure out why. If it sounds right to me, I’m gonna go with it. And, everyone knows, if I can’t find the right word, I’ll make one up.
So far, no one has asked me what I’m talking at or getting about.
So far, I’ve got a delightful following of friends and family and fringe who tolerate without being tweaked.
Well, it’s either that, or I’m their “Woe is I.”
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