The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Where have I been?

Simon and Schuster sent me a copy of The Perks of Being a Wallflower because the movie adaptation premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival this month to some really good reviews, which isn’t surprising after I did a little research and found this book has a huge cult-like following. I’m a sucker for cult followings, innocent cults, not purple kool-aid cults…unless there’s vodka.

Written by Stephen Chbosky, it was published in 1999; thirteen years ago. Where was I? Well, I was pregnant eating chips with my head stuck in, What to Expect When You’re Expecting.

The book is comprised entirely of letters written to an anonymous source, which makes for a fast, yet thought provoking read. The letters are written by Charlie, a high school freshman who lost his best (and seemingly only) friend to suicide.  Charlie’s a straight A student and an avid reader with extremely poignant observations about the world around him.  He’s honest, poetic, sad, innocent, romantic, quirky and cool. He comprehends classic literature and instills it into the modern day, yet, he doesn’t know how to stop a run on sentence…we could be twins. The writing is so easy you zip right along page after page until you realize, you have feelings for Charlie. You understand Charlie and in some way and at some point, you were Charlie.

At a chance meeting at a football game Charlie becomes friends with seniors Patrick & Sam (half-siblings) and they develop a bond. Through his first year of high school he fights his anxiety and depressive tendencies by standing back and taking in the actions of this older crowd.  Along the way he’s introduced to homosexuality, drugs, alcohol, love, infatuation, abortion, among other things, only to immerge at the end of the school year with a better understanding of why he is who he is.

And isn’t that what we were all searching for in high school?

There’s a moment when the three friends drive out of a tunnel in a pickup truck, music blaring and burst into the city’s skyline. The now famous line reads, “And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.” I remember those moments, feeling so good and invincible. At the time I knew it was something special but I couldn’t put it into words, I just remember I liked it.

I wish Wallflower would have been written in my time. There’s so many quotes my younger self would have fallen in love with,

So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be. – The next time my kids ask me what high school was like, this is what I’m telling them it felt like for me. So simple. So true.

Things change. And friends leave. And life doesn’t stop for anybody. – Forget high school, I’m still trying to come to terms with this.

The fact that one of these ladies was my mom made me particularly sad because my mom is beautiful. And she’s always on a diet. Sometimes, my dad calls her beautiful, but she cannot hear him. – Charlie gets it.

So obviously I highly recommend getting this book if you’re one of the few (like me) who hadn’t heard of it until now. If you have a teenager you can probably save your money because chances are they already have a copy hidden somewhere. Give it a try before seeing the movie and let me know what you think.

Bucket List Fail

Courtesy of www.buzzfeed.com

The kids are back at school. This marks the end of my hiatus from the working world. My first extensive break since I was fifteen, (unless you count maternity leave, in which case…OH MY GOD, don’t get me started…).

When this summer began I was all determined to put my dreams on turbo-charge and get my life working like a well oiled machine by Labour Day.

It’s cute how I start out all optimistic.

I’m a bit of a list maker. Every night before bed I write down all the things I want to get done.  It makes me feel like I have a plan. By mid afternoon I’ve added so much all I can do is look at it and eat chips. Repeat cycle.

You would think having this knowledge of myself would stop me from creating projects like a Summer Bucket List. I know you’re laughing, but I did it anyway.

Bucket List – Summer Edition

1. Get Published – Didn’t happen, but my nasty letter to the editor almost made it into the local paper, but they went with some “feel good” story instead. Cowards.

2. Write Another Book– In February I had an idea for a plot. So I went to Staples(because every successful project starts with shopping) where I indulged in my obsession with school supplies. I laid out the story line. It looked fantastic. All bright and everything. Very motivating. This is what it looks like now. I haven’t written a single sentence.

See the pink board? That’s it. Behind it is my Vision Board.

3. Brachioplasty – What you say? It’s plastic surgery for the back of the arms. My Nana had big saggy triceps…so naturally I inherited them. No amount of triceps’ kickbacks help. But the truth is, I’m a coward and cheap and neither of these things are qualities to have if you want plastic surgery.

4. Organize and De-clutter The Entire House – HAHAHAHAHA. Not one drawer.

5. Lose Twenty Pounds – In a fit of defiance I threw my scale and shattered it on the garage floor.

What was I thinking? Clearly my expectations are too high. And holy shit, I was home with children not at a secluded country club with maid service. As far as I’m concerned the bucket, can fuck it. In fairness though I thought this list was tame considering my five year plan:

  1. Cottage – I have no money
  2. Italy – I have no money
  3. Mercedes – I have no money
  4. Brachioplasty – See?
  5. Horse – What the hell? Really?

Someone (okay, my therapist) suggested taking baby steps towards the bigger goals. In fairness to him, he hasn’t known me long. I’ve never taken a baby step in my life. I prefer instant gratification. But I decided to give it a try. So considering how I like to overshoot the mark, I created a less intimidating list of goals just for this week. It may not help me in reaching my five year plan (wish is under evaluation) but I have to start somewhere and it has to be doable. So, without further ado:

Doable Things I Didn’t Get Done Over the Summer List

1. Eyebrow Shaping – I have good intentions to keep up with them, but before I know it there are two dead caterpillars on my forehead and from then on whenever anyone looks at me, all I can hear is, “They’re totally looking at your hideous eyebrows and will unfriend you on Facebook.”

2. Eat Breakfast Alone – All summer no matter how many times I asked the kids if they wanted anything, as soon as I sat down with food someone would be there to announce they were starving.

3. Watch Adult Television – I’m tired of Zeke & Luther and having to censor my shows because the kids are still up. Is it too much to ask to watch a heroin addict shoot up in peace?

4. Publish a Blog – Done! Here it is. I didn’t say it had to be a good one.

5. Look for a Job – It’s time. I’m not exactly making millions off this blog. I know, it’s shocking. I’m just not good at time management. I need a pay cheque and a boss breathing down my neck to motivate me. I have good intentions at the start of the day, you know, with the list and all and then before I know it, “Hey, Judge Judy’s on…”

So that’s my scaled back fuck-it list. Hopefully by next week I’ll be a bit more willing to put forth more effort, but for now this is all I can manage. Plus, I started this blog last week so…