For Christmas I Got Served

December 28, 2014 — Leave a comment

I thought I could get a laugh from my husband, who had the misfortune of having an instructor in high school who thought it was a good idea to make kids learning English as a second language read James Joyce’s Ulysses, by putting a copy of the book with his actual Christmas gift in the same Amazon package this year. I did get a nervous look and some relief on his face when I said Ulysses was for me, and set about opening my own gift from him, which contained a copy of David Cronenberg’s Consumed and the Avon romance What I Love About You, by Rachel Gibson. I had asked for a copy of William Gibson’s The Peripheral, which has far fewer bleached and Photoshopped smiles on the cover:

“I, uh, I did Facebook that to you, right? William Gibson?”

“Yeah, but I was in a rush.”

“Are you telling me that Thalia has a romance section in the English books?”

“It was a surprise to me, too.”

“Huh. I guess I’ll look this up on Smart Bitches.”

“I’m really sorry. I think I still have the receipt.”

“Nah. I’ll get around to reading it.”

“OK. In the meantime you should try this,” he said, presenting me with a purple paper bag which revealed the satisfactorily grey cover of The Peripheral in trade paperback on the initial tear. Even worse is that I did not expect Ulysses to be that thick and with such fine print.

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