I’m reading Katie Roiphe’s book of essays “In Praise of Messy Lives” and her literary criticism has me feeling, all at once, the thousands of reading hours I’ve lost in the past 7 child-rearing years. I suppose the solution is in reading now, and in praising my messy life that preventind all that page turning, but I get the feeling Roiphe would not allow that domestic mayhem within an ordinary marriage is truly, properly “messy.” I probably should have had dealt with substance abuse/had an affair/had children out of wedlock/ published a scathing cultural commentary . Oh wait, I did that last one, marginally disguised as a self-help book. But whoops, Roiphe’s got me there too, in a different essay—trite confessional memoir masquerading as plotline. I can’t win.
In losing, perhaps, I score? Maybe I will not recommend this book to other mothers who already score themselves too often.