For this From
Left to Write Book Club we read "Following Polly" by Karen Bergreen. This debut novel is a mystery written by a stand-up comic/lawyer who is as funny and delightful in person as you'd suspect the writer of this lighthearted book to be. It was a joy to read.
In many ways, after reading "Following Polly," I am extra-glad that I don't have a stalker story about which I can write. There was a stalker-ish "butt grabber" on the loose when I was a student at Wesleyan, but he seemed to prefer lusher booties than my then-bony one. That one raised a lot of ire on my very-PC campus since someone was going around "violating" people, but I couldn't help but laugh about it. Butt grabbing is some funny, funny stuff.
What I do relate to, though, in "Following Polly" is the idea that someone can captivate us enough that we want to follow them and learn more about how they live their fascinating lives. Heck, people make money off of doing just that when it comes to celebrities, right?! But I've already written about how I couldn't care less about Paris-LiLo-Kate-Jersey Shore-Real Housewives etc. Here are the people I'd like to follow around to see how they do it:
- I want to spy on the mom who shows up to kindergarten drop-off at 8 a.m., dressed to the nines and looking as though she's ready to take on corporate America; but, the thing is, she doesn't work, or sit on an nonprofit boards, or volunteer extensively. I want to know to where she is wearing those fancy clothes. (But I don't want to go with her to wherever she's going. I'm not a fan of any clothes that require ironing.)
- I want to lurk in Calafia and figure out what all of those Google people talk about over lunch. The ones who are early-Googlers drive from their campus, which, I hear, has a host of fine restaurants, hang out with Charlie in his newest digs and talk shop. To me, they're like an alien race, and lunch at Calafia is the best place to figure out exactly how they're plotting world domination, since they spend the rest of their day on the Death Star "campus."
- I want to seek out some moms who are really fit and copy their routines, especially when they're up against two straight weeks of sick kids. I'll never do the 5 a.m. jogging thing, which a few of them do, but I wonder: how do their arms get so toned? And why do I never see them eat? Wait, maybe I'm on to something there...
- Speaking of eating, I want to grocery shop with some food blogger moms, like my friend CityMama, who seem to pull off in-advance menu planning -- and who seem to be able to get their kids to eat whatever they cook. How do they do that?!!! I want to cook like them, but, more importantly, I want to know their secrets to the foodie child. Petunia will try (almost) everything once, but Dash's food variety ranges from mac and cheese to grilled cheese to cheese-only pizza to pasta with cheese. And that's about it. I want these cooking mamas to teach me (and my kids!) a thing or two.
So, those are the people I might be stalking soon. If I need a bail fund, we'll post information right here on Rox and Roll. Meanwhile, if anyone wants to follow me around, you'll learn the following: I only drink good coffee (Blue Bottle, Philz, and mocha from Mayfield only); I dig through the "singles" cheese basket at Whole Foods in search of the stinkiest, most delicious cheese; I take my workouts at the local hard-core gym very seriously to offset the effects of eating cheese and drinking coffee; foursquare is my life; I love living in California, laughing, and spending time with my friends; and I actually do stop to smell every rose I pass. Also, I'm coming around on designer yoga wear, am weighing the benefits of thongs versus commando, and yes, I share TMI. In other words, my life's an open book, so I really wouldn't be interesting to stalk. Lastly, I'm always smiling, and it's probably because I'm either onto you or up to something. I believe in keeping things interesting. The end.
I always add a note on whether or not I'd recommend this book. In this case, absolutely! I look forward to Karen Bergreen's next book and hope that she chooses to stick with the mystery genre. I am a serious mystery fan, but I don't find enough books that are funny without being silly in a stupid way; Bergreen fills that niche.
In the From Left to Write book club, we read books together and then write blog posts inspired by them, not reviewing the works but, rather, responding to them with our own writing. For participation in the club, I receive the books for free but do not receive other compensation nor do I commit to writing favorably about the books. The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.