Tuesday, May 22, 2007


My son, nearly eleven, has never been able to listen long enough to have a book of any length read to him. Last night I decided to push the envelope. Desperately wanting to share the bonding experience of reading great literature together, I carefully pulled Stuart Little from the dusty shelf of his bookcase.

"It's short," I thought.

"It has enough pictures scattered in to hold his attention," I held.

"We'll read one tiny chapter a night. This will be great. I'm the most amazing woman on the planet to have thought of this brilliant idea," I boasted quietly to myself.

And so I began...

"When Mrs. Frederick C. Little's second son arrived..."

"WTF? Mrs. Frederick C. Little????? Mrs. FREDERICK????" I fumed internally.

RIght away Rojo vibed in and said, "But what is HER name?" (And he's the one with "disabilities".)

Choosing to get over the fact that Mrs. Little is only the tiniest bit surprised to have given birth to a mouse, and not a human, going big with the whole "fantasy" genre, I graciously allow her to seemlessly accept this alarming development, and go on.

"...One day when Mrs. Little was washing out the bathtub after Mr. Little had taken a bath..."

"Rojo, WHO should be washing out the bathtub for Mr. Little after HIS bath..." I quiz.

"Ahem. OK, let's resume," I coax myself.

"...she lost a ring off her finger and was horrified to discover that it had fallen down the drain.

'What had I better do?' she cried, trying to keep the tears back." Mrs. Little, beseeching of her husband and son, the only ones with problem solving abiitities in the book, besides the rodent, of course.

Enough. Book slammed shut, my ire fully invoked, I turn to Rojo and say, "Let's read 'Spongebob.'"


Suzy said...

Can't imagine why Rojo can't concentrate on this book.
Don't you wash out the tub after your husband takes a bath? I think Mrs. Frederick C. Little was sleeping with a dirty rat, the bitch!
Geez, Mrs. Wilson Link, get with the program!

Michelle O'Neil said...

Uh, Suzy?

That's Mrs. Stanley Link.

Jerri said...

We have a client at the salon, a woman in her early 40s who signs her name "Mrs. David . . ."

Every time she comes in, I fight the urge to ask her who she is. Who SHE is. Who she was before she married Mr. David . . ."

What had you better do with that book?

Let it gather dust on someone else's shelf!

kario said...

Scary the things we grew up thinking nothing of, eh? Thank goodness my husband never read when he was a kid or he might expect different things from our relationship. Who cares that our seven year old can spell better than him? He has hired more women to work on his team than men and doesn't expect me to take care of everything at home (except when he's on a business trip and the house starts falling apart).

riversgrace said...

That's what a few decades will do....wasn't that published in the 60s or 70s?

Then again....I wash out the tub after you know who.

jennifer said...

Love Rojo!!!

Anonymous said...

What's with the Mrs. anyway? Why is a Mr. always a Mr.? Why is there such a thing as a Miss, Ms., and Mrs.? If one wants a title I say create your own......something like tl would do just fine.

Julie Christine said...

This is unbelievable! But that is good that you have a critical eye and don't glaze over these things as many people are conditioned to do.

Sue said...

At least you didn't try to read "Hansel and Gretel" -- why weren't we scared out of our wits?!

Besides all he sexist stories, what about all the tv programs we watched??

(BTW, at my husband's golf club, I'm still "Mrs. Brooks Houser. I view it as funny as their "no jeans of any style" rule.)

Deb said...

I'll never read E.B. (Mr.) White the same again. Sounds like you need to do a rewrite for him. Now I'm wondering about some of my other favorite classics - I'm pretty sure Pippi is still a safe place to go.

Wish I could have been a fly on the wall listening to you read (or not).

Thanks for the laugh and the thought. . .and the reminder to be grateful for who I am and when.


Ziji Wangmo said...

SO funny!!!!

Anonymous said...

what's so bad about being called Mrs.______? if inserting your beloveds name into your title takes away your female personhood and power, then you probably never had it in the first place

Eileen said...

Too funny! Those good old classics are not always the way we remember them!

tl anonymous said...

oh yea, Pippi!! that girl does just fine with a one word title... like Oprah

tl ?!? too funny...I'll take it!