Monday, November 15, 2010

Book Review: Around the World with Auntie Mame

Around the World With Auntie MameAround the World With Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Around the World picks up where Auntie Mame leaves off: With Patrick and Pegeen saying good bye to their son Michael as he joins Auntie Mame in India for what was supposed to be 2 weeks.

Two years later, nearing Christmas, Michael hasn't returned home and the postcards and letters have stopped coming in. Patrick and Pegeen are besides themselves with worry about where in the world Michael is with Auntie Mame and the trouble they are getting into. Pegeen probes Patrick to tell her what happened on his trip around the world with Auntie Mame and thus our story begins.

I enjoyed this sequel just as much as I enjoyed the first book. When Patrick tells the reader (not his wife, as his adventures would surely send her to an early grave) about his trip around the world, he is 17 or 18. This being the trip that Auntie Mame promised him in his last weeks of school at St. Boney Face if he would just help her with a pregnant Agnes.

If the first book came off as being a bit risque for the time, this one is even more so! Which, for me, makes it that much more entertaining. Patrick is less of a dolt this time around as well. His teenage self a little more filled out. I felt a little more understanding towards his disagreements with Mame as she seems to have also let her common sense take a world trip but in the opposite direction.

Vera is back too, which is a lot of fun. I love how she flips between her Pittsburgh personality and her faux British stage personality on a whim. Mame gets a whole new cast of potential uncles for Patrick including an honorable Lord in the British court, a Spanish (I think) lothario, a Nazi, and a super creepy Uncle Beau impersonator (sort of impersonator, he looks like Beau if you're really, really drunk).

Mame is a munitions expert, a thief, and a matchmaker all rolled into one. Just another really great read from Patrick Dennis and more Mame love!

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Color Me Shocked and Surprised!

A couple of days ago I got a friend request from someone who went to my high school. I had no idea who he was so I asked him, "I'm sorry to ask, but can you help me remember how we know each other?"

I've had to ask several people this because my memories of high school are shoddy at best. There are some things that really really stick out and other things are pushed so far back in my head or lost forever.

He was very nice about reminding me of our connection. As I read his reply snippets came back to, little foggy memories, kind of like bad snapshots of who he possibly could be. Finally I remembered him. He was a year up on me. He was a techie in our school mash up production of "Our Town" and "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown!" I think I even sat with him and his girlfriend at prom.

(10th grade class picture, 1990, I'm dressing like the future Dana Scully. I thought I was so ivy league preppy in my blazer. yep. No fashion sense.)

I replied back to him profusely apologizing. He sent me this in return:
Hey Wendi, it's not problem. Like I said, it was a long time ago. I always really admired you though, I have to say. You were one of the few people at Enterprise High that was above all the B.S. plus you were an independent thinker and I always admired that about you.

I was above the BS? WOW! That's a shocker, I had no idea. Seriously, I'm totally not being sarcastic. I hated high school bull shit, the games, the politics. All I really wanted to do was hang out with my friends.

I knew I was an independent thinker but my thoughts usually came out of my mouth, and well, irritated and annoyed a lot of people, even some of my "friends." We were all trying to figure out who we were and how we fit into the high school community. Back then nobody wanted to be friends with the person who swam against the popular current even if it meant turning their backs on moral issues.

(Picture: 11th grade, it does not get better! what was i doing with my hair? At least I didn't have a gigantic poof on my forehead. But as Tyra Banks would say, I have a five finger forehead. And you can't see it, but there were neon green rubber bands around my bottom braces. Worst photo ever. I love that dress though and would wear it to this day if 1. I still had it and 2. it fit.)

This one time my group of friends that I hung with for three years (this was my junior year) hung me out to dry. One of our friends was constantly belittling his girlfriend, verbally abusing her right in front of us. Well, I had had enough and I let him have it. I looked at my friends and said, "Why aren't you all saying anything?! You know it's not right that he talks to her this way!" They just looked at me and shook their heads. My own group ostracized me.

I spent the next few weeks eating lunch alone because I couldn't bring myself to be around them. It was a lonely time.

So to get this message from this guy I barely remember means the world to me. Somebody out there, back then didn't think I was a social leper. It's nice to know. I would have liked to have known that then, but it still nice to hear now. I guess being a spitfire wasn't such a bad thing.