December 14, 2008

My love for Anita Liberty has already been documented. I still pick up How to Heal the Hurt By Hating every now and then when I’m in the mood for a bitter laugh. So funny.

So recently I picked up her other two books: “The Center of the Universe (Yep, That Would Be Me)”, which is purportedly embellished excerpts from her actual high school diary, and “How to Stay Bitter Through the Happiest Times of Your Life.”

Sounds like fun!

I cruised through both books in a couple of hours (some pages have quick poems on them, some pages have only 2-3 words on them) and a good time was had by all. While I do love the teenage angst books, I think I liked “Stay Bitter” a little more than “Center of the Universe.”

The Flip Side of My Love for Anita Liberty (Suzanne Weber): I laugh at her, but then realize, sadly (for me – probably not for her), that the author’s voice in “Stay Bitter” sounds exactly like mine, on occasion. Here’s what she says on turning 35:

I thought I would feel smarter and more grounded at this age. I guess I imagined that feeling and watching myself age wouldn’t matter because I’d have achieved inner peace and be filled with self-love and experiential wisdom. Or, at the very least, I’d be married. Or famous. Or rich. Or someone’s mother. Nope. It’s still just me. Getting older.

And on being engaged/in a serious relationship but being scared of it:

I really don’t want to be single again, but it’s almost the abhorrent thought of it that makes me want to run screaming into the center of that fear. Like a moth to the flame. It’s hypnotic. On the other hand, maybe my feet are cold because I’m finally seeing a long-held goal come within reach. And I don’t know what I will do without the dogged pursuit of romantic satisfaction and happiness. What will drive me? I’m scared of getting what I want. I’m scared of not getting what I want. I’m scared of not knowing what I want. Or realizing that what I thought I wanted is not what I actually want. What?

While this situation doesn't exactly apply to me, it still makes me wonder. Am I - like Anita - staying bitter for no good reason? I like to think that even though I’m sometimes weirded out about how my life has turned out, that I can also poke fun at myself and be funny about my various shortcomings - at least half the time. (Part of the time? Once in a while?) I’m sure my mother would beg to differ. I think my favorite AL book is still How to Heal the Hurt by Hating.

So if you're a cold and bitter cow like I am, try some Anita Liberty. It will make you laugh.

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