Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cruel Planet

I never watched the TV show, Sex and the City.
But tipped off by a review of the original book by Candace Bushnell, wherein the reviewer said Bushnell painted a far more realistic picture than the carnival of dating and shoe-shopping that Hollywood made of it, I put her book on my list.

Actually, Bushnell comes off less as truth-teller and more as bored, catty queen bee. Make that a very observant, bored, catty queen bee.

Didn't I always tell myself that I loved New York, but would never know what New York was like inside those lovely brownstones?

Well, it's a cruel world in there. The rich and the beautiful constantly reel in and then discard one another. Everybody is on the make. Some of us grow up, pair off and gladly leave behind the unbearable tensions of dating life (Will anybody notice me? Will he be at the party? Does he like me better than her?). Of course we also give up the thrills and flattery that go with it (He's checking me out! He likes me!). In Bushnell's world, they never do, married or not.

Are there cow patties in this book? Well, honey, cow patties are the subject here.

Next up, Live Through This by Debra Gwartney. After a nasty divorce, Gwartney's daughters dress in black cloth and dog collars and start the grand sport of running away. They're only twelve and fourteen, if I remember right. They have no use for their mother, except when life on the street finally exhausts all their resources and they come home to raid the pantry and the dresser drawers, then head out again to the world of drugs and confused kids.

Gwartney is a concerned mother, but she's also an interfering and enabling one. You wouldn't want to live her story, but it makes for some pretty good reading. There's even a Boise connection to the story.

As for your recipe, Creamy Chicken Enchiladas is not too tough. It's something I managed to pull together on a day when I just couldn't get going. I derailed myself first thing in the morning, reading news magazines on my phone. And since this is an election year, I fear that's the way it's going to go all the way until November.

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

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