So, every time I answer and he says, "Hello" my first reaction is to go stiff and say, "How's mom? Is she okay? How's she doing?" Which, I can imagine makes my dad wonder if he counts at all. I mean, I never say right of the bat, "How are you?" it's always, "How's Mom?"
I know that he knows why I do that, and I'm sure the adult inside of him knows why I do it, and doesn't care. But, I know if it were me in the same situation, the adult would be fine, but there would be this little voice in me, going, "Oh, so, no one cares about me. I've just become a non-entity, who's only function in life is to take care of someone. I'm a nobody, life sucks, I want chocolate." (Okay, the last one would still be said, even if everyone rushed around me and asked me all about myself all the time, but you get the point.)
Yet, I can't seem to break myself of the habit. Yes, once we've established Mom's condition (never good) then, I ask him how he's holding up, so on and so forth. But, I always feel it comes across like an afterthought. "Oh yes, that's right, Dad, you're a human being too! And you're no spring chicken, so uh, let's be polite. How the hell are ya?"
In other news, I'm having a love/hate affair with Jodi Picoult. She, of course, is unaware of this affair, as her role in this is to write books, which I listen to. Nevertheless, this doesn't mean this affair isn't taking it's toll on me.
See, here's my problem with Jodi Picoult; she's a fantastic writer. She has good characters, she's gifted at coming up with a way for us to see inside their heads, she tackles some really controversial issues too.
And then, she has this annoying habit of shoving a cheesy ending onto this book and ruining the whole thing. And it's really starting to piss me off.
I'm rather shocked to see that My Sister's Keeper has been turned into a movie, because to me, that was one of the worst of the bunch for, "Awesome idea, great start, now watch me turn it into a piece of shit!"
*Warning! Spoilers ahead!*
Seriously, we're talking major spoilers here.
If you had plans on reading the book or even maybe going to the movie (although I can't say if the movie and the book match, having not seen the movie, nor having an intention of doing so) you might want to reconsider.
Really, I'm serious here
Okay, one last time...
If you're disappointed now, then it's your own damned fault.
First of all, this is a book with an explanation by the author for the ending. If that didn't send up huge warning signs to the author, nothing would. If you really have to justify your ending to your readers, then your ending probably sucks. And the ending to this one was a major suck.
Now, the beginning, I sat there with every page and wondered how the hell she was going to pull this off. Honestly, I so understood where Anne was coming from, her whole existence had always been pinned on the idea that she was created as a living donor bank for her sister. The whole concept just weirded me out completely.
So, I'm going along, and I'm really not overly keen on the mother, who comes across like, "Well, of course we love Anna, after all, she was carefully planned TO KEEP HER SISTER ALIVE!" I know if I was Anne, I'd be wondering if the roles were reversed, would my parents have created Kate to keep me alive.
To be honest, I'm not even sure if children should have the right to be donors for their siblings, until they're 18. It's a rough issue, but if the kid stands up and says, "No more," that's going to make it hard to live in the house, I'd imagine. And really, is a kid under the age of ten really making that choice, or are the parents making it instead? There is no easy answer. So, I had a lot of admiration for Picoult, for even being willing to take it on.
Then, when it's found out that nope, Anna wants to donate that kidney, but Kate doesn't want her to, that's when the book went from being thought provoking, right into, "This should be made into a movie for Lifetime network." Until then, I'm thinking that Anne is making the hardest choice in her life, that she can love her sister, but still not want to be a constant donor, especially of something major, like a kidney. I mean, what if later, Anne's remaining kidney fails? What then, is she just SOL, because dying big sister needed the other one first? When does it end? What if Kate needed a heart, would Mom seriously consider offing Anna to give Kate her heart? Part of me thinks she would. But now, it wasn't that Anne was a good person having to make a tough choice, nope, Anna became a fucking saint, who was willing to do this, because her sister wanted to die, and Anne respected that.
Equally as irritating in that scenario is the fact that all of this only comes out into light in court. It's like Kate wants to die, and has encouraged her sister to go ahead and do this, yet never once, could she stand up and say, "Look, I WANT her to stop being my personal organ bank. I'm done withdrawing, I've had enough, just let me die in peace." Nope, Kate is more than willing to just go along with this, letting her family think that Anna is the bad one, when all along, it's Kate's wishes Anna is trying to fulfill. Yes, I know, Kate is sick, weak, dying, but she had enough strength to make the request for Anne to stop, she can find the damned energy to say, "Hey, Mom, Dad, enough. I'm old enough to decide that this is too much. I'm never going to have a normal life, let me just go out with some dignity." Nope, Kate keeps her damned mouth shut and let's Anne take it all on her.
Then, if the whole "But I'm doing it FOR Kate, not against her," thing isn't enough, the real piss off comes at the end. I don't know what inspire Jodi to do it, but I have a vision of this woman up late, writing, knowing her agent will be calling her the next day. She's been working on this novel for ages, putting her heart and soul into it. She's spent all the advance money, she needs to get this finished. So, punchdrunk, she says, "Fuck it, I'll just kill the bitch off. Her only reason for existence was to keep that pain in the ass sister alive, so let's do it!"
What is wrong with that ending? Oh, let me count the ways...
1: The implication that parents know best. Now, if Kate and Anne had just been good little girls and done what their parents had wanted, Anne would have given the kidney, it would have saved Kate, and then both girls would be just peachy.
2: One of them has to die, let's make it the healthy sister! First, Anne came across way too much like a hand made savior of Kate, the ending came across like the hand of God. "No Anne, you have only one fuction, to save your sister, even if it KILLS YOU."
3: Kate didn't want to take a willing kidney from her sister, but happily accepts one from her dead sister, the same sister she begged not to donate it, the sister who would not be dead if Kate hadn't started this crap. But nope, sis is dead, let's grab that kidney! And, miracle of miracles, the kidney saves Kates life! In fact, it even seems to cure her! And does Kate come across like she has regrets, considering she's indirectly the reason why her sister died, you'd think that would give her some pang of guilt, right? Nope. Kate calmly seems to accept the kidney as her godgiven right and her sister's death as some beautiful sacrifice to save her life. Now Kate is fufilled!
Here's my sequel to My Sister's Keeper. "Then, Kate went outside and got hit by a fucking mac truck and died. The end."
But, as I said, the writing is really good, so I figure maybe this book was a fluke, that she realized she was in way over her head and decided the only way to save herself was to drown the book in cheese sauce, build a raft, and sail the hell out of there. Okay, no one is perfect. So, I decide to give something else of hers a try, and decide to read The Pact. Good writing, except that the characters are shit. Really, everyone is a complete and utter asshole in this book. And that's all I'll say about that one.
So, well, she's a pretty popular author, maybe I just grabbed the two boners. So, I give it one more shot. And I've been listening to "Harvesting the Heart." And wow, I really like the characters! Okay, hubby is a bit of a douche, but his douchedom is somewhat understandable. And the situation is one of those where both sides are totally wrong and totally right. This is going to be very interesting...
And along comes the cheese, yet again. And the message, "there's nothing like trauma to bring a couple closer."
I should probably just give up. Or, at the very least, take a good, long, break from the woman before trying again. Because I really can't stand having my hopes built and then crushed. Her books are like those cakes in the window of the bakery. They look delicious, but when you cut them open, it's just frosting on cardboard.