I've gone to the gym three times this week, and since I overdid it on squats (trying to impress a new friend, silly I know) so I think I'll take today off. I was having a really hard time at the beginning of the week letting the sads get to me, but I've kept myself too busy since then to get down. It also helps when I am reading a book-- make that TWO books that have me taking longer 15-minute breaks than I should: Jane Eyre and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
I started reading Jane Eyre when I was 15 or 16, but got distracted by other things. Then in my senior year of college, I was in a Women in Modernism class (woefully unprepared) where we read Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea. Not only was I completely adrift in modernist and feminist theory, it was a novel from the perspective of Rochester's first wife in Jane Eyre. Since I had never read the first book, I was not exactly sure how to grasp the second. So, I am reading that first classic and going back and reading Wide Sargasso Sea. I'm surprised how much I like it, but if you'd ever seen me watching a Jane Austen film adaptation, you can imagine I'm slack jawed with anticipation or talking out loud to the characters. I started reading it again with the awareness of how mental illness and race is treated in it, and I feel bad about how much I am enjoying it (not the racism or ablism). From a feminist perspective, Jane is in turn very independent and knows who she is, but her attachment to Rochester is kind of gross if you step back and look at it. But, as patronizing as he speaks to her, when he called her his "little mustard seed", it makes my heart wiggle. Humans are strange things.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was a really great movie, and is an even better book. I am so happy it's a trilogy. I will admit I was a snob at first, avoiding it because it sounded like a trendy Young Adult novel about one more mysterious beautiful lady who is magic, ignoring her as a person and casting her as a mystery*. Not so! Lisbeth Salander, the books' female protagonist, is neck and neck with Ellen Ripley right now. I am glad she exists. She is smart, independent, and flawed. Bad shit has happened to her. She's reacted in ways that I do not agree with but understand. The books are about murder, dysfunctional families, ethics, journalism, mysteries, technology and a little romance. I cannot recommend them enough. I'm excited about a weekend with no plans and this and Jane Eyre in my hands.
Once I get up the front steps of my house (with my legs killing me from those damned squats) I will post myself on the couch and not get up until Monday morning.
*The original title in Swedish is Män som hatar kvinnor, which translates to "Men who hate women". It's interesting to see how things get changed for an American audience. I think that would have perked my ears.