I want you to promise me something. If you love someone, you tell them. Even if you’re scared that it’s not the right thing. Even if you’re scared that it’ll cause problems. Even if you’re scared that it will burn your life to the ground. You say it, and you say it loud. And then you go from there. — Mark Sloan to Jackson Avery
First things first… she (Gillian Flynn) went to my alma mater, the University of Kansas. Second, she grew up in the same area I did. I found this out after fawning over her writing, so these revelations are in no way causing a bias in my review of her books. Only extreme pride. Excessive fangirling. And excitement that the Kansas City area is now a bit more on people’s radars, if even just the slightest bit.
Last year I first read Gone Girl. I was skeptical, as I am not much of a crime/thriller/suspense fan when it comes to my choice of reading. But… it was part of the buy-two-get-one-free deal at the bookstore I was wandering around in London. I was visiting my friends for New Year’s, a quick jaunt from Munich, and spent much of my time perusing while they were at work. I knew I needed to load up on English books, my mind having become mush in the past six months from having read so many German books. It doesn’t matter how fluent you are in a language, your active translating, 24/7, takes its toll. It’s mentally exhausting…
Anyway… I grabbed Gone Girl and two other books (you guys, I’m far too embarrassed to admit what they were. Let’s just say they were not worth toting back to the States when I moved home. And that’s saying a lot, considering books are like my children).
I began reading it on my flight back to Munich, then on the subway, then raced back to my apartment, hardly throwing off my bags, definitely not taking off my winter layers, and I sat on my couch and finished that puppy by morning.
I couldn’t not read it. I had to know. Right then. Sleep was for the weak.
This book had taken control. I won’t delve into the details of the plot, you can find reviews of that and the like anywhere online, trust me. I just want to suggest you go out and grab a copy now. It’s phenomenally written with a remarkably hard to predict plot. (And I’m notorious for guessing the ending of movies, books, plays, you name it. I owe that ability to my years and years of watching TV, paid off!)
But here are some quotes to give you a little taste of both the writing and the plot. Consider this your appeteaser (see what I did there, heh.) and go ahead and order the chef special. Someone you know has a copy, trust me. In fact, mine’s currently making the rounds in my family. 😉
“I don’t know that we are actually human at this point, those of us who are like most of us, who grew up with TV and movies and now the Internet. If we are betrayed, we know the words to say; when a loved one dies, we know the words to say. If we want to play the stud or the smart-ass or the fool, we know the words to say. We are all working from the same dog-eared script.”
“Love makes you want to be a better man. But maybe love, real love, also gives you permission to just be the man you are.”
“Give me a man with a little fight in him, a man who calls me on my bullshit. (But also who kinda likes my bullshit.) And yet: Don’t land me in one of those relationships where we’re always pecking at each other, disguising insults as jokes, rolling our eyes and “playfully” scrapping in front of our friends, hoping to lure them to our side of an argument they could not care less about. Those awful if only relationships: This marriage would be great if only…and you sense the if only list is a lot longer than either of them realizes.”
“Because you can’t be as in love as we were and not have it invade your bone marrow. Our kind of love can go into remission, but it’s always waiting to return. Like the world’s sweetest cancer”
“’My gosh, why are you so wonderful to me?’
He was supposed to say: ‘You deserve it. I love you.’
But he said,’Because I feel sorry for you.’
‘Because every morning you have to wake up and be you.’”
“Ironic people always dissolve when confronted with earnestness, it’s their kryptonite.”
“Because isn’t that the point of every relationship: to be known by someone else, to be understood? He gets me. She gets me. Isn’t that the simple magic phrase?”
“It’s a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless Automat of characters.”
“Men always say that as the defining compliment: the Cool Girl. She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means that I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.
Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see these men – friends, coworkers, strangers – giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. I’d want to grab the poor guy by his lapels or messenger bag and say: The bitch doesn’t really love chili dogs that much – no one loves chili dogs that much! And the Cool Girls are even more pathetic: They’re not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be. Oh, and if you’re not a Cool Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn’t want the Cool Girl. It may be a slightly different version – maybe he’s a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain. (How do you know you’re not Cool Girl? Because he says things like: ‘I like strong women.’ If he says that to you, he will at some point fuck someone else. Because ‘I like strong women’ is code for ‘I hate strong women.’)
I waited patiently – years – for the pendulum to swing the other way, for men to start reading Jane Austen, learn how to knit, pretend to like cosmos, organize scrapbook parties, and make out with each other while we leer. And then we’d say, Yeah, he’s a Cool Guy.
But it never happened. Instead, women across the nation colluded in our degradation! Pretty soon Cool Girl became the standard girl. Men believed she existed – she wasn’t just a dreamgirl one in a million. Every girl was supposed to be this girl, and if you weren’t, then there was something wrong with you.”
Also, Gone Girl is becoming a movie. It has a trailer and everything. It’s going to be good. I feel it in my bones.
And Gillian Flynn did a Reddit Ask Me Anything. Flavorwire did a recap of her best answers.
Just finished the second two of her novels, both qually intriguing. Definitely recommend. Will write more on that matter later, though…
1. Must Read — Ten Things I’ve Learnt About Love by Sarah Butler || Little Things & Curiosities
2. Inspiration for Fringe Garland || Laura Blythman
3. Boss Mama Drew Barrymore || Prêt à Pregnant
4. Beautiful, Truthful Reminder || Ella Frances Sanders
5. Free, Vintage French Cross Stitch Patterns || Sentimental Baby
More of my pins can be found here.
Three of my dear friends are currently in the throes of bitter heartbreaks. And, more than anything, it makes me weep for their ever thinking it has anything to do with their worth.
What a ludicrous idea!
These are three of the kindest, most brilliant, loving people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. The fact that they are hurting kills me. I wish I could take their hurt and make it mine. They don’t deserve such sorrow.
And the truth is, their exes never deserved them, full-stop.
In a way, what a favor their exes did, letting these beautiful souls go, allowing them to venture on to the loves they deserve.
But the cost is what can almost blind us all.
When you’re mid-battle of heartbreak warfare, you think of giving up time and time again. You question the point, feel as though you’ll never find peace again. Recovery seems like a mythical place you only hear of people reaching.
But you have to keep on, keeping on. Not to prove to everyone that you can (because you can). Not to prove to your ex that they will miss you and regret their ways (because they will). And not because you feel the need to show your worth (you’re already worth more than rubies, dear one).
But because you are going to come out on the other side. Thriving.
You’ll find a love that never makes you question your worth. Only one that reminds you of it daily.
Someone breaking up with you does not diminish your worth.
It never does.
In fact, sometimes it can prove that your worth was merely too much for someone to handle.
Did you ever think of that?
Another book I read last summer was Katharine Hepburn’s autobiography, Me: Stories of My Life. (Highly recommend it!) It was on sale at my go-to English bookstore in Munich, and it jumped out at me immediately (sale price aside!). Katharine Hepburn is just one of those women you grow up admiring. She’s a heroine in her own right, and her story only proves as such. She’s an American classic, a beautiful woman, inside and out, one you’d wish was more of an inspiration to girls in today’s world.
And, quite honestly, in my book, she’s the one true Kate the Great.
“I was brought up by two extremely intelligent people who gave me the greatest gift that man can give anyone, and that is freedom from fear.”
“Children need boundaries, so they can know how far they have to go to get beyond them.”
“The thing about life is that you must survive. Life is going to be difficult, and dreadful things will happen. What you do is move along, get on with it, and be tough. Not in the sense of being mean to others, but being tough with yourself and making a deadly effort not to be defeated.”
“I have not lived as a woman. I have lived as a man…I’ve just done what I damn well wanted to and I made enough money to support myself. And I ain’t afraid of being alone.” Barbara Walters: “Is that why also you wear pants?” Hepburn: “No, I just wore pants because they’re comfortable.” Walters: “Do you ever wear a skirt, by the way?” Hepburn: “I have one.” Walters: “You have one.” Hepburn: “I’ll wear it to your funeral.”
“Life can be wildly tragic at times, and I’ve had my share. But whatever happens to you, you have to keep a slightly comic attitude. In the final analysis, you have got not to forget to laugh.”
“It’s life isn’t it? You plow ahead and make a hit. And you plow on and someone passes you. Then someone passes them. Time levels.”
“You can’t change the music of your soul.”
“I have many regrets, and I’m sure everyone does. The stupid things you do, you regret…if you have any sense….And if you don’t regret them, maybe you’re stupid.”
“Everyone thought I was bold and fearless and even arrogant, but inside I was always quaking.”
“The calla lilies are in bloom again. Such a strange flower—suitable to any occasion. I carried them on my wedding day, and now I place them here in memory of something that has died.”
“Now how can anybody look at that and not believe in God? I mean, how can anybody look at this and not believe there is some higher power, some divine force at work in the universe greater than Man, some god that created it, that created all this, that created us?”
“Life is to be lived.if you have to support yourself,you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting.And you don’t do that by sitting around.”
“I have loved and been in love. There’s a big difference.”
“Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only what you are expecting to give — which is everything. What you will receive in return varies. But it really has no connection with what you give. You give because you love and cannot help giving.”
(above graphic by me.)
Read more Words from Wise Women here.
“You have such a big heart, you’re bound to have it bump a couple of things along the way. Never make it smaller so that your journey will be easier, because there might come a time when you will need the magnitude of your heart to help others in this life. No one wishes the sun to be smaller so that they can find their way west or the north star to find their way home. Be grateful for your big heart, for with each pump brings new life.”
— T.B. LaBerge // Go Now
Here are a few I had underlined and dog-eared the pages in my personal copy:
“Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.”
“[He] slipped his hand into mine, and I thought, An average of seventy-four species become extinct every day, which was one good reason but not the only one to hold someone’s hand, and the next thing that happened was we kissed each other, and I found out I knew how, and I felt happy and sad in equal parts, because I knew that I was falling in love, but it wasn’t with him.”
“He ran his fingers down her spine over her thin blouse, and for a moment he forgot the danger he was in, grateful for the world which purposefully puts divisions in place so that we can overcome them, feeling the joy of getting closer, even if deep down we can never forget the sadness of our insurmountable differences.”
“Why does one begin to write? Because she feels misunderstood, I guess. Because it never comes out clearly enough when she tries to speak. Because she wants to rephrase the world, to take it in and give it back again differently, so that everything is used and nothing is lost. Because it’s something to do to pass the time until she is old enough to experience the things she writes about.”
“(Then again, the oldest feeling in the world might simply have been confusion.)”
“He knew that “I love you” also means “I love you more than anyone else loves you, or has loved you, or will love you,” and also “I love you in a way that way that I love no one else, and never have loved anyone else, and never will love anyone else.” He knew that it is, by love’s definition, impossible to love two people.”
“We met each other when we were young, before we knew enough about disappointment, and once we did we found we reminded each other of it.”
“She leaned back and looked at him with something like hurt, and then he almost but didn’t say the two sentences he’d been meaning to say for years: Part of me is made of glass, and also, I love you.”
“When you are young, you think it’s going to be solved by love. But it never is. Being close — as close as you can get — to another person only makes clear that impassable distance between you.”
“So many words get lost. They leave the mouth and lose their courage, wandering aimlessly until they are swept into the gutter like dead leaves.”
“Even now, all possible feelings do not yet exist, there are still those that lie beyond our capacity and our imagination. From time to time, when a piece of music no one has ever written or a painting no one has ever painted, or something else impossible to predict, fathom or yet describe takes place, a new feeling enters the world. And then, for the millionth time in the history of feeling, the heart surges and absorbs the impact.”
“What about you? Are you happiest and saddest right now that you’ve ever been?”
“Of course I am.”
“Because nothing makes me happier and nothing makes me sadder than you.”
“And if the man who once upon a time had been a boy who promised he’d never fall in love with another girl as long as he lived kept his promise it wasn’t because he was stubborn or even loyal. He couldn’t help it.”
“Really, there isn’t much to say.
He was a great writer.
He fell in love.
It was his life.”
Here’s what I’m reading next… what are your summer reads?