Reading Journal #2 | 6.18.2023

“She placed a hand on his as he squeezed her shoulder. His touch was loaded with so many unspoken words she didn’t have the courage to reply, so she squeezed him back instead. They remained still, allowing their love to console them where syllables could not. Then he kissed her again and left the room.”

– from The Mermaid Garden by Santa Montefiore

Friday 6.16.2023

I’m writing this Saturday morning because I stayed up until nearly midnight reading. I had sort of a dull day of chores, groceries, and general “life admin”, so after a quick but late dinner I made a cocktail and found a romance novel on Scribd. I read about 200 pages before I noticed the time (11:45) and decided it was best to go to sleep.

Saturday | 6.17.2023

Before getting up to make my coffee, I read a few dozen more pages of the romance I started last night, and unfortunately was let down by a couple of details in the story. First, the woman in the novel, who we know has gone through infertility and related treatments, notices something off about her body and makes an appointment to see a doctor. She tells her love interest (who has told her he loves her, and has a child of his own who is quite prominent in the story): “‘Oh, I’m fine. I have issues regulating my cycles, so sometimes I have to go in and have it taken care of.'” The next paragraph is his reaction: “He grimaces and then takes a swig of wine. ‘That’s a little TMI, baby. A simple I need a checkup would have sufficed.'” I have seen a variation of this exchange in various romance novels, and honestly this may be the least graphic description of menstruation I have ever read. And I’m still supposed to root for these characters to be together? This should have been the last dinner this woman ever had with this immature man, or she should have at least confronted him about it rather than laughing it off. Give me a break.

Anyway, I stopped reading shortly after out of an annoyance I couldn’t/didn’t want to shake. I picked up The Mermaid Garden by Santa Montefiore, which I found in a used bookstore a couple of weeks ago. It’s lovely so far; a seemingly sweet story with undertones of tragedy and tension (which I’m sure will evolve into more than undertones).

Sunday | 6.18.2023

For the past month or so, Sunday night = pasta night. I block off basically the entire afternoon to prep, cook, and enjoy a recipe found during the week. This past week was a stressful, mentally dismal week so by Sunday afternoon I had little energy for this weekly ritual. But, I am desperately trying to create and maintain routines in my life so I made an easy butter, garlic, and cream sauce and only had to cook some pork in my fridge as well as the pasta (fettucine). I only read a couple more pages of The Mermaid Garden, and it was the almost-falling-asleep kind of reading (to the book’s credit, it’s nearly bedtime) so I’ll be going back to revisit those pages when I’m more alert.

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