Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Joy of....

Sex? Cooking? How about both? The Joy of Cooking in my family, is a book that gets purchased for you (that is if you are a woman, in this sprawling family of women) when you have married (read: when you have grown up enough to take on the responsibility of cooking for a family, or at least a man). The Joy of Sex in my family, is a book that never gets purchased for you. You should not really have it at all (sex or the book), but if you do you should really be married. Anyways, in my family, you should really be married. What's wrong with you anyway?

Well, the news is: I have recently obtained both The Joy of Cooking and The Joy of Sex. Actually the latter is More Joy of Sex, as I have been having the improper joy of sex for over 10 years--eek! No wonder I'm so good in bed! The improper joy of cooking, on the other hand, I have not had. Luckily, now I own the joy, with a capital J, of both...I got the joy joy joy down in my...where? down in my...where?

...and the secret is (lean in close for this one): I'm not married!

And if the devil doesn't like it he can sit on a tack, ouch! Sit on a tack, ouch! Sit on a tack! OUCH!

So, moving on from elementary school church songs, you might be asking me, if you were here, how in the hell did I get the Joys (proper) of cooking and sex without solemn vows or surpassing the only occasion on which I might wear a garter? Well, there is a spot in the lobby of my building, where everyone leaves the things they do not want. A rummage sale, without the sale; dumpster diving without the dumpster. I love it. It is my favorite part of living here. At Christmastime, the Christmas tree is placed in the same corner as the things that are being left for scavenge. It is the most beautiful array of gifts one could hope to see--piles of well loved objects looking for more. Velveteen rabbits abound. In fact, when I moved into the building, it was December, and I didn't know that this corner was always the give away spot, I thought it was Christmas generosity (or humbug) that compelled people to share the wealth (or dump their shit), under the tree.

So, last Saturday, I came home to find two large--and I mean LARGE--boxes of books. Books! Books! Oh boy books! I won't make a list for you of the booty I collected, but I will tell you it was a veritable feast of literary sustenance--Eco, Borroughs, Beckett, Irving, Woolf, McEwan, Franzen...are you getting the picture? I passed up the biographical sketches of Star Trek characters, as well as some books on make-up techniques used in Star Wars, and some chess essays (chess essays!? damn, come to think of it, I should have grabbed that). Anyways, I had a pile up to my chin, but if I lifted it just a bit, I could fit one last (mind you thin) book under there and possibly navigate the stairs without wiping out. So, there it was: More Joy of Sex. Small enough to fit under my chin, big enough to have nice pictures to look at. I guess whoever had owned it had had enough joy of sex.

The next night I walked into the lobby and all the remaining books (the, like, three I didn't take) had been cleared away or claimed, but above the spot where our unwanteds are deposited was a sign: "Just married sale....combining households, so some stuff must go." After wiping the look of disgust off my face at the saccharine sweet tone of the note and the cheesy graphics, I scratched my chin and wondered if the book boxes I dove into the night before had been a cleaning out of the new married couples' book shelf. The books had had a decidedly complete spectrum of male to female, with moments of absolute polarity (i.e., Virginia Woolf/Boss Tweed biography). It seemed to make sense. And then it dawned on me--one of the things that "had to go" was the joy of sex! Oh, honey, you won't be needing that anymore. And I scratched my chin more and wondered further, had her mother bought her The Joy of Cooking for her wedding shower!? Was this how it worked in all families?

So, I decided that if the rule was not having The Joy of Cooking before you were married, and not having the Joy of Sex after you were married (and all these years I thought it was premarital sex that was the problem!), well, then I would have to break one of those rules. If I am ever going to get married (it could happen), and I want to be sure to keep the joy of sex (proper or improper), I best have The Joy of Cooking before I get married. (I know it seems a bit fuzzy, but trust me, I am the expert at breaking the small rules for the greater good, and I did really well in Symbolic Logic. I could write you a proof for this.) Thus, tonight, after a long therapy session about food and my mother, I bought The Joy of Cooking.

I am going to try it tomorrow--cooking I mean. The joy of sex? Well, my boyfriend has apparently gone into a cave, so not much chance of that tonight. I better go out and get Our Bodies, Ourselves while I am at it...


Dave Beeman said...

Secretly reading TJOS in my parent's bedroom when I was little made me gay and obsessed with trimming. So much hair. Everywhere. Holy mother of God, were there ever hairier people anywhere but in that damned book? They weren't even real photos, but watercolors of HAIR. Everywhere.

Erin said...

Uhoh, I own neither of these books, but Dennis has the Joy of Cooking, what does that say ;)

Marie London said...

I'll work the male owning the Joy of Cooking into my proof and see where that leaves me. Certainly, if nothing else, he gives me hope that the Joy of Cooking is not a symbol of domestic slavery...unless...uhoh

Elizabeth said...

Did Jon and I tear you away from writing this, you Lucky Magazine fashionista? I heart it!