A Guilt Complex and a Story of Hope…

I am a cowardly shopper.  I live in fear of buyer’s remorse.

Now, that kind of sounds like a good thing, right?  I don’t make impulse buys, I don’t over-shop, but I also don’t buy the things that I really want/need because I’m afraid that someday I’ll regret it or that I’ll wish I had spent that money on something else.  I think it all stems from a deep-seeded guilt complex.

It’s a sickness. I know.  I’m working on it. More on that later.

So what I tend to do when I really want something, but don’t have the chutzpah to make a purchase, is mention to a family member that I really want this thing, and then wait for a gift-giving holiday to come around.  Fortuitously, the following things are true:

1) My birthday and Christmas are about 6 month apart, so we’re never too far from such a holiday (end of May!)

2) My family, with a couple of exceptions, seems pretty terrified of shopping for me, so they stick to the list. Love it!

All of these things culminated in a perfect storm that ended with getting a Nook for Christmas.  AND I LOVE IT!!!

*Note* I know it’s not a “cool” as an iPad, but I didn’t want a tablet, I wanted a reader.  I did my research and this is the one I wanted and we’re very happy together, okay?  So back off. *End rant*

Now, instead of carrying around a bunch of books (which I’ve done) I have a slim format to indulge one of my greatest passions.  Consequently, I’ve ready about 25 books since the beginning of the year, so there’s that.

Most recently, I finished The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, a 2005 novel by Kim Edwards.  The plot is basically this: Set in mid-century Kentucky, a man is forced to deliver his wife’s twins because of a freak snowstorm and realizes that one, a girl named Phoebe, has Down Syndrome. He tells his nurse to take the baby to an institution for the mentally retarded, but she is unable to do so and takes the girl to a new city and raises her.  The story is a heartbreaking one of loss and regret and the kind of walls that tear down families, but also the amazing healing power of love.  It isn’t brilliantly written, but it is very good.

As part of my graduate coursework, I had to take a class about special education.  There are so many protections for the intellectually disabled (and other people with disabilities  that it’s so hard to fathom that just 50 years ago, parents would have had to fight to provide their children with disabilities with an education of any kind.  This book is chilling, sad, a hopeful all at the same time.  It really touched my heart and left me feeling a little different then when I started.



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