Liz and Gianna are two of a dying breed--traveling sales reps for book publishers--who sell books in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and the Deep South. Since we're constantly on the road hawking books, we must find ways to amuse ourselves. So here we've decided to share our anecdotes, adventures, favorite books, and efforts in making the world (or at least these few states) a more literate place to inhabit.
Plainsong by Kent
Haruf. Raymond and Harold are brothers
living on their family ranch in a small town in Colorado. These bachelors have
a quiet life and know very little other than their small town. What I love
about these men is that they made a decision to upend their lives, to change
their world in order to help someone. In a world terrified of change, these two
old geezers prove it’s worth doing. I
wish these guys were real because I would like to marry Liz off to one or the
other. Sure, they are elderly, but they are homeowners. [Eh, I could do worse.]
The Pleasure of My
Company by Steve Martin. I have
loved Steve Martin for as long as I can remember. I loved him for The Jerk, Roxanne, and L.A. Story. More
importantly, I loved him in spite of Housesitter
and Bringing Down the House. Turns
out though, that I really love Steve Martin’s writing. Cruel Shoes was one of the first books I ever bought with my own
money. I think I was twelve, too young to really get the nuance of these
stories, but I still treasure this book.
Anyway, Daniel Cambridge is the main character of The Pleasure of My Company, he’s
brilliant (he’ll tell you so), but he’s extraordinarily introverted and has a
bad case of obsessive-compulsive disorder. How bad is his OCD? Well it takes
him hours to get anywhere because he can’t walk over curbs. Daniel has other ‘quirks’ but sees himself as
pretty normal; in fact he enters a “Most Normal Person in America” essay
contest. He does not win. Daniel is really sweet and smart, and madly in love with
a woman he’s never met. You can’t help but love him. I know what you’re
thinking, “Isn’t this guy another possible marriage contender for Liz?” Yes. [I think there are many, many people who are madly in love with me but have yet to enjoy the pleasure of my company.]
I feel like I could go two ways here. I love a villain or flawed character, and to that end, I really don't think you could top Iago from Shakespeare's Othello. Along that line, I also loved the Richard Nixon character in Thomas Mallon's novel Watergate. He's a villain, but he's also a man who's caught in a shit storm he can't escape.
On the other hand, if I were to follow Gianna's model of finding potential mates, I think Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird could be the ideal fictional marriage bait. He's moral, strong, patient, courageous, wise. He's a man who can shoot a rabid dog and he can stand up against an entire town and defend the defenseless. Also, he's Gregory Peck. Mmm.
Of course, I could never live up to the Atticus Finch standard of perfection. I need kind, but quirky, so I'd ultimately opt for Boo Radley. He's quiet and reclusive (which I certainly would appreciate), but he's willing to risk his life for children he only really knows from a distance. Boo could leave me little chocolates on my pillow and we'd live down the street from each other, and occasionally he'd come to my rescue when Zorro was feeling particularly blood thirsty. Also, we're both really pale. It could work.