>After The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver made me tear up on the subway yesterday afternoon while on my way to a (useless) meeting, I hereby institute the following rule for myself:

I will not read anything other than:

A) magazines;
B) thrillers (like Bangkok 8);
C) amusing capers (anything by Carl Hiaasen, although his last book reeked worse than a body decomposing on a 105 degree day in the Everglades);
D) satires; and/or
E) politically witty tomes (like Sarah Vowell or Beth Lisick) if:

1) I slept less than 6 hours the previous night;
2) I have not seen Husband in more than 24 hours; and/or
3) I am using some mode of public transportation, such as a subway or airplane.

This rule shall be invoked to prevent embarrassing episodes of me bawling (in public) because I am emotionally overwrought, and the book that I am reading (or the movie I am viewing) took a dramatic turn that breaks my over-feeling heart. Yes, yes. I am all about pretending to be stone cold, what with all my ranting "mothering this" or "cunt-face ass-eater that," but it is all a facade. The reality is that underneath my mean, mocking, hard exterior, I am the biggest fucking softie on the planet. These devastating books and movies (for example, the love story between Michelle Yeoh and Chow Yun Fat in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) fucking impact me. I'm a wreck for hours after a book/movie gives me a truly earned sob (not like those manipulative pap movies - The Other Sisiter, anyone? - that Steph so dearly loves but bring "a fucking tear to my eye").

So this new rule is for the good of my mental state, as well as my public image. And don't you fucking forget it, motherfucker. Now I'm off to the Kleenex box and/or Husband's t-shirt to wipe my nose.