It may not look like much, but believe me when I tell you that room 201 in Myers Hall is made of magic.
This tiny dorm room, on the campus of Carleton College, is where I lived from September 1991 to June 1992. In this room I laughed, cried, listened to “Nevermind” and “Bandwagonesque” nonstop, drank myself silly, crushed hard, had my heart broken, even studied occasionally.
Directly across the hall from 201 was another magical room, 236 to be exact. It housed two women who became my lifelong friends: Liz, who passed away in 2007, and Gillie, with whom I attended our 20th college reunion last spring. That’s her on the left. I swear we did not plan to dress in matching v-necked navy tops, but that’s just what happens when people know each other for more than two decades.
Gillie is a smart, thoughtful, and talented writer of nonfiction essays, a mom of two, a bagpipe widow, and something of a
stinky chooch trollop. I don’t know if she shaves above the knee, but I do know that she has a fabulous essay in this new anthology, released TODAY by Blue Lobster Book Company:
Gillie was able to prevail upon the publisher to give me an advance copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. Honestly? I would walk through fire for Gillie, but luckily, I didn’t have to. The book is good!
MY HONEST REVIEW:
First things first: I love the word “trollop.” It signals nonstop hilarity to me, and while Only Trollops Save Above the Knee has hilarity aplenty, it also has a great deal of heart.
When Ramona Scarborough revealed that her remarkable mother passed away, I felt a little lost too. I loved traveling to the Holy Land with the very wise Czarina Irina of Iuka. I felt the pain of Patricia Walsh’s nana, desperately worried that athletics would damage her granddaughter’s vulnerable “female organs.”
My favorite essay, Gillie Bishop’s “Criticize Your Child to Better Self-Esteem,” is a funny and very intelligent analysis of the ways mothers and daughters must balance deep love with painful honesty. What do you do when your non-musical daughter wants to be a songwriter? When your sensitive, gentle, elephant-loving daughter fails to grasp that a life in zookeeping might be better suited for her practical, scientific older sister? Bishop’s keen observations of three generations of well-meaning women will strike a chord in anyone attempting to improve on the mistakes of the past.
This book could have had a few other titles: “It’s Only Hair,” “Don’t Return Anything Under Fifty Dollars,” “Baby, You Need to Pluck Your Eyebrows,” “If You See a Needle in the Sand, Don’t Touch It,” or what must have been editor Crystal Ponti’s runner-up, “Nobody Likes an Old Dick.” No matter the title, this is a wise, funny collection that anyone with a mom (that is, everyone) will appreciate.
Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee is available today on Amazon in ebook or paperback. Order it with The Radical Housewife to complete THE BEST MOTHER’S DAY GIFT EVER!!
This may be a vintage stamp, but the deadline is the same: May 10 is indeed this year’s Mother’s Day. Eek.
Take it from me: MOMS LOVE BOOKS. Start shopping NOW!