Posted in books

Sexism and The Lost Phone, Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies and Esther Ehrlich’s Nest


The hubs lost his phone. And it is the end of his world.

He didn’t lose it at an amusement park. Nor at the zoo. Not even in our yard.

He lost it somewhere in the house. AND it didn’t get charged. So it’s dead.

Now, I’m usually the flighty one. I lost my phone once. It fell out of the car and I didn’t hear the end of it for months. How I needed to be more responsible and how I couldn’t get a new phone unless I got a job (this was before I worked, and I was driving back in forth to his mom’s house in New Jersey quite a bit. It happened there, or in Pennsylvania on the way back). It was before I had a smartphone; it was one of the cute little pink Razr phones that everyone had back in the day.

I didn’t hear the end of it for months, maybe years.

Every time I misplace my keys, he’s the smartass that tells me I should hang them up (we have key hooks, but they are always taken up by his fifteen thousand sets of keys). I always (usually) find them. I’ve had three cars in our married life. I lost one set, and I will never hear the end of it.

His standard reply when anyone loses anything is to say “It’ll be in the last place you look.” My daughter has been having fun throwing that one back in his face.

But I cannot make fun of his lost phone–or I won’t.  HIS lost SMARTphone. Lost in the house.

I can’t mention the money that it’ll cost to replace it (we have insurance on it, but he doesn’t know that that covers lost phones as well) or I won’t, because I know that he’s human and mistakes happen.

I know, I’m being touchy & sensitive & woman-y about the whole thing. But I know he did the thing I always worry about; he left it in a box (he was rooting around), or on a high shelf, or dropped it behind somewhere weird. It happened after I went to bed. He was in the basement, in his shop/office/mancave, which is adjacent to our storage area. Which he’s been slowly attempting to organize.

But I won’t say anything.

He’s looked a little bit, but left most of the looking to me and our cleaning woman (who comes about once a month and is a friend who happens to have a cleaning business. I’m not a good cleaner, she is, we support her small business. So there! And yes, I am defensive about having a cleaning woman because I think it sheds negative light on me as a woman and a mother, even though, as a modern woman, I know it shouldn’t. Enough about my cleaning woman). Neither of us took the looking to heart. It’s his deal.

I know, I’m being totally female and passive-aggressive about the whole thing. I know, I should just yell at him and get it out of my system. (He wouldn’t, though, he would be passive-aggressive if I lost it. Actually not that passive. And just aggressive in his incessant teasing and nagging.) Instead, I will subtly and strategically remind him of his absent-minded moment.

I will call dibs on the next upgrade we have, because I didn’t lose my phone. And I will hold it over his head just a little bit. And I will, despite my high-mindedness, relish it. Because his sexism is apparent in this issue, and I’m raising two girls. I don’t want them to go through life acting flighty because that’s how dad treated mom.

That’s why. Yep, it’s not that for right now I have the upper hand. I’m a much better person than that.

Moriarty did it. She hit the trifecta of what I want in a book: humor, mystery, and tragedy. And she did it all while exposing crazy PTO parents and talking with heart about the lengths that parents will go to in order to protect their children from hurt and harm.

We learn early on in Big Little Lies that something chaotic and tragic happens at a PTO annual event, a trivia night for parents. Throughout the story, we are lead month by month, week by week, up to that night, slowly revealing that there is a death (a murder?) that happens that night, and some sort of fight or argument. The details like who dies, how, and why are slowly revealed in the telling of the story.

Moriarty reaches the deepest, most vulnerable parts of parenthood and family. She shows us with humor and depth that sometimes parents go too far in protecting their children. And the universal truth holds true: every family, no matter how perfect from the outside, has its issues and problems.

This book made me laugh, cry, and hold my breath. I think this is a perfect book club pick; just enough mystery and humor to make everyone happy!

Tragedy, sadness, and hope all wind their way through Esther Ehrlich’s wonderful middle grade book, Nest.

Naomi Orenstein, known as Chirp to her family and friends, is a bright, funny, sensitive sixth grader living on Cape Cod in the 70s with her older sister, mother, and father. Heer life is turned upside down by her mother’s Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis. Her warm, funny, cozy life changes in a heartbeat, and we watch it all through the eyes of an 11 year-old.

Chirp not only deals with the changes to her life, but also deals with ill-equipped teachers, less-than-understanding classmates, and a sister who is trying to deal with it all in her own way. During a time that is less than ideal for most of us, Chirp has added stressors and emotional turmoil, making her story interesting, sad, funny, and enlightening.

This book is somber, but there is also promise and optimism. A sensitive child might have trouble with it, but my sixth grader is reading it and loving it.



I love to read; writing is my outlet. My blog is my way to combine the two, with a some life stories thrown in for good measure.

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