Exercising the Sister #1 Power of Tune Out

Since I’m Sister #1 I sometimes get to be a bit of tastemaker for the Sisterclub. Now that I think about it, that’s totally delusional. They generally ignore me and go right on listening to their Killers and Dixie Chicks and Cowboy Mouth, despite what I tell them they should listen to.

But when it comes to books, Sister #2 generally follows my lead and will read whatever I suggest (she also reads all kinds of boring Social Work and Political nonfiction things). Sister #3 has three children under the age of five and attends weekend college, so she reads whatever is assigned. Sister #4 rarely reads and when she does it’s always, always, always some shitty Chick-Lit (because she hates me and wants to see me suffer).

But ol’ Sister #2, she’s a champ and we generally loves the same books I do. Except for F. Scott’s This Side of Paradise, something I’m still not ready to talk about.

When Mary Gaitskill came to town, I asked her if she wanted to attend the reading. We had so much fun at Douglas Coupland, I knew she’d be game. Plus, she’d read and loved Veronica.

Now, for the past few months whenever I’d talk about Mary Gaitskill, she’d immediately bring up Jennifer Government. Again, since I am Sister #1 it is my biological right to tune out anything my younger sisters say whenever I want.

So last Monday we’re sitting in the Barnes & Noble waiting for Mary to appear, and Sister #2 starts talking about all the Gaitskill books they’ve got on display. There was Two Girls Fat and Thin (which I haven’t read yet), Bad Behavior, Because They Wanted To, and Veronica.

Sister #2 asked which one’s she’d read and I told her, just Veronica. She then went on to talk about just how much she loved the book Jennifer Government and how marketing is evil, blah, blah, blah. At this point I exercised my Sister #1 tune out power.

“Why don’t they have Jennifer Government up there?” Sister #2 pointed to the Gaitskill display. “That’s my favorite one.”
“Maybe because she didn’t write it,” I said.
“Yeah, Mary Gaitskill didn’t write Jennifer Government, Max Barry did.”
“Then what in the hell am I doing here?”
“To see Mary Gaitskill.”
“I wanted to talk about Jennifer Government! They’re gonna kick me out for being a wannabe booknerd.”
“They totally should.”

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