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Among other things, I need a new agent

Yesterday was a day so filled with blogging fodder that I decided to clean out the tupperware drawers instead of sitting down to the keyboard. Actually, I decided to go to bed, but I had to pack lunches first, and I was hating it, and I thought about what it was that I hated about packing lunches so much, and one thing was that I can never find lids to the adorable lunch tupperware. (Because we cannot use baggies anymore, of course.)

So, with clean drawers, less sleep than I needed and a “grab bag gift” waiting to be delivered to Sam’s school (he didn’t forget it, I forgot to buy it)–yesterday:

Over at DoubleX, we were gathering the greatest feminist moments of the decade (and the worst). My day consisted largely of driving–I only work Thursday mornings, and I was taking this one mostly off in order to drive to the next town over, where the big box stores are, and pick up a few necessities.

I forgot my wallet, which cost me a solid hour of driving, did my errands, picked up kids, took them to various lessons and events, picked up more kids, took one for a flu shot, drove everybody all over the place, coped with the generator guys who turned the power off during the single hour I’d alloted myself for a shower, and just sort of generally powered through the kind of day that requires endurance, not brainpower. The irony of it was that my whole day of driving and herding and shopping and cooking and housekeeping was punctuated by the constant arrival of emails from my fellow DoubleX-ers on the great and not-so-great moment of feminism. I’d dropping kids off: Hilary’s candidacy! I’m sitting outside Kohl’s, walletless: Rachel Madow! I’m putting ice skates on three pair of feet: Angela Merkel! And so on. I wasn’t having a bad day–and the truth was it was an unusual one–but nothing rubs in how far your life sometimes falls from the ideal like a having the greatest accomplishments of other women hovering over your errands like the omnipresent sound of “Jingle Bell Rock.”

My contribution–made at 4:30, the first time all day I had time to send any form of email or communication to the outside world–was to object to the inclusion of better convenience foods as a feminist gain, since while it’s better for individual women at the moment of dinner truth, it’s not doing much for us as a species or for the planet (there was more to it than that, I’ll link when the convo is posted). After those comments, I felt too guilty to boil up the boxes of macaroni and cheese I’d planned to offer as a pre-little-kids’-holiday-concert meal and found myself compelled to roast brussel sprouts and throw some meat in a pan. As you can imagine, that took longer, resulting in hungry kids and rushed concert prep and underscoring the fact that, yes, Tyson et al have indeed made the lives of women better.

And–grabbing my phone to continue watching the email version of Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Feminist Accomplishments New Year–I got a very nice note from my former agent saying that while she thought I had a great voice and story to tell and liked my book proposal, she didn’t find herself in love with it and–well, in short, she’s not going to represent it. This didn’t come as a huge surprise–the last book I did, which she repped, was very different and this proposal wasn’t really up her alley–but I found it deflating just the same. It’s a good proposal–I’m confident about it–but I guess I secretly think EVERYBODY should love it. (It is our China story, but it’s really my coming-of-middle-age story. Think Eat, Pray, Love: The Extreme Parenting Edition, with a good sized dollop of God, the iconic truth that is Cinderella’s stepmother, and band-aids. Plus dumplings.)

And that was yesterday. Today–I expect great things to happen. Or at least, less driving.

agent–or that would be my former agent, now–has been reading my latest book proposal


3 Responses to “Among other things, I need a new agent”

  1. shirlee says:

    More Work For Mother.

    No matter how much I try, I can’t get that book out of my memory bank. Are all these great and wonderful things designed to make a woman’s life easier (and therefore free her to fulfill her dreams and career, etc) really doing what they’re supposed to? The more tools we have to ease our workload (think dishwasher instead of handwashing the dishes, wash machine instead of scrubbing, vacuum instead of sweeping and beating rugs, fast food instead of ‘good’ food) the higher the bar is raised and the more we are compelled to meet those standards. Thus is born a generation of supermoms…all of us scurrying around trying to juggle it all and becoming very tired in the process.

    It’s the whole conundrum of the antibacterial product -is it making us healthier or sicker?

    I’m not much of a feminist. I’m more of an individualist. Fulfill your God-given purpose in life. Strive to be your best. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t. So, these types of things interest me. Are we expecting too much from women in our society? Have we set the bar too high? Why do so many women I know feel they have to work hard outside the home and in the home? Why do we expect perfection from ourselves when the world and everyone in it is so imperfect?

    But, I’m off on my own tangent. This time of year makes me introspective.

    I don’t suppose you want to share your book proposal? I’d love to read it. It sounds wonderful.

    Any ideas about a new agent? There are a few I know of who might represent the kind of thing you write.

  2. A says:

    Ok, I don’t mean to be dense, but the feminism moments of the last decade mean nothing to me. I don’t get it at all; sorry (and I am an educated woman with a couple of degrees and I took a couple of feminist literature classes). Your posts as a mom resonate with me, but the whole feminism movement seems so selfish and anti-male to me. Thank God there are men and little boys who are impish and impulsive and puzzle me! I am glad that God created us differently. It seems to me like feminism always assumes a posture of victimhood. I don’t get it. Women have so many advantages now, why do people perpetuate the idea that women are victims just because they are women? I was in Philadelphia in July 2001, and the national NOW conference happened to be in the same hotel that I was staying at. Talk about a strange group! Is that feminism? Most of these women tried to look like men and did not look happy. You don’t look like that in your photo, and you seem to treasure the man and boy in your life, so you don’t seem to be what I think of when I think of a feminist!

  3. anon says:

    Wow. Just wow on A’s comment. Really hoping you’ll address that one.

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