Geneen Roth, you're beginning to annoy me.
26 August 2011
A disclaimer: adult language follows. Bail now if you do not enjoy seeing the f*** word in print.
In my summer of crank, I have taken to using the following phrase a lot: "Are you fucking kidding me?" I know, I know, I shouldn't be swearing around CRjr. But I can't help it. "Are you kidding me?" just doesn't have the oomph that "are you fucking kidding me?" has. And sometimes I like to speak with oomph.
My latest "are you fucking kidding me" moment came when I started reading Geneen Roth's Lost and Found: Unexpected Revelations about Food and Money. I know, I know, her last book, Women, Food, and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything, was terrible and this is not the sort of book I enjoy at all. But Geneen is a bestselling nonfiction author, and sometimes my curiosity gets the better of me. I think, deep down, if I read books that many other people like, I will start to understand how other people think, and then maybe I will get along with all other people better and understand the American culture and fit in. Blah blah blah. I don't care so much for myself, but it has come to my attention that perhaps CRjr would have an easier time of it if his mother wasn't an old, profane, grouchy misanthrope.
Here's how Geneen starts off: "I was standing in my kitchen wondering what to have for lunch when my friend Taj called.
'Sit down,' she said.
I thought she was going to tell me she had just gotten the haircut from hell. I laughed and said, 'It can't be that bad.'
But it was. Before the phone call I had thirty years of retirement savings in a 'safe' fund with a brilliant financial guru. When I put down the phone, my savings were gone and my genius financial guru, Bernie Madoff, was in handcuffs. I felt as if I had died and, for some unknown reason, was still breathing." (p. 1.)
That's right, folks, Geneen Roth, of Oprah bestselling fame, lost all her money (money tons of readers gave her) in Bernie Madoff's ponzi scheme.
Here's some more: "In 1992, my fourth book sold enough copies in paperback to spend two weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and when I received the check for this windfall--$106,000--it was like getting a paper bag filled with Monopoly money...Up to that moment, I had had the luxury of not paying much attention to money, partly because I was making enough to pay my bills, after which I'd put what was left over into a savings account, and partly because I had met and married my partner, Matt, and relegated the money part of our lives to him." (p. 5.)
This is a woman writing self-help books for other women? Are you fucking kidding me?
Well, anyway. I was not able to read this book in its entirety, but it seems to follow much the same format of her earlier bestseller Women, Food, and God. She tells some personal stories, she explains what she learned, she applies her experiences to other womens' lives and how they can be more mindful about their money matters. Blah, blah, blah. If you're curious, this is not the book that will make me understand the culture, or fit in, so that CRjr doesn't have a grouchy misanthrope mother. Them's the breaks, folks.