What does a Bibliotherapist do when she has a problem in an overcoat( aside from read light fiction to distract herself)? Well this Bibliotherapist calls on her friends. In an essay in THE ATLANTIC by Caitlin Flannagan titled The Glory of Oprah, Flannagan writes:
There are certain things about women that men will never understand, in part because they have no interest in understanding them. They will never know how deeply we care about our houses— what a large role they play in our dreams for ourselves, how unhappy their shortcomings make us. Men think they understand the way our physical beauty—or lack of it, or assaults on it from age or extra weight—preys on our minds, but they don’t fully grasp the significance these things have for us. Nor can they understand the way physical comforts or simple luxuries—the fresh towel or the fat new cake of soap—can lift our spirits. And they will never know how much our lives are shaped around the fear of bad men and the harm they can bring us if we’re not careful, if we’re not banded together, if we’re not telling each other what to watch out for, what we’ve learned. We need each other’s counsel, and oftentimes it comes when we’re talking about other things, when we seem not to have much important on our minds at all.
I reproduce the paragraph in full because it is a deep truth -rarely expressed so eloquently-the surface and the depth of the female experience, the lightness and the darkness. Flannagan often annoys me, but not here. Read this article, it is available here:http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/12/the-glory-of-oprah/308725/
Do you remember those strong, wise, beautiful sassy women from the American South I have written about before?( see my review of Frances Mayes Under Magnolia)-well if anyone could help The Godmother could, so I wrote to her with the details of The Overcoat Problem. I’m calling her The Godmother because she encouraged me to start this blog, so is TBB’s fairy godmother ( Read Cinderella) and also after reading what she intended to do with The Overcoat if he came near me again, I slept soundly for the first time in days. I think she may have been Sicilian in a previous life!
So The Overcoat is back in whatever dark cupboard it slithered out of, and Thea’s mind is back where it should be, on mourning a dear friend and reading Rachel Cusk and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie……by Friday!