Give Her Madame Bovary

The thing about getting a daily paper instead of just reading news online is that you stumble upon stuff like this:

(Last week I was offered the daily New York Times free for three months, so now I can pretend I'm back at Alice's dining room table every morning, except with a different dog.)

(Which reminds me of a few years ago, when an Internet friend and her family came out to California, so I threw Jackson in the car and we drove down to L.A. to meet them for lunch. Suzyn started asking me about something controversial that was going on with a school board in Orange County, and I didn't know a thing about it. Because I'd rejected both my crappy local paper and the notoriously unreliable L.A. Times and so was happily reading the New York Times every day, I knew all about the New Jersey girl who was forced to throw her incest babies down the air shaft but was utterly shocked the day a majority of my neighbors voted for a man whose name they could barely spell.)

What were we talking about? I tried to read Madame Bovary in my twenties, a time when I found it impossible to have patience for her despair. Now, of course, at a time of life when I would be able to sympathise with a crystalline portrait of tragic passions, I can't bear to read anything but cartoons.

My point is, if someone can strike up a "mommy war" between readers of nineteenth-century fiction and devotees of "What Not To Wear," I am SO IN.