Today I spent my final day as a tutor in the Academic Resource Center waiting for students who needed any last-minute help before tomorrow’s finals. Though one student had scheduled an appointment, no one came. No matter. Afterwards, I rocked the left lane enjoying the sunny afternoon driving home with the windows down, sunroof open, and music blasting.
When I arrived home, there was a graduation gift bag waiting for me from my parents. I opened the card first, finding a beautiful African proverb and a check enclosed. Apparently, you are never too old for cold, hard cash. Excellent!
Inside the gift bag were two chocolates molded into the shape of a graduation cap and scroll. In my world, chocolate is a vice, so I had already begun formulating a plan to ration it over the next few days.
Still, there was more. I carefully opened the tissue- wrapped gift, and with great joy I excitedly yelled, “I got Misery!” It may not look like much, but to me, this weather-worn book is a reminder—one of fond memories of my childhood. Misery was published in 1965, and according to its inscription, given to my dad from my mom in ‘68. Now there is a new inscription, from my dad to me dated May 11, 2013, the day of my upcoming graduation.
Every time I needed a laugh, a reminder of how terribly misunderstood I was, I read and re-read Misery. It is true that it could stand to be updated, so I’m calling upon Suzanne, wherever she is, to do so right away. Those of us who lived our childhood through the 60s and 70s can probably relate to the many trials this book offers, but any child who has ever felt misunderstood by an adult will appreciate the misery.
It loves company…or so I am told.