A Moment of Jen
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Sunday, May 19, 2002
posted by Jen at 5/19/2002 02:59:00 PM

This morning, the phone rings, and it's my Mom.

"I can't hear you!" she shouts, and from the fuzziness and static I can tell she's on a dying cell phone.

"Call me back!" I say.

"Can't!" she shouts. "You have to call me!"

"Why?" I inquire.

"Just call!" she says.

So I call. In the course of the conversation, I learn that my Mom has two cell phones. One, she gave to my brother, Joe Weiner, who's got a summer job in New York. The other, she lent to my sister Molly, who lives half an hour away.

Now, my Mom still has a working telephone in her house, but she now refuses to use it, reasoning that she's paying for the cell phones, so why not use her cell phone minutes to make long distance calls? Which means that every time she wants to make a long-distance call, she summons my sister Molly, who then has to shlep over to our childhood abode with her phone.

"Mom," I say, "that's ghetto."

"It's not ghetto," she primly replies, "it's material. And you of all people should recognize it!"

So the other news I have is that my long-aborning advice for writers thing is up -- click here.

Meanwhile, I've been thinking about a question I got asked twice on tour and once via email -- namely, "what is it with you and bathrooms?"

There are two major developments in GOOD IN BED that happen in public restrooms, and that IN HER SHOES opens with a sex scene in a bathroom. So what's the deal?

Honestly, I don't know. If I wanted to get all literary-theoretical, I'd say that bathrooms represent the dichotomy between public and private, between what's hidden and what's revealed, and that they serve as symbols for the ways young women have to navigate that divide (in Cannie's case, the things about herself that she'd like to keep hidden versus the parts of her life that wind up revealed.) Or I could go Freudian, and figure that there's some weird icky sexual thing going on here that I don't even really want to think about.

Or it's possible that something of great psychic importance happened to me in a bathroom when I was young and impressionable.

I'll ask my Mom, if I can ever get her on the phone again.
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