Monday, January 17, 2011

Heathen Has a Bad Day

During a snowday dinner party last week with friends, we started trading stories about babysitters we had when we were young, and I was reminded of something that happened a few years back. I was in the bookstore in my hometown, waiting in line to purchase my books and glancing at the display of books by local authors, when my eyes alighted on a series of black and white, spiral-bound, home-published-looking books starring a character with my name. "Ha! Look!" I pointed out to my mom, who was looking through some nature books nearby. "Those books are about me!"

My mom came over, picked one up and studied the cover. "I know this woman," she said, then added,"Actually, she used to be your babysitter."

I had no memory of the author, but this revelation prompted me to look closer. The books appeared to be about a young girl named Heathen with glasses, straight, somewhat unkempt hair, and a sidekick dog, and the theme of the books is that Heathen is perennially in a foul mood. The titles ranged from "Heathen Has a Temper Tantrum" to "Heathen Is In a Very Bad Mood." Heathen seems to be a bit of a depression-ridden social outcast, and can relate only to her pet dog. (For the record, I never had a pet dog growing up.)

This weekend, Dreamy and I stopped by the same bookstore to look for books for his nephew's 5th birthday party. In the kid's section, I spotted a shelf dedicated to my old babysitter, and quickly pulled out a hardcover copy of "Heathen Has a Bad Day," now published by a real publishing house. In color, it now becomes clear that Heathen has straight blond hair and bangs. The book features lines like, "Today I am so miserable I don't even want to get out of bed," "It is dark and dreary in my heart," and "All I can do is sit and mope." Someone needs to get this child some Prozac.

My mom continues to claim that this is just a coincidence, but seriously, doesn't she kinda look like me??

No comments:

Post a Comment