During my last postpartum period (which is a nice medical euphemism for "the emotional roller coaster of psychotic sleep deprivation mixed with incredible joy"), I occasionally wrote posts on what I was reading at the time. Currently I'm reading
The Christmas Sweaterby Glenn Beck
The Wall Street Journal
and I'm about to start
Scarpettaby Patricia Cornwell
I was thinking today about one of the books I read while nursing two years ago. It was a book intended, I think, to be hip and trendy and "insightful" all at once. Unfortunately, this is the sort of intention that often fails. In any case, it was set in New York City; I remembered one character who was cheating on his wife when the terrorist attacks of 9/11 happened. In that moment of clarity (or horror, or whatever the author was getting at), the man left his mistress alone in her apartment and headed home to his wife, the point being that in moments of clarity (or horror), we act out our true character. I didn't think much about it at the time, but it occurred to me today that the author got it wrong. We act out our true character every day, on a daily basis, doing the mundane and not-so-mundane things we do. It is a nice fiction, appropriate for movies and chick lit, that in moments of horror, who we really are will somehow be better than who we really have been.