I remember being 13 and pretending to be sick to stay home from middle school. I’m pretty sure my mother knew I wasn’t sick, but I was a good student, so she allowed the deception. And I used the day to read a book from cover to cover (another likely reason she let me stay home). It was delightfully decadent made all the more so because the book in question was Forever by Judy Blume.
For those who don’t know, the book is about a girl who meets her first love, and they decide to have sex. What was amazing about the book was in no way a condemnation of teenage sex. The couple were fully consensual, and they were careful to use birth control and actually talked to a doctor. I won’t ruin the ending, but it was refreshingly real yet nonjudgmental. Even today I think it’s the best example of young love without being over the top or patronizing, but I’m not here to discuss the state of sex in young adult fiction.
I remembered that day because today I indulged in something I haven’t done in a really long time. Despite having myriad things to do on Monday, I bought a book and read it in one sitting. While the subject matter wasn’t as profound, it felt just as decadent to ignore (mostly) everything and read an entire book. 2020 has been a crazy year full of things that had to be given up for the greater good. I missed seeing family and friends as well as two big trips. I haven’t eaten in a restaurant since March and the usual visits to museums and seeing concerts are something I’m hoping will happen next year. But I also apprciate simple pleasures more.