If I could I would quote almost every single word in Caroline Knapps book Drinking: A Love Story. It’s been a long time since I read a book that is so well written and a book that makes me long for it all day. The evenings can’t come soon enough so I can dive into her words. They hurt a lot of the time but they also heal and gives you a new perspective. Today I realised that after her death in 2002, another book was published that is called Appetites: Why Women Want. It’s waiting for me on Kindle and I’m really looking forward to having some time off and just read. Here’s the description on Amazon: “In Appetites, Caroline Knapp confronts Freud’s famous question, “What do women want?” and boldly reframes it, asking instead: How does a woman know, and then honor, what it is she wants in a culture bent on shaping, defining, and controlling her desires?” Here is an excerpt from a Goodreads review: “it’s not so much about anorexia but about what women do to themselves to fill the emptiness that permeates their lives.”
And finally a quote from the book: So it persists, for many of us, hunger channeled into some internal circuitry of longing, routed this way and that, emerging in a thousand different forms. The diet form, the romance form, the addiction form, the overriding hunger for this purchase or that job, this relationship or that one. Hunger may be insatiable by nature, it may be fathomless, but our will to fill it, our often blind tenacity in the face of it, can be extraordinary.
Ok, just one more, I promise:
Being known. This, of course, is the goal, the agenda so carefully hidden it may be unknown even to the self. The cutter cuts to make the pain at her center visible. The anorexic starves to make manifest her hunger and vulnerability. The extremes announce, This is who I am, this is what I feel, this is what happens when I don’t get what I need. In quadraphonic sound, they give voice to the most central human hunger, which is the desire to be recognized, to be known and loved because of, and in spite of, who you are; they give voice to the sorrow that takes root when that hunger is unsatisfied.
Please read her book about drinking, it is a truly wonderful book and I have been saving the last chapters because this weekend we’re going to my in-laws and they are known for being great hosts and serving copious amounts of alcohol and delicious food. They are also very conservative and think it is horribly rude to decline. When I have declined wine in the past they have become very upset and told me that I really should drink something now that they have gone to all that trouble. “It makes everything easier for everyone if we just behave appropriately.” I will be the rude person and JUST SAY NO, no worries, but I’m happy that I can climb into bed with Caroline after enduring one of their long, fancy and winesoaked dinners.
Have a lovely weekend, people. You are all amazing.