Dispatches from the Distancing – Days 92 & 93

You know, I really thought that the transition from school to summer would be nothing this year…I was wrong. Admittedly, it’s not a gigantic change, but the changes aren’t so subtle that you don’t notice them. The only schedule we really have right now is Pat’s work schedule, and that has always had some “give,” shall we see.

Our normal summer things aren’t happening — no VBS, no day camps, no overnighters. So, it all seems very formless. We did have to enforce the “no friends in the house” rule. This wasn’t an issue with Lillie as her friends’ families all have this rule as well, but Chris has one friend who was over every day and wanted to play video games. The Covid cases are spiking and we need to be careful (and, well, I need some peace and quiet), so they need to play outside! And, IT IS SUMMER! PLAY OUTSIDE! I did order some new outdoor games, so hopefully that will be at least something new and interesting for them.

Next Sunday, we’ll get a little closer to real church–we’re having a socially distanced outdoor service! Unfortunately, it is more of a teaser because there are no plans to regularly have this service. Our church is small with a predominately older congregration, so we need to be careful. I will admit that my heart dropped a bit when our rector said today (over Zoom) that we probably wouldn’t be back in the church until 2021.

Okay, on that note…on to this week’s reading. While I’ve been able to get quite a lot of reading in this week, it doesn’t look like much because I, once again, have too many books going at once. As usual, I’m linking up with Kathryn at Book Date for her It’s Monday…What Are You Reading hop.

What I Finished Last Week:

This Is Big: How the Founder of Weight Watchers Changed the World (and Me) by Marisa Meltzer

4 Stars
This is one of those books that, if you asked me what I thought of it halfway through, I’d have a very different answer than if you asked me once I finished. This is also a book where the reader’s view is important. I’m a WW-er and have been for years. I firmly believe in the program for myself and would recommend it to others, so there is that.

Now, about this book. There are two stories here–in many ways, this book is like Julie Powell’s Julie and Julia where a modern woman follows the career of a woman from a past age. So, we have both Jean Nidetch’s life and Marisa Meltzer’s. There isn’t much to say about Jean Nidetch other than she was quite a woman and the chapters devoted to her are entertaining as all get out. I was also very interested in seeing how the company itself has evolved from the mandatory liver days to where it is now.

Now, as for Meltzer. I spent most of the book a bit irritated by her. A lot of her own story seemed a lot like navel-gazing to me and I felt like she had gone into the WW experience with the wrong intention. Indeed, she does say things that sat very badly with me–from saying that she held the stereotype that all WW meetings were fat people complaining about how much they hated themselves to admitted that she and her friend made fun of people’s posts on Connect (WW social media platform, which is an incredibly supportive place in the world of social media).

But then something happened in the last quarter or so of the book. Meltzer started to have some real moments of self-realization and I realized that she had been at war with herself and the pages of this book were her battlefield. As she realizes her part in her process and what WW can offer, there is real growth and I ended up finishing this book with a much more positive opinion than I had had halfway through.

I will admit that I would love to see a Julie and Julia type movie of this book–not only because Meltzer is a much more sympathetic person than Powell, but also because Jean Nidetch was one of a kind in the same way, but also a very different way, than Julia Child had been. I doubt it will ever happen as WW has its corporate interests, but a girl can dream.

Anyway, I would definitely recommend this book to any WW-er and to anyone who is looking for a book showing true self-discovery. 

What I Started This Week:

Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman

I first heard about this watching the Netflix movie of the same name. The creators of that movie said that the first half (the half where the main character is still in the US) is Deborah Feldman’s story, but it becomes fiction once that character leaves the country. That isn’t completely accurate. It is more like they took the set up of Feldman’s life and a few important details and expanded on them but, really, this book is quite different. I’m enjoying it so far, but I will say it isn’t without its faults. I should have a better opinion of it once I finish (which should be soon!)

3 thoughts on “Dispatches from the Distancing – Days 92 & 93

  1. Yes I heard someone else talking about no day camp or summer camp. Yes your summer will be different but worth being cautious. We could go back to church last Sunday but I chose not to go, still a little nervous of large groups, even though no new cases for 28 days. This is Big sounds interesting and good she grew in latter part of book.


  2. I am feeling for everyone with young children during these times. I am lucky to be retired and “old,” right about now. LOL.

    When you mentioned outdoor church, I recalled that we used to have those kinds of services in the summer, and I loved them.

    I also got This Is Big…and hope to start reading it soon. I loved Julie and Julia, both the book and the movie. I still like watching the movie now and then.

    Thanks for sharing, and here are my WEEKLY UPDATES


  3. I have tried a number of different programs to lose weight including WW back in the mandatory liver days and again about ten years ago. I lost weight both times but gained it back when I quit the program. Now I’m on my own and losing again. It is the maintaining that is the hard part for me. Come see my week here. Happy reading!


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About Melinda