Song of the Thong
2007 is the year for adventure, I think. There is something interesting about the way the year looks when written, it possesses a decidedly forward look to it. I can already tell that this is true not just in imagination but in fact.
2007 is the year I got my first thong. It’s black with turquoise beads, beautiful, delicate and, even with the beading, amazingly lightweight. It was a birthday gift. It almost had to be, wouldn’t you know, because at 53 (let’s face it) one doesn’t usually go looking for something like that. By middle age, many of us tend to get stuck in our own routines and remain true to those things with which we are comfortable and familiar. I admit it; I am that way—mired in the routine and within easy reach, “comfortablilty.” It will surely not surprise you to hear that I was surprised to receive this thong for my birthday. Startled actually describes my reaction better. After I opened the package, I let the gift sit a bit while I looked at it. It took some time to get used to the concept, never mind the reality, of what it represented.
I called my oldest daughter and told her of my gift, and was met with the single word “MOTHER!” uttered in that shocked and emphatic tone she’s used since she was 13 and viewed me as terribly hopeless or terminally stupid. Then abruptly she changed the subject. My youngest daughter, busy with her own life and concerns, really didn’t have any interest at all. Actually, I don’t think she believed me. She is a natural born skeptic. (I am known for my love of practical jokes, so I can understand her reticence.) I wasn’t sure my sons would be all that interested, and I was right about my oldest. My youngest, on his next visit, at least feigned polite interest while wrinkling his nose in distaste, and my daughter-in-law giggled and said, “Way to go, Mom.” But when I offered to get it from my bedroom, they too changed the subject. You can imagine that after the reaction of my children, I was loath to even tell my friends.
A few weeks later, I finally decided to try it out. It was a sort of gray and chilly Saturday in late January.The screens on the lanai were laden with drops of water giving the world out my back windows a rather surreal look as the watery sun winked listlessly through burgeoning clouds. It was the kind of day that made me want to snuggle under a quilt in the wicker chair with the cheery flower print cushions and read a good book. The book I had in mind was The Reader by Bernard Schlink. It is a rather dark and broody tale of a teenage boy and the woman twice his age, with whom he has a passionate and tumultuous affair—and it is a strange, oddly compelling book. A pot of tea later, I was ready. It was time to try my thong.
I extricated the thong from its packaging, fingering the beads, enjoying the feel. It looked small to my eyes. Hoping it would fit, I prepared to try it out. It had been a special, handmade birthday gift from my friend, Susan—and I’m sure you can imagine my husband’s reaction when I told him Susan gave it to me as a gift. I lifted the thong gingerly and inserted it in the pages of my book where I intended to leave off. I’d thought this lovely book thong would only fit in a paperback, but I was wrong. It fit the hardcover beautifully, the turquoise beads, flecked with gold and silver, dangling out the ends, enabling me to open to my place easily the next time I picked up the book.
Until this year, I’d never heard of a book thong. But now I’m hooked. I love it. If you’ve never tried a book thong, do yourself a favor; it is wonderfully comfortable and hard to lose. If, like me, you are stuck in your ways using straw papers or old ATM or grocery receipts to mark your book, a book thong will have you putting the junk in the trash where it belongs. 2007 has taught me that this old dog can learn a new trick.
At age 10, Anne realized she was never going to get to be Miss America since reading a book was not an acceptable talent. So she went on to get a job and raise a family. Along the way, she fixed meals, picked up toys, helped with homework, and collected a drawer full of rejection slips for her “great American novel.” It was not all bad, however, since she ended up wallpapering a closet with them. She currently designs and creates greeting cards for her tiny company, The Frog Prints, LLC, and also works full-time as a Training Specialist. Anne is currently tethered to reality by a loving spouse, two dogs, one cat and the occasional hurricane that blows through Florida, although falling headlong and happily into a book is still her favorite “talent.” She can be reached at