Thursday, July 11, 2013

On Kissing and Catching Fire

I recently read Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. Perhaps you have heard of it? Or have you been living in a fallout shelter for the last few years, or Under the Dome, or in a fallout shelter Under the Dome?

Anyway, I was happily reading along, minding my Shark Girl business, when something came out of the book and slapped me in the face like it was my sassy, gay friend:

I really can’t think about kissing when I’ve got a rebellion to incite.   —Katniss Everdeen

What? Did I really just read that?

That stung. Before I read that sentence, I could deny that Catching Fire was a teeny-bopper novel. That sentence clanged like a cymbal: this book was for people who could relate to someone weighing these equally: Should I kiss Gale back? Or should I rebel against the Capital? Hmmm . . . This is a tough one!

Yes, I, a grown Shark Girl, was reading a novel geared to people who have spent less time breathing than I have flossing my teeth. To be fair to Suzanne Collins, my 11-year old’s constant, “Did ya’ read it? Did ya’ read it? Did ya’ get to the part when. . . .” should have gotten me there first. “I did read it, but I didn’t know it was a kissing story. . . .” was my usual reply, to which 11-Year-Old rolled his eyes to say that I was so immature.

"The weakest of the trilogy," my newly-teen nephew offered me his literary critique.
Sometimes I look through my Google search terms or read BJJ forums and I have the same 6th-grade, Catching Fire feeling. There are countless queries wondering whether women (and men) experience sexual urges during grappling. Most (post-middle school) women (and men?) say the same thing: We’re too busy fighting and surviving to be aroused; it’s not really there.

So, seriously—Katniss weighing whether her thoughts should be on kissing or kicking ass? Totally 6th-grade. I shook my Shark head and moved on. Whatever. . . What happens next? And then I stayed up for two nights after the kids went to bed to find out that . . . oh, hell! Read it yourself. It’s a good story! 
It's so hard to decide!

Shark Girl’s reading has taken a hiatus while she plays Clash of Clans, also with people one-third her age.


  1. I just finished The Hunger Games this morning. I actually liked it. Got teary-eyed a few times. Even the first-person present didn't bother me.

  2. So right. Just had a similar conversation with a non-BJJ guy friend last night. What with all the rape culture stuff lately, it's a hard sell that really, really, BJJ isn't about sex and domination and Fifty Shades of Grey and so on.

    1. You're giving me a great idea for a new book: Fifty Shades of Gracie.

      That's mine, folks! Don't even go there!


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