03 April 2007

Love You When You Whine

Author: Emily Jenkins
Illustrator: Sergio Ruzzier

In this affirming yarn about unconditional love, a mother asserts her love for her child by saying stuff like:

Love you when you whine;
Love you when you don't say 'please';
Love you when you say scream 'lollipop, lollipop, lollipop' forty-five minutes in line at the bank...

and it continues along those lines the whole way through: Love you when you (insert annoying behavior here).

This is book is being lauded as a more realistic, pull-no-punches portrayal of parenting--in contrast to the normally sugar-coated picture books about the perfect and peaceful love between a parent and child. However, if the author really wanted to create a realistic portrayal of the challenge of parenting, she would have called the book, Love You Despite the Fact That You Whine and Sometimes Annoy the Crap Out of Me... But Don't Push Your Luck.

Hollywood Note: If this book sounds familiar, it's because it is a derivative of the climactic scene in When Harry Met Sally, when Billy Crystal says:

"I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts... blah, blah, blah, blah, blah... I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."

Again, a more realistic scene would have gone like this:

"I hate that you are a fussy bitch that makes stupid faces when we fight. That being said, I am willing to overlook all that if you'll agree to sleep with me on a semi-consistent basis. Sound good? If so, let's get this thing done quickly so we can file a joint tax return."

Now that's what I call romance.

(To read more about how Hollywood has ruined love for us all, see Chuck Klosterman's essay "This is Emo" from Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs.)

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