Books and media about the modern-day dilemma of finding the “right” private school for your 4 year old to attend is so overdone. Someone needs to write a book about the travails of not interviewing, and not being interviewed by, elementary teacher-professors; about having to live with the fact that your horrible neighbors spawned their demon child the same time you did, which means their child is in your kid’s class, and there’s no imposed playroom interview to evaluate whether Chucky “fits in” with the class of ’09; and about not receiving weekly newsletter reports about how much the class is learning about organic farming.
Enter Sandra Tsing Loh, who makes an appearance on Tuesday at the Santa Monica Public Library to promote her newest book, Mother on Fire. Mother on Fire is a memoir of her experience touring private and public school grounds in search of the right kindergarten for her daughters and (spoiler alert) chooses the public school and becomes a total PTA mom to boot. It’s free, and you can pick up tickets an hour before the 7pm showtime.
I’m personally hoping that Tsing Loh also will offer an editorial on “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” an essay published in this month’s issue of The Atlantic Monthly. There, she uses her extramarital affair and subsequent divorce (“Given my staggering working mother’s to-do list, I cannot take on yet another arduous home- and self-improvement project, that of rekindling our romance”) as a vehicle to rail against marriage (“…isn’t the idea of lifelong marriage obsolete?”). Even though she would have a bit more credibility if she wasn’t writing this in the aftermath of a tumultuous divorce, it is a fascinating read. Much more interesting than the kid’s story, anyway.