“Today will be different. Today I will be present. Today, anyone I’m speaking to, I will look them in the eye and listen deeply. Today I’ll play a board game with Timby. I’ll initiate sex with Joe. Today I will take pride in my appearance. I’ll shower, get dressed in proper clothes and only change into yoga clothes for yoga, which today I will actually attend. Today I won’t swear. I won’t talk about money. Today there will be an ease about me. My face will be relaxed, its resting place a smile. Today I will radiate calm. Kindness and self-control will abound. Today I will buy local. Today I will be my best self, the person I’m capable of being. Today will be different.”
How many times do we each think that? In many ways, I completely and totally related to Eleanor Flood, the main character in Today Will Be Different. Of course, you read that opening and think, “There is no way.” And you would be right.
Today Will Be Different is by Maria Semple, who also wrote Where’d You Go, Bernadette. Today Will Be Different is just as kooky, if not more so, than Bernadette. Eleanor absolutely lives in her own world. She was once an art director for a tv show, but now is a stay at home mom (technically she is writing her memoir as a graphic novel but it isn’t going so well). She has a husband Joe and a son Timby (and no I didn’t misspell that).
Today Will Be Different is one day in the life of Eleanor. Even though she starts with the best intentions (as so many of us do), she is immediately derailed. While having her poetry lesson, she receives a call that her son is sick (not the first time recently), and she discovers her husband’s office believes they were all out of town (even though Eleanor thought her husband was at work). And then she has lunch with someone that she can’t remember who they are or why they are having lunch (actually she thought she was having lunch with someone else, which is quite Eleanor to forget who she was having lunch with. She isn’t much on names or faces or dates). And it all spirals down from there.
What I really liked about it is that Eleanor is really relatable. She gets that she is really flawed and decides she will be better today. She’s trying… kind of. It is fast and funny and definitely quirky, which is always fun.
Truth – I didn’t think Today Will Be Different was quite as good as Where’d You Go, Bernadette. The same humor and quirkiness was there, but it wasn’t quite there. But I did enjoy it. If you liked Bernadette, I suggest you read it.
Have you read Today Will Be Different? If so, what did you think?