“Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.”
Last week my son came home from school and informed me he had a homework assignment about the book his class is reading as a group. Said child was forlorn that he would be unable to complete the assignment as the editions of the book were for “class use only” and were not permitted to be taken home. “Never you fear,” I said to the young boy, “for I have a LIBRARY CARD!!!!!!” (while actually freaking out that I might have to: (i) change out of my “comfy” clothes, (ii) move my slothlike self off of the sofa after a hard day at work, or (iii) embarrass the child by refusing to change out of P.J. pants whilst chauffeuring him to pick up a hard copy of said book). I asked the small boy (with much trepidation) “what book do you need?” and he answered “The Outsiders”. I was filled with glee and assured my son I could easily help him with any questions about that book as I read it a bunch of times myself 800 years ago when I was a young girl. The boy was dubious, so in order to ease his mind I searched the interwebs and was thrilled to find out The Outsiders was available in Kindle format from the library. Whilst waiting for the book to load on to the Kindle, I turned to my son and said the following words:
“When I stepped out into the bright sunlight, from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home . . .”
“BLAM! TAKE THAT SUCKA! STILL WANT TO TANGLE WITH THE MEMORY OF THIS OLD LADY? YEAH, I DIDN’T THINK SO, NOW WHAT’S YOUR QUESTION?”
So the boy was able to pick my geriatric brain for assistance with his homework and it turned out the book wasn’t really a requirement in order to get the assignment done in the first place. (Note to all of you youngsters who do not yet have children of you own – THEY ARE WILEY AND EVEN THE MOST HONOR-ROLL-A-RIFIC KID WILL AT SOME POINT GO TO ANY AND ALL LENGTHS TO AVOID HOMEWORK.) Thus, I found myself left with The Outsiders on the Kindle and it was literally begging me to put down the crappy book I was currently reading and take a trip down memory lane. So that’s just what I did . . .
And it was just as good as I remembered it. The Outsiders is the quintessential teenage story about love and loss and family and right and wrong and good and bad. I read it in an evening, sitting outside during a sunset, as one should do if given the opportunity. It proved to be timeless, it still made me teary-eyed after all these years, and I still thought it had one of the best ensemble cast of characters ever put to paper.
And then I remembered it was written by a teenager - one of those awful things that lives in my house and makes my hair turn gray. So let me wrap up this non-review kind of review with a personal note: To my son I ask you to recognize everything I do for you is with love, just like Darry Curtis and Ponyboy. To you I promise I will do everything in my power to make you “stay gold” as long as possible.