And just after my father died last year, she said she knew this would happen. Because a philodendron plant my father had given her had withered and died, despite the fact that she watered it faithfully.
having a bearing on or connection with the subject at issue
Of course, all of it could have been just loosely connected coincidences. And whether that’s true or not, I know the intention was there. Because when I want something to happen—or not happen—I begin to look at all events and all things as relevant, an opportunity to take or avoid.
Their faces were covered with every kind of misery I could imagine: pits and pustules, cracks and bumps, and fissures that I was sure erupted with the same vehemence as snails writhing in a bed of salt. If my mother had been in the room, she would have told me these poor people were victims of future husbands and wives who had failed to eat platefuls of food.
When I fantasized about moving in with him, I also dredged up my deepest fears: that he would tell me I smelled bad, that I had terrible bathroom habits, that my taste in music and television was appalling.
And I may not be a raving beauty, but a lot of women in my aerobics class tell me I’m “exotic” in an unusual way, and they’re jealous that my breasts don’t sag, now that small breasts are in. Plus, one of my clients said I have incredible vitality and exuberance.
"Ingenuity" also means "the property of showing inventiveness and skill"--this definition doesn't fit because "Harold is the concept man, the chief architect, the designer, the person who makes the final sales presentation to a new client"--which makes him more of a creative thinker than a skillful inventor (although according to Lena, he stole most of his ideas from her).
Get the Hong Kong investors who are willing to sink some bucks into American ingenuity.”
"Asymmetrical" also means "characterized by an imbalance in spatial arrangement"--both definitions fit Waverly at this point in her life. In additional to her irregularly shaped haircut, Waverly has an imbalance in the spatial arrangement of her apartment--both physically (toys, clothes, and exercise equipment are scattered) and socially (she is living with a man who is not the father of her daughter).
Mr. Rory had styled my hair differently this time, an asymmetrical blunt-line fringe that was shorter on the left side.
And so I watched her, seeing her reaction to the changes in my apartment—from the pristine habitat I maintained after the divorce, when all of a sudden I had too much time to keep my life in order—to this present chaos, a home full of life and love.
I knew what my opponents would do, move for move. I knew at exactly what point their faces would fall when my seemingly simple and childlike strategy would reveal itself as a devastating and irrevocable course.
Then she would say a word about something small, something she had noticed, and then another word, and another, each one flung out like a little piece of sand, one from this direction, another from behind, more and more, until his looks, his character, his soul would have eroded away.
And even if I recognized her strategy, her sneak attack, I was afraid that some unseen speck of truth would fly into my eye, blur what I was seeing and transform him from the divine man I thought he was into someone quite mundane, mortally wounded with tiresome habits and irritating imperfections.
"Apathetic" also means "marked by a lack of interest"--this could describe a marriage where the husband's eye wandered up and down other girls' legs and who thought waxing his sports car all day was more important than taking his wife somewhere in it. But the example sentence comes from Waverly, who is describing how her emotions for her now ex-husband never actually rose to hate, but fell to apathetic boredom.
It went from disappointment to contempt to apathetic boredom. It wasn’t until after we separated, on nights when Shoshana was asleep and I was lonely, that I wondered if perhaps my mother had poisoned my marriage.
make dirty or spotty, as by exposure to air; also used metaphorically
"Sully" also means "place under suspicion or cast doubt upon"--this is the definition that Waverly intends, but her use of the adjective "pure" in the same sentence suggests that the more physical definition of "sully" is being emphasized.
I’d never known love so pure, and I was afraid that it would become sullied by my mother.
having or showing a sense of what is fitting and considerate in dealing with others
Rich is being sarcastic here, because Lindo had just advised him against going to China in the summer because it is too hot and "you will only grow more spots and then your whole face will become red!" But Rich is not tactful either, because he called Waverly's mother by her first name, observed that her best dish needed a little soy sauce, and jokingly suggested she translate Chinese menus for them so they wouldn't be eating dogs or snakes by mistake.
And Rich grins, gestures his thumb toward my mother, and says to me, “Can you believe what comes out of her mouth? Now I know where you get your sweet, tactful nature.”
The pendant was not a piece of jewelry I would have chosen for myself. It was almost the size of my little finger, a mottled green and white color, intricately carved. To me, the whole effect looked wrong: too large, too green, too garishly ornate.