Mary Pols

Every woman has an unplanned-pregnancy story--or one about the fear thereof. At some point, it seems, we all find ourselves sitting on the edge of a bathtub because of one too many margaritas (or holding the hand of a similarly soused friend), waiting for a pee-soaked stick to tell us how stupid we are. That’s essentially what happened to Mary Pols, as she relates in Accidentally on Purpose: A One-Night Stand, My Unplanned Parenthood, and Loving the Best Mistake I Ever Made (Ecco, $24.95). The book is being promoted as a real-life Knocked Up, but it’s no Judd Apatow fairy tale: Not all slacker-stoners turn out to be lovable alterna-dads like Seth Rogen. And Bay Area film critic Pols is no Katherine Heigl; she’s 39 when she hooks up with an unemployed 20-something dude. And he’s not about to grow up. Pee stick and biological clock coincide, so Pols tackles motherhood alone. The unsparingly candid Accidentally is less whimsical and heartwarming than the movie. (She’s a critic—remember?) But it’s still funny, with several cringeworthy moments of single-mom desperation. And for those of us in the edge-of-the-tub crowd, the book is a reminder that even if the little pink plus leads to tears, life doesn’t have to end like a movie with joyous family romps in the park during the credits. Ballard Public Library, 5614 22nd Ave. N.W., 789-5006, Free. 6:30 p.m. (Also: Third Place Books, 17171 Bothell Way N.E., 366-3333, 6:30 p.m. Fri., June 10.) LAURA ONSTOT

Thu., June 19, 6:30 p.m., 2008

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