This past summer I read close to 25 books.
I love to read. Reading played a pivotal role in my childhood. Mostly because I had no friends and turned to fictional characters and imaginary worlds for comfort and friendship rather than my messy family or my abusive friends. I remember one time in sixth grade this big butchy girl wanted to fight me and told me to meet her after school and I literally told her that I couldn't because I would be at the "library reading and gaining knowledge, unlike her dumb face." Obviously I was a super cool kid just turning friends away for the fun of it...(I wasn't). But it was safe not having to extend myself past my wall of low self-esteem and vulnerability.
My choice of genre is fiction and essays. I enjoy reading essays because to me they are the most honest and influential type of genre. The only reason I really started writing is because of two people; David Sedaris and Carrie Bradshaw. Sedaris is a real person. He is a living, breathing being of this planet that writes about factually entertaining events that have taken place during his life. Carrie Bradshaw is not a real person. But when I learned that all of the plot lines from each Sex and the City episode were in fact non-fiction and did in fact happen to one of the writers or someone that they knew firsthand I was relieved because dating is just as fucked up as you think it is and you really can't make this shit up.
The summers tend to be my peak reading months mostly because I am a loser and have no one to really hang out with and since the summer is all about hanging out with people, I need something to occupy myself with. To be honest though, I prefer to be by myself than with other people so I am never salty about having spent the whole summer reading.
Out of all the books that I tore through this season You'll Grow Out Of It by Jessi Klein was the one that closed out of my summer of reading marathon.
Jessi was a head writer and executive producer for Inside Amy Schumer, has written for Saturday Night Live, and has been published in magazines and featured in a whole bunch of other things. I have seen her on the VH1 show Best Week Ever and always identified with her funny way of delivering her dry, humorous remarks. I can't even really describe what her comedic style is. I think the best way would be to call her "relatable" which is kind of a basic term but she really is relatable to a lot of women in the sense that she is awkward, intelligent, funny, and crazy. With each new story I found myself looking at my own life and finding things to laugh about even within the shitty, dark parts.
The book is a collection of essays throughout Jessi's adult life. It starts with her dilemma of trying to evolve from a "Tom Man" to dealing with ex-boyfriends to coming to terms with getting older/growing up to aging gracefully with La Mer to finding a therapist to getting engaged to getting married to having a baby. Even through the tough parts, like her attempts to get pregnant, she writes it in a way where you understand the struggle through her exhausted tone, but you know that she is not giving up. She makes fun of it while still trying her hardest to have this damn baby.
Usually when I am done with a collection of essays I will have a few favorite ones that I read back over. With You'll Grow Out Of It I read the whole book all over again. I did not want this book to end. I am a fast reader and tear through books like it's a timed challenge. This one I took my time with, savoring it.
Some of the essays that I laughed out loud at were:
-The Bath: Jessi writes about why she hates baths and when she starts talking about the "Calgon, TAKE ME AWAY' commercial and how Oprah's hobby is baths, I was howling. As someone who enjoys taking a bath once in a blue moon, this new perspective on it made me realize just how much work taking a bath is and how someone who is as anxious as me really should not be putting myself in such a stressful situation. Now that I think of it, I am never really relaxed after a bath. Mostly I am just dizzy and have to take a shower. "To me there is always something vaguely miserable about bathing. The soaking, the sitting, the water getting dirty and cold, the inevitable random hair floating up against your skin, the pruning. It always makes me feel like I am stewing up in the world's saddest soup out of myself."
-Poodle vs. Wolf: Jessi explains that while women are the same species as someone beautiful like Angelina Jolie, it sure doesn't feel like we are simply because she is so beautiful. "It's like with dogs. A poodle and a wolf are both technically dogs, but based on appearances, it doesn't make any conceivable sense that they share a common ancestor. We decided that some women are poodles and some women are wolves. And no matter what a wolf does (puts on make up, or a thong), it will still be a wolf, and no matter what a poodle does (puts on sweatpants), it will always be a poodle." (I am a wolf, btw.)
-Connie: Jessi writes about finding a therapist after going through a break up. Isn't that how women usually end up in therapy? While on our way to greatness we allow ourselves to get caught on the emotional roadblock that some douchebag has left behind until finally someone who is in a better mindset and cannot stand us being mopey all the time says "Maybe you should go talk to someone." And we do. And her name will usually be something warm like Connie or Debbie and she will help you to fix the mess you made. My favorite quote from this story is "..an enormous sense of relief that I'd found someone I trusted. Or at least someone who was willing to accept money in exchange for never being exhausted by me."
-Dogshit: Jessi tells us about her desire to feel like a "PRINZESS" along with all of the other A-list glamazons on the Red Carpet during the Emmys and the Oscars only for the reality to be presented to her when the show she was head writer on got nominated for a (real televised) Emmy. "...this is my chance to be a Prinzezz, but I'm post-baby and I have the body of a mozzarella ball." I identified with this chapter a lot because no matter how dressed up and polished I look for special occasions, I never feel like a true PRINZESS.
Her collection of essays has this honest vulnerability to it. Jessi is definitely an intelligent, funny and beautiful woman but she struggles to come to terms with the things that make her such a great person and in a way I think that hesitation is what makes her so relatable because most women do not give themselves enough credit.
Amy Schumer said it best "Jessi Klein is a brilliant comedic mind and this book is a perfect reflection of that. It's like having a glass of wine with the best friend you wish you had."
I want to be friends with her.