This is one of those memoirs that makes you laugh out loud and then feel bad about laughing at some of the brutally honest things that Jenny Lawson reveals about her childhood, her relationship with her husband, and her battles with anxiety. I thought a lot about my friend, Fernanda, who was famous in college and after for writing extremely funny letters about her most embarrassing moments and how there’s a certain knack for revealing this information—walking the line between humor and exploitation. Ironically, most of us would follow the edict of the title, pretending that these things never happened, but instead Lawson and my friend do exactly the opposite-mining their “shame-spiral” moments for comic gold.
I don’t want to give too much away here but Jenny Lawson’s memoir includes crazy childhood stories involving taxidermy, being thrown from a moving car, and being followed to school by a goat. She grows up, goes to college, marries her boyfriend, Victor, and lands a job in Human Resources. This may sound like a normal trajectory, but Lawson shows all the crazy beneath the surface. She’s like a friend who says all the things that flash through your head but that you would never dream of uttering out loud. The descriptions of how her social anxiety makes her say the weirdest things at parties are worth the cost of the book alone.
I don’t know if this style of humor and honesty is for everyone, but I personally would love to hang out with her or even better, host a dinner party and invite her and Haven Kimmel. I suspect the stories would go on all night.