I would guess I’ve read almost two dozen memoirs this year alone; it’s one of my favorite genres because it’s so varied and even when they aren’t very good they’re usually pretty quick to get through. After a While You Just Get Used to It falls into the category of “well, it didn’t take very long to read…”
I applied my Dr Pepper lip gloss and pulled on my deflated Nike airs, watching Mom give John a hug before saying her world-famous line, ‘Well, excuse our junk.’
Last year I read the excellent memoir, Coming Clean, about Kimberly Rae Miller’s experience growing up with parents who were hoarders. Due to its similar subject matter I picked up Gwendolyn Knapp’s After a While You Get Used to It and unfortunately it was lacking. This memoir only lightly touches on hoarding, although Knapp’s mother clearly has a psychological attachment to miscellaneous junk, but focuses mostly on growing up in Florida in a”White Trash” family.
Knapp isn’t very sympathetic. She belittles her mother without offering herself up as an example of someone in any position to judge another’s lifestyle. Her adult life in New Orleans is no better than the Florida world she escaped as a teenager; she is just a horribly negative person that seems to seek out unsuitable relationships. Of course she finds a way to blame her lackluster adulthood on her mother’s eventual move to Louisiana. She closes the book out by saying it was a love letter to her mother and sister but I disagree.