Yeah, I read it again. Actually, I listened to the audio book because the only thing more fun than reading Jenny Lawson’s stories is listening to her tell them. And it happened to be available as I was boarding a plane to rush out of town for a family emergency, so that seemed to be good timing for a little comfort reading.
“Because you are defined not by life’s imperfect moments, but by your reaction to them. And because there is joy in embracing – rather than running from – the utter absurdity of life.”
Absurdity is the name of the game when it comes to Jenny Lawson a.k.a the Bloggess. She grew up in the smallest of small towns, poor but sort of unaware of it, and surrounded by the evidence of her father’s taxidermy business. Then she grew up, moved away, met a very nice young man (in a lot of denim) who came from a wildly different background (wealthy, conservative, no dead animals) and fell in love. And crazily enough, she found herself wanting to raise their child in the same small town, country upbringing she had. So they move to the hill country to a house that’s sadly not nearly as haunted as she’d like.
“I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to have a childhood that was _not_ like mine. I have no real frame of reference, but when I question strangers I’ve found that their childhood generally had much less blood in it, and also that strangers seem uncomfortable when you question them about their childhood. But really, what else are you going to talk about in line at the liquor store? Childhood trauma seems like the natural choice, since it’s the reason why most of us are in line there to begin with.”
That’s a lot of life events, and every one is accompanied by some crazy ass shit happening. She accidentally runs into a dead deer and sort of ends up…wearing it. She sticks her arm into a cow’s vagina and gets stuck. Her husband proposes to her after an evening during which she’s convinced he’s planning her murder. Her dog dies and ends up with a Tibetan sky funeral, courtesy of the vultures on their property. Oh, and there’s a giant chicken named Beyonce.
In addition to all the antics, Lawson shares some tough experiences as well — she suffers from autoimmune issues and depression and anxiety. Her experience getting and staying pregnant was traumatic. And she shares these stories fully and truthfully, with just enough humor to offset the harder parts. The more I reread her work, the more I find these stories easy to identify with and I love that that changes with each rereading.