I needed to read some essays. I needed those essays to be written by someone very different from me in life and circumstances, but ultimately kind of the same as me in mindset and attitude. Thus I found Sam Irby, and because the book has a picture of a kitty on it, I pulled it off the shelf, opened to a random page, laughed my ass off in the store, and bought it.
Irby is the queen of I don’t give a fuck this is me. It’s great. Seeing how she got there, how she is moving forward from being there now as a family woman, and reflecting on how I feel in relation to her is not only vital, it’s hilarious. She can laugh at herself in one sentence and in the next, turn around and skewer what makes us laugh at her and make you really think about it. Mostly, we’re laughing with her, especially when she’s dating men who think she should be grateful for having sex with them, or shitting out of a car window as her frat-bro friend cheers her on like a football coach.
She hates her cat. She hates her job. She hates most people- and while most others who have had her experiences would also add “hates herself” to that list, she doesn’t really seem to. She seems to genuinely like herself, and is capable of rationally explaining why she defies all the reasons society tells her to hate herself, and point the mirror back in our general direction.
She’s clever, funny, well-lived and articulate. She grows throughout the essays and she doesn’t always know what to do with her change, but she’s trying. She’s fundamentally human and refreshing.