A friend gave me a copy of Phoebe Robinson’s Please Don’t Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes: Essays as a Christmas gift, and I was excited to dig into it shortly after the new year. Robinson is a comedian, writer, and actress, and I was familiar with her podcast 2 Dope Queens (which she co-hosted with Jessica Williams, formerly of The Daily Show), but I hadn’t really kept up with her work after 2 Dope Queens ended in 2018. She has been busy! (As evidenced by the fact that the book is published by her own publishing imprint, among many other things.)
The essays in the book cover a wide range of topics, and the structure of the book generally alternates between more serious subjects (racism, mental health, her decision not to have children) and lighter ones (trying to maintain romance in a relationship while quarantining together, cultural differences between the US and UK, having famous friends). Throughout the essays, Robinson does a good job of bringing the reader into her life while acknowledging that many aspects of that life are not very relatable to the average person (she has the money and flexibility to travel internationally on short notice, she knows Bono and Michelle Obama, and so on).
Overall I really enjoyed the book, although it was not as comedic in tone as I was expecting (not the book’s fault so much as me diving into the book not really knowing anything about it). The book was published in 2021 and seems to have been mostly written in 2020, so there is definitely a pandemic lens to many of the essays, so if you’re trying to escape from that for a while this might not be the best choice.
Recommended for fans of: Tressie McMillan Cottom, Roxane Gay, Samantha Irby.