For the past week, I’ve spent every night in bed…
…reading You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein and laughing until I fall asleep. Klein, a stand-up comic and the head writer for Inside Amy Schumer, published a collection of real-life essays about navigating sex, life and relationships. She is like your hilarious older cousin who comes to visit and tells you everything you need to know about being a woman — including awkward dating stories and why she hates baths and how she got her cool job.
What struck me most about her book was how you recognize her frustrations and observations, yet now instead of feeling alone, you feel initiated into a group of smart, funny women. “I think for a very long time, including now, there has been this view that writing about the details of women’s lives feels somehow more trivial than writing by men,” Klein told New York Magazine. “And I think that’s a really toxic view to internalize. I think the details of women’s lives are as important as anything in all of literature.”
Here are a few of the many lines that made me laugh out loud…
On the secrets of being a woman: Being a woman usually means you are born with a vagina and after that you’ll probably grow boobs and most likely pretty soon after that you’ll have long hair because it’s no secret that men are pretty non-negotiable about that, except for the times when some Frenchwoman with an insanely long neck pulls it off and a certain segment of men who are open to being a little different go fucking bananas for her.
On having a type: Body-type-wise, I would describe my sweet spot as someone who is trying a little bit to be in shape but is failing miserably… Sartorially, I like guys who wear T-shirts and old canvas sneakers and generally look like they are incapable of taking care of another human being. My ideal partner looks like he was on the way to the Laundromat and got caught in a rainstorm, and then got drunk and fell asleep.
On the word ma’am: Ma’am is doubly insulting because we hear men being called sir all day. And sir is awesome. We long for sir. Sir is what knights are and what Paul McCartney is. Sir sounds like you are sitting at a castle round table eating a rack of lamb. Sir means you are respected and maybe a little bit feared. No one fears ma’am, except in the sense that they may be worried oh no what if this ma’am starts hitting on me, then what will I do?
On the Bachelor: I have developed an elaborate fantasy of joining the show as a contestant myself, but in a very special Bachelor season where… the entire roster of women is composed of women like me: Jewish girls with glasses in their thirties who went to liberal arts colleges. My fantasy begins with our arrival at the house to meet “The” Bachelor. We each pull up in our big fancy limos, but instead of emerging bedecked in some kind of goddess evening gown, all of us are wearing big sweaters and Dansko clogs. And instead of greeting the Bachelor with big sexy hugs, every single one of us is awkward and offers a handshake while saying, “Can we all just acknowledge this is so nuts?”
On pregnancy: In my contact with other pregnant women, or women who had had kids, there did feel sometimes like this game of one-upmanship that would be happening around just how holistic and perfect a birth anyone could have. That idea of like, “I’m going to give birth at home.” “Well, I’m going to give birth at home in a giant bowl of lentil soup that has been made from organic lentils that I bought at Whole Foods.” “Well, I’m just going to give birth at Whole Foods.” It just felt like there’s this contest. (From NPR)
Have you read You’ll Grow Out of It? I highly recommend it.
(Photo by Stella Blackmon for Cup of Jo.)