Friday, August 31, 2012

CBRIV: Book#10: Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson

Pinky McLadybits

I was first made aware of The Bloggess when she got Beyonce, the giant metal chicken. (Not to be confused with the heinously rich and talented Beyonce, wife of Jay-Z and not a giant metal chicken.) I laughed long and hard at the writing style and was hooked on Jenny Lawson's type of humor, which is also my humor. 

When she wrote a book, I wanted to buy it and get the autographed book plate, but the amount of poor we were was more than the amount of money we had. Dammit. I finally broke down and bought the Kindle edition (and before you sneer, "OH! You have a Kindle now but couldn't buy a damn book a few months ago? I CALL BULLSHIT." I'll have you know that it is the Kindle app on my iPad. Which makes me look like a lying liar again, which I am not because I was given this iPad as a gift. I am a lucky girl. And I sound like an asshole.)

Lawson has a style of stream-of-conscious story-telling coupled with callbacks and a real flair for making her voice loud and clear through written word. I would think that you could see a paragraph written by Lawson and be able to guess that she was the writer without any prompting. As long as you had read her writing before, of course. Anyway, Lawson starts at one point, meanders through an explanation of an idea or a tangent of something related to the narrative, and then BOOM! Back near the point. Sometimes even on the point. She's good.

Lawson starts with her childhood and answers a lot of questions you didn't realize you had yet. I mean, when you read that Lawson's father once woke she and her sister in the middle of the night to show them something called Stanley the magical squirrel. I won't ruin the surprise but, magic isn't really involved. Lawson also tells you about not really fitting in growing up, the turkeys her father raised, the ducks, and other unique experiences one has when they grow up poor with a taxidermist father.

She also talks about her anxiety disorder, which really hit close to my heart. I have panic and anxiety disorder and I used to hyperventilate, wring my hands, worry myself until I vomited, and other lovely things just because there was a slim chance that something bad might happen during whatever activity I happened to be thinking about at that time. It sucks. I say used to because I have a medication that works for me and the severe panic attacks are much fewer and further apart. Instead of several times a week, I have several times a year. I'm not counting the attacks that I'm able to shut down without medication, or it would be a few times a month. When Lawson talks about how the anxiety physically feels, how it builds, and how she personally expends that anxious energy? It was all familiar. So familiar, except for her own brand of babbling in crowds, that I had to stop reading, lest it manifested into a panic attack.

Lawson has amazing stories and has lived an amazing life thus far. She hasn't invented a life-saving mechanism or cured cancer, but she has survived. She's found someone that loves her as she is and balances her. She's got a daughter that hasn't got the panic genes, it seems. She's dealt with crazy, crazy things and she's still here and she's still overcoming obstacles every day. She's Jenny Lawson: The Bloggess, Collector of Ethically Taxidermied Animals in Clothing. She's awesome and you should read her book. Now!

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