of the TWENTY-SEVEN books i’d read in the GR awards semifinals, this is the only one that won in its category. so congratulations, even though i don’t consider this a graphic novel as such, more like a collection of unrelated cartoons better placed in the humor category, but who’s gonna split genre-hairs?
although i’m pretty confident i have at least 10-15 years on this cartoonist, there’s still so much in this book that resonated with me. which probably reflects very poorly on me – it’s one thing to still be finding your way and retaining your childish mores in your twenties, but it’s a little less cute when you’re … older.
there are some parts of adulthood i am very good at: paying bills on time and making sure the dishes are done and the litterbox is clean and not running out of toothpaste. but then there are some other things i just can’t seem to get the hang of, mostly in the realm of social fakery, like small talk and networking and climbing that social ladder. and then there are “adult” skills i just don’t see the value of adopting, like the development of an impulse control muscle that says “don’t eat that whole box of cookies in one sitting,”
or “don’t buy another stuffed animal, you old fart.”
and sarah andersen seems like a soulmate in those regards.
we are exhausted by the same things, like slow walkers, the ease of written vs. the hell of verbal communication, and the struggle of maintaining a polite and focused attention span while inwardly experiencing social anxiety and a desire to be back in the safety of one’s home-cave.
i think i used to be an extrovert but then i just got so tired. i’d much rather hide out and be cozy, and while i’m a little regretful that i don’t take advantage of all the fine cultural things new york has to offer, i feel a little “been there, done that,” and now i’m all old and groggy. i’m no longer young and hot and new york is pretty much tailored for the young and hot. or the rich.
and too often i just feel like this
but this book makes me feel okay about myself. it says it’s okay to have serious attachments to stuffed animals
and a notebook addiction that is well-intentioned but haphazard
and it stresses the importance of coziness:
especially when it comes to cozy-fashion
i mean, right now i am wearing doraemon poupons and a julius-monkey fleece top. like a baby.
there are, of course, several comics pandering to booknerds, most notably
but the biggest adult lesson i learned from this book is: wait, you’re supposed to wash your bras?
i do laundry once a week – i’m no scrub, but i have never ever in my life washed a bra. not even when i was a little kid living at home and someone else was doing the laundry for me. how does this even work? don’t they get all misshapen and crumpled? i do not have sweaty stinky boobs, and i’ve never had a problem with filthy bras. so i’m going to keep living the way i been living and no one’s gonna stop me.
this book also highlights a lot of girl-woes that made me shout, “i know, right?” like the way the fashion industry and the lingerie industry just don’t seem to be able to work together
the perils of long hair
and the mysterious ways of tampons
other noteworthy fist-bumps from me to ms. andersen include her addressing:
-the joy of giving gifts and the crippling shyness of receiving them.
-the constant dwelling on stupid things one has said long after anyone else remembers them
-the lack of desire to spawn
-the shyness that comes off as rudeness
-how long toenail polish lasts
and we also both have stuffed bunnies
except hers is a little more alive than mine
so i’m totally down to be her big sister, if she is in the market for one of those. we can wave shyly at each other from across the room and then go back home to our respective pj’s and our too-early cat alarm clocks.
i’m gonna peter pan myself well into my old-age senility, when it will once more be completely age-appropriate for me to embrace what makes me comfortable over the challenges of the world of social expectations.