Tuesday, October 21, 2014

In which I unexpectedly work through my feelings on Lena Dunham's book

I went to a work function last night, one where I got to put on nice clothes (even nicer than the business-casual I usually wear) and listen to speeches and eat fancy chicken on a stick.  And desserts on a stick.  And an endless amount of other tiny delicious pieces of food that I had to pick up with my hands because there were no forks to be seen anywhere.  The food was amazing.  I work at a community college and the event was catered by the culinary department and I had to resist eating two of everything.  I settled for one.

Related: I still don't like chicken liver even if it's wrapped in bacon and speared with a toothpick.  But I TRIED.

I thought the post needed a picture
and this was all I could come up with.
I came home to my husband already in bed and asleep (it was 9:15) so I had to rummage around in the dark for pajamas.  I stayed up reading Lena Dunham's book (Not That Kind of Girl) because I needed a bit of winding down off the fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

I want to like this book, I really, really do.  And that's not to say that I don't, per se.

I'm not making any sense.

What I want to say is that I like the book, but there are parts that leave a bad taste in my mouth.  She's open, yes, which I appreciate.  And there are certain passages of her stories that leave me nodding in agreement and relief that finally someone gets how I feel about something.

But my overall feeling is that she is so very young.  Maybe that's the point of the book, though.  She captures a part of her life, her childhood and early-adulthood, and how full of self-knowledge were any of us at those times in our life?

I think I've written before about how, at least in the writing community that I've encountered, there seems to be an overall belief that in order to write well you have to be messed up in some way.  I don't subscribe to that belief.  I mean, I think we're all at least a bit messed up but it's the wallowing in it that bothers me.  The feeling that you are somehow 'special' because you had a bad experience.  Or weird experience.  Or experience that didn't sit well.  We've all had them.  No one is without their own story.  Everyone you meet is dealing with something.  And so maybe, for some, writing an experience is a way to climb out of the story.  I do feel it's hard to be truly honest when writing your own story.  And I appreciate Lena Dunham's ability to share things that many wouldn't.

I do not know her true story, her whole story.  All I know is what I've read in this book where she admits to being an unreliable narrator.  We all are in our own stories, though, aren't we?  The very nature of them is that it's how we perceive an experience.

So maybe she's captured that.  Maybe that's the point.

(I started this post thinking I would talk about how Chris had a rough bedtime routine with the kids and that apparently Adele was so pissed that, unbeknownst to anyone she took off all her clothes out of spite.  We realized it when she crawled into our bed at 4:30 naked and smelling of pee.

Instead I talked about Lena Dunham.)

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