Let's Pretend this Never Happened
By: Jenny Lawson
Release Date: April 17, 2012
When Jenny Lawson was little, all she ever wanted was to fit in. That dream was cut short by her fantastically unbalanced father (a professional taxidermist who created dead-animal hand puppets) and a childhood of wearing winter shoes made out of used bread sacks. It did, however, open up an opportunity for Lawson to find the humor in the strange shame spiral that is her life, and we are all the better for it.
Lawson's long-suffering husband and sweet daughter are the perfect comedic foils to her absurdities, and help her to uncover the surprising discovery that the most terribly human moments-the ones we want to pretend never happened-are the very same moments that make us the people we are today.
Let's Pretend This Never Happened is a poignantly disturbing, yet darkly hysterical tome for every intellectual misfit who thought they were the only ones to think the things that Lawson dares to say out loud. Like laughing at a funeral, this book is both irreverent and impossible to hold back once you get started. (from goodreads.com)
First of all, you all follow The Bloggess right? If you don't, take a minute and go follow her blog. I take that back. Read this post first then go check out The Bloggess. If you go there first then you'll never be back. I recommend starting with a post about a Giant Metal Chicken named Beyonce and going from there. Now, onto the book.
This book is about as perfect as you can get. I'm not a huge fan of memoirs because I find that they either come off too weepy (I don't want to read an entire book about peoples rough lives) or too contrived, but Lawson managed to find just the right balance. For every story about a time in her life when she struggled there is a chapter that made me laugh so hard I had to bury my face in a pillow lest I wake up the sleeping toddler. Most importantly the book, despite being only mostly true, felt honest. The struggles she had are struggles I could relate too and to see her come through it is inspiring.
For me the hardest chapter to read was the one in which she talked about her pregnancies and miscarriages. To be honest I almost skipped the chapter. She even tells you at the start that there will be dead babies on the next few pages and I knew what was coming, because I've totally been there. Then I remembered that the way I got through it was by talking about it and not trying to hide it, so I forged ahead. In this chapter Lawson essentially summed up 2 years of my life... the first found me dealing with 4 miscarriages, the second found me pregnant and completely batshit crazy (but I think hiding it well). Lawson was crushed by that ultrasound that didn't show a heartbeat. So was I. She tried again and again. So did I. She finally got pregnant and had to experience the joy of spending 9 months completely petrified that it would happen again. So did I. She had to tell herself and the cats that it would be okay. I told my dog and my horses and myself a million times every day that we'd get through it, that this time it would work, that it would all be okay. It was hard and heartbreaking and I wouldn't change it for the world, but I also don't ever want to go through it again. I'm so glad she put this chapter in, even though it's hard to think about and hard to read about, there are so many of us that go through it that it's nice to share it, even if it's just through a book.
There are other sad moments, but by and large everything is handles with a sense of humor and absurdity that makes the whole thing feel a bit like a party. A strange, epically f'ed up party that you really aren't sure you should be enjoying, but by god is it fun. Basically it's exactly what it feels like to read Lawson's blog and follow her on twitter, only on twitter you can attend imaginary parties with Wil Wheaton and unicorns and in the book you get to here more about how her father woke her up with a dead squirrel puppet one time.
I want to recap every funny story, but instead I'll just say that you should really go get the book. You really won't regret it.