Review: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

Let's Pretend This Never Happened, Jenny LawsonWhen you’re a kid, all you want to do is fit in. Nothing was worse than being embarrassed by a parent or yourself. Your goal was to have friends and avoid the insanity that is adolescence and young adulthood.

Enter Jenny Lawson. Between the crippling anxiety disorder and a taxidermist father who says things like, “Happy birthday! Here’s a bathub of raccoons!” and brings home a truck full of turkeys he insists are quails, Jenny never had a chance.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is both a horror story of and a love letter to growing up weird, and shedding light on those moments you wish you could forget — because whether funny or tragic, they make you who you are.

Why I love Jenny Lawson

I first knew of Lawson by her online title, The Bloggess (“Like Mother Teresa, Only Better”). She writes hysterical stuff about ill-advised metal chicken purchases and adopting (and dressing) a dead weasel, and is generally loud-mouthed, vulgar, and vaguely blasphemous.

In other words, my fucking hero. How could you not love someone like this?

Then he’d stress the importance of my “doing some real work instead of just watching porn at three in the afternoon,” and I’d stress that I was not “enjoying” the porn and that I was merely “reviewing” it. FOR RESEARCH. Considering that we spent a majority of our workday in pajamas while porn played in the background, there was a surprising amount of stress in that workplace.

And anyone whose reaction to something scrabbling through the Texas underbrush in front of them is to scream, “CHUPACABRA!” is first in line for the people I’d want with me on a deserted island.

Also, I read these conversations between Lawson and her husband and think, “Poor Victor.” But then I realize they must have a rock-solid relationship, or they wouldn’t have those same conversations. I think they drive each other crazy on purpose, and that’s what a healthy relationship is all about!

Now, the review

When I first heard about Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, I knew it would contain more stories of Lawson’s insane exploits. And boy howdy, did it; they don’t call her “Erma Bombeck on steroids” for no reason.

But as with my favorite books, Lawson’s tale has heart. The chapters about her daughter, while often funny, contain some really painful and poignant moments that a lesser writer would have bungled.

I loved Let’s Pretend This Never Happened because it made me laugh (seriously guys, there were spit takes), and because it reminded me of all those embarrassing moments I’ve tried to forget. To shamelessly steal from “Dr. Who”:

The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things.…hey.…the good things don’t always soften the bad things; but vice-versa the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant.

Has anyone else read this yet? Please do so we can talk about it together!

P.S. I went to one of Lawson’s book signings, and guess who she brought with her?

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