I remember the first time I realized that I hated most fiction was whenever we were forced to read A Tale of Two Cities* in high school. I suffered through it along with the rest of my class, trying to muddle through the names and nicknames of people–all of whom I mixed up regularly–before giving up entirely and buying my first and only copy of Cliffs Notes. And even in discernible English, I was bored shitless.
As I’ve gotten older, it dawned on me that overall? Not very interested in fiction. I’m glad that the genre exists, the same way I feel about soft-core porn romance novels, but given a choice between reading one and having to suffer through another visit to my endocrinologist (I HAVE A GLANDULAR PROBLEM, PEOPLE), I’m not positive which I’d choose. Diabetes Monthly might interest me more, and I am (shockingly!) not diabetic.
Maybe that’s what appeals to me so much about blogging. With a few notable exceptions, most of the blogs I read are at least mostly non-fiction. I guess I can just connect with a real person more than I can connect with Mrs. Pip or whatever her fucking whore name was.
There was this whole panel at BlogHer about “finding your blogging tribe” and, no, of course I didn’t go. I’m certain that had I tried, I would have found that there was standing room only in the back, so in the long run I’m glad that my slackerdom won out there.
But the point of the session was good. It’s important to find Your People. Back when Jesus was my classmate and I first started blogging, one of my first real friends, and I mean REAL friends, was Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, who blogs at Baby on Bored.
Stef probably knows more about me than anyone else on the planet, which, considering I live in the Armpit of the Midwest and she lives in hip AND sunny California, is saying quite a lot for someone who doesn’t regularly get to to slam back some Diet Cokes with me. Stef is the shit and if you don’t know her, you’re an idiot, and go over to her blog immediately. Well, no, finish this entry first because I DO have a point.
Because she is cooler than the rest of us, Stef has written not one, not two, but three books, AND THEY HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN PUBLISHED. Her first was Sippy Cups Are Not For Chardonnay (which, obviously, they’re for VODKA), her second was Naptime Is The New Happy Hour, and her latest is It’s Not Me, It’s You.
The first two of her books focus on parenting, taking an honest look at what parenting means and then reminding you that things are pretty fucking funny after all (also funny are the hateful reviews on Amazon, because, seriously, these people need to get the fcuk over themselves). I wish I’d had them when Ben was a baby, because reading them was like talking with a good friend. You know, the sort that knows you and likes you anyway?
It’s Not Me, It’s You is a bitingly funny and honest memoir that had me wincing and nodding at the same time (I never wince)(I also never cry)(I also hate Thousand Island dressing, because what’s the point?). And seriously, you need to read it to believe it. The woman has lived approximately 405 lives and counting and makes you or I seem like the most boring person on the planet.
She sent me a copy right after Amelia was born, and I actually forfeited sleep one night WHILE I HAD A NEWBORN to stay up and read it. If you know how much sleep means to me and how I’d probably auction off one of my arms to get more of it, it would be evidence of just how fucking good this book is.
I don’t do product reviews here because I’m not really an authority on much besides firmly advocating AGAINST generic toilet paper, and I really hate it when blogs are all “go spend your money on THIS” because it’s fucking annoying. But you need to read this book. Because if you like ME, you’ll love Stef.
(do you remember those designer impostors perfumes? If you like Obsession, you’ll love STALKER? It’s kind of like that. Or maybe I’m the Diet Coke of Stef)
So, now that I’ve told you what you need to be reading, what should I be reading? Blogs? Books? Toothpaste tubes? People Magazine?
*To be fair, I’m sure Mr. Dickens would probably want to pop out his eyeballs if forced to read anything that I wrote.