Thursday, May 16, 2013

i can barely take care of myself by Jen Kirkman

"You'll Change Your Mind."

That’s what everyone says to Jen Kirkman— and countless women like her—when she confesses she doesn’t plan to have children. But you know what? It’s hard enough to be an adult. You have to dress yourself and pay bills and remember to buy birthday gifts. You have to drive and get annual physicals and tip for good service. Some adults take on the added burden of caring for a tiny human being with no language skills or bladder control. Parenthood can be very rewarding, but let’s face it, so are margaritas at the adults-only pool.

Jen’s stand-up routine includes lots of jokes about not having kids (and some about masturbation and Johnny Depp), after which complete strangers constantly approach her and ask, “But who will take care of you when you’re old?” (Servants!) Some insist, “You’d be such a great mom!” (Really? You know me so well!)

Whether living rent-free in her childhood bedroom while trying to break into comedy (the best free birth control around, she says), or taking the stage at major clubs and joining a hit TV show— and along the way getting married, divorced, and attending excruciating afternoon birthday parties for her parent friends—Jen is completely happy and fulfilled by her decision not to procreate.

I Can Barely Take Care of Myself is a beacon of hilarious hope for anyone whose major life decisions have been questioned by friends, family, and strangers in a comedy club bathroom. And it should satisfy everyone who wonders if Jen will ever know true love without looking into the eyes of her child.


This book started out pretty well but petered off into something I consider amusing but not laugh out loud funny. It's probably not complimentary to Ms. Kirkman but I can't help but compare this to Jenny Lawson's Let's Pretend This Never Happened. I don't read enough humorous nonfiction to have much else to compare it to and I think it's the best example of why I didn't connect to this book more: personal connection. 

Kirkman spends a lot of time showcasing different scenarios of how her friends/family put her on the spot regarding her decision to not have children, but once the humorous part of the story ends not much else seems to happen. She gets married and gets divorced - both with almost not back story - and doesn't ever seem to come to grips with her own decision. Maybe my confusion comes about from being a bit more bitchy about the whole thing, but by the end I just wanted to tell her to get a grip, it's your life, live it as you want.

Shrug. It's ok - but check it out from the library.

Overall Feeling - B-

Series - None