review of Samantha Irby’s book Wow, No Thank You.

How can you not love a memoir that opens like this?:

This book is dedicated to Wellbutrin.

A couple of the essays were lost on me (like the collection of “Sure, sex is fun, but…” jokes) but in general this is quite funny as well as providing an interesting glimpse into a life radically different from my own. Often a terrifying glimpse, as when Irby recounts that her period once lasted nearly three months. Bodies being inconvenient or “gross” is a main theme here.

…I move this body around every day but I’m not actually in charge of it, and I have no idea and no control over anything that happens within it. Why are people so terrified of the impending rule of our robot overlords when we have no idea where our pancreases are?

Irby also talks about her frustrations with the portrayal of fat in the media:

…sometimes I hate my body not because it’s fat, but mostly because I never wake up in the morning to discover it has transformed into a wolf or a shark overnight. When is the last time you watched a show with a fat woman who didn’t at some point reference a new diet or some ill-fitting old jeans? Also this idea that fat people only get pity sex from recent parolees or whatever is bullshit; I’ve never fucked a repulsive loser ever in my life. JUST THE HANDSOME KINDS OF LOSERS.

She indicates that the advances in the representation of fat people in media and fashion since she was young have meant a great deal to her.

I can related to her antipathy toward homeownership and its attendant maintenance responsibilities:

Over the last couple years I have had to learn to live in a house, and that is one of the hardest and most boring things I’ve ever had to do.

And her less-than-enthusiastic attitude toward child-rearing:

When you know you are eventually going to have or raise a kid, you have years to start getting your shit together, i.e., burying your real self under a bunch of arbitrary rules and a fictional explanation of your past.

And to her instinct to back away from competition:

…because everything is a test, I immediately gave up.

I don’t relate to her professed lack of ambition, but it sounds kind of liberating:

Sometimes people don’t believe me when I say that I don’t have any goals, but seriously, it’s the damn truth. No, I’d never thought of publishing a motherfucking book. That sounds like a lot of work.

I don’t do anything hard, because my life has already been hard. You know those people who are always running and jumping and diving into some challenging bullshit to test themselves? That’s not me. I have lived without electricity before—no need to thrill seek!