"IF YOU LEAVE ME, CAN I COME TOO?" by Cynthia Heimel


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Humorist Heimel dishes out more of the same in her latest collection of brief takes on love, life, and relationships (most previously published in Playboy and the Village Voice). But in addition to the saucy insights on the so-called war between the sexes, the wry disbelief of the potential for living anywhere except Manhattan, and the cynical acceptance of the inevitability of aging that marked her previous compilations (Get You Tongue Out Of My Mouth, I'm Kissing You Good-Bye!, 1993, etc.), Heimel now feels confident enough to offer her kinder, gentler side as well. The more maternal pieces, admittedly, are not about her fondness for humans -- no self-respecting New Yorker (not even one who's spent time in Los Angeles) would admit to that. Instead, in the chapter entitled ""The Hidden Life of Women Who Run with the Dogs,"" Heimel reveals her deep attachment to canines. Lest this sound too docile, she manages to infuse her usual sarcasm into the plea to keep eight million a year from dying at animal shelters by getting our pets fixed: ""I know I'm a castrating bitch, but fellows, you have to cut your dog's balls off."" And since the infamous Problem Lady could never stray too far from men, dogs also become the litmus test for prospective mates: Who knew that any owner who won't let his dog sleep on the couch has ""no interest in the comfort or feelings of a longtime companion"" and should be rejected? Yet when she does find herself in a comfortable relationship with a normal guy (instead of a ""crazy songwriter or something""), she's bored. Seems the only thing that makes Heimel happy is ranting about the backlash against feminism and the things men never get right. Lucky she does it so well. Still, repetitive if taken in large doses.

Pub Date: June 16th, 1995
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly