Journalist and comedian Stadtmiller, best known for describing her dating life in detail for the readers of the New York Post, covers the decade of her 30s in an uninhibited account of bad behavior.
In 2005, the author, now a columnist for the Daily Beast, turned 30, got divorced after a marriage of five years, and started a new job at the Post. She wrote features and covered celebrities, and then she found her niche writing a dating column. When she wasn't writing, she was drinking to the point of frequent blackouts, going through “binge-and-starve cycles,” and having a series of one-night stands with people she often didn’t recognize in the morning. As she writes, her life had become “a cocktail of excess.” With her therapists, Stadtmiller delved into her past and found some plausible explanations for her behavior: Her parents, she writes, both had psychological problems, she was sexually assaulted at a party when she was a teenager, and, later, her parents failed to show sufficient interest in her career. Throughout, the author name-drops with enthusiasm. At one point, for example, she claims that she was simultaneously dating Aaron Sorkin, Keith Olbermann, and Lloyd Grove. Eventually, the memoir takes the shape of a redemption narrative. Stadtmiller hit bottom several times, joined AA and other recovery programs, realized she couldn’t count on a guy to make her life worth living, met “one of the kindest, most thoughtful guys I've dated,” and got married again. Presumably, she is currently living happily-ever-after. More intriguing than the contours of this familiar story are the darkly humorous details of working for the Post and the other publications where she has worked or freelanced, including xoJane, TimeOut, Maxim, and Penthouse.
A ribald memoir of self-discovery that is not for the squeamish.