More humorous life reflections from a seasoned raconteur.
In this third volume of essays (this one “dedicated to Wellbutrin”), outspoken blogger and essayist Irby offers opinions and reactions to many of life’s more uncomfortable and inconvenient episodes. Among countless other topics, the author discusses her confusion about health bloggers’ obsessions with “adaptogens and other beneficial herbs,” her “hostile, elusive, disrespectful” menstrual cycle, and her body. “I have been stuck with a smelly, actively decaying body that I never asked for,” she writes, “and am constantly on the receiving end of confusing, overwhelming messages for how to properly care for and feed it.” A linear timeline chronicling Irby’s attempt at partying while “staring middle age right in its sensible orthopedic inserts” is particularly hilarious and relatable for readers of a certain age. Even when the author describes pitching show concepts to Netflix or battling Crohn’s disease, her one-liners and comic timing remain intact. A lot of the best anecdotal material springs forth from the more embarrassing and cringeworthy moments of the author’s life. She envies those who can go out on the town and not become hindered with bathroom issues or people who effortlessly manage a household. Regarding children, she writes, “I jump away from children the way most people jump away from a hot stove—though she doesn’t “dislike them.” Some of the material in this latest collection has been covered in her previous two books, but Irby’s devotees won’t mind because her personal hyperawareness, brazen attitude, and raunchy sense of humor are in fine form, even when the writing is haphazard and frenetic. Ultimately, though, the author manages to shake things up and keep most of her observances fresh and funny, and she also incorporates more details of life with her wife.
There’s lots to chuckle at here, as Irby remains a winning, personality-driven, self-deprecating essayist.