I read this right after reading Sloane Crosley’s newest book, How Did You Get This Number, and it blew Crosley so far out of the water that I’m now in Barron-camp for good. This was unexpected, because I’m a big fan of Sloane Crosley, loved I Was Told There’d Be Cake, and maintain a vast store of jealous admiration for Crosley and her career and her intriguing conventionality–but How Did You Get This Number is full of mundane travel essays and one too many un-clever phrases like “the taking of the drugs,” and despite a heart-tugging final chapter, it lost me.
Sara Barron, on the other hand, had me in out-loud giggles all the way through. She seems almost ego-less, which is remarkable for a young female memoirist, and she immediately goes plunging through her life for amazing snippets of personal folly and humiliation. She’s assigned to play an Asian character in a school play: “As someone pinkish and pale and covered in moles, I do not look Asian. My associations to the continent are limited to the facts that I eat a lot of sashimi and that in the early ’00s I got a case of HPV from a Vietnamese sculptor named Quong.” She writes about how her entire elementary school witnesses her first-lady-cycle pad bulge and starts chanting “Chick with a dick! Chick with a dick!” She finds a diary from elementary school filled not with heartfelt musings on the everyday, but with sentences like this:
“I swichted myself around so my head was right on his pienus and I made my legs go into a squatting position and made so he exactly saw up my viginia. So I am lying on top of him and he is humping me so hard I’m nearly flying off him. Then I take his pienus and rub my face and in it.”
Barron had premature misconceptions about sex: that “pienuses” were shaped like hooks, that coitus was always followed by champagne, and that an erection prevented sex–however, “enough experience with enough alcoholics, and you cultivate a fine appreciation of the item/event.”
Other topics: trichitillomania, dating a gay guy, asking a black guy to “lay his chocolate skin beside her white vagina” (the guy just pees on her), bartending at Coyote Ugly, going on an online date with a midget, finding an ex-boyfriend who has made it a life calling to be a clown, hanging out with Paris Hilton. It’s all so funny. It’s exhaustingly funny, by the end. But Sloane Crosley fans, if you’re the type of person that knows you’re weird, this is the book for you.