Thursday, August 4, 2011

Lacking Adult Coping Skills, I Steal Clean Underwear

I won another book in a giveaway! This time it was Sarah Silverman's The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee and I won it from the always awesome Alice from Reading Rambo. How do I keep winning all of these? Simple: 1) Enter giveaway 2) No one else enters 3) WIN! I like to think that it's my awesomeness keeping other people away because the blogs hosting the giveaways rule, so it's certainly not them.

I'm a medium fan of Silverman. I think her stand up is funny, but I don't go out of my way to see it. (And by that I mean just on TV or something. Not actually going to see her in person. If I'm too lazy to flip the channel, don't you think I'm too lazy to get up and pay to see her somewhere.) I've seen her show a couple times, I remember something about a queefing ghost, but I don't normally watch it. So this book is in the category of "if the book falls into my outstretched arms I'll read it, but otherwise I won't bother". Luckily it did fall into my outstretched arms, in a matter of speaking, and I enjoyed this far more than I had anticipated.

Alice pointed this out in her own review, but the book is a lot more depressing than you'd think a comedienne's memoir would be. It's still funny, especially the chapter titles, but she talks about some tough issues, especially her teenage depression and that she was prescribed around 16 Xanax per day. And the "bedwetter" isn't part of the title just as a joke. She actually had a problem with this through her teenage years and she covers this with both humor (as to be expected) as well as the fear, anxiety and shame this very realistically brought. She slept over at a friend's house and spent the night so terrified she wet the bed that she tried to stay up all night, which resulted in her falling into a super deep sleep and, inevitably, wetting the bed.
"WHO DID THIS!?!?! [the friend's mother] screams, with a look so scary -- like when someone's eyes go wide but with no innocence in them. Just pure fury.
I stand there, quietly enduring the world's youngest heart attack, wishing for my fear to somehow transport me. Am I supposed to answer? Is the onus actually on a six-year-old to fill this silence?
Lest you think this book is just a pity party, she tempers any sad parts with humor (Seriously, of course there's humor. Quit making me repeat this.) and humility. She knows people out there have had it way worse and points out that things might have been hard for her plenty of people have it way worse.

I'm clearly harping on the fact that this book is funny but I want to make sure it's clear that her humor isn't for everyone. I think she's funny. I think her chapter titles like "Summer Camp: The Second Worst Kind of Camp for Jews" are funny. I think the joke she tells that gets her into all kinds of trouble with the Media Action Network for Asian Americans is funny and I think that Guy Aoki totally missed the point of the joke. But I acknowledge not everyone is going to like that. Her humor is offensive, though I think she does a good job of pointing out it's not hateful. But you want to know if this book's humor isn't for you? Here's one of her videos called The Great Schlep. This is pretty tame so know if this offends you, you should avoid the book. She also has a kick ass video about selling the Vatican to feed the world that got her a good amount of hate mail but Alice already embedded that in her post so I won't copy her.

Title quote from page 103

Silverman, Sarah. The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, And Pee. Harper Collins; 2010.