Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress

Today, a little review of something I read quite a while ago.  I actually borrowed the book to a friend and am waiting for it to be returned but whatever.  It's worth the read and I thought I'd share it since the book has been on my mind for a while.

Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress looks at Susan Gilman's quirky childhood - she grew up as the "uncool white kid" (as her website says) much like the rest of us did.  Of course, in order to have a best-selling memoir, her life was certainly more eventful than mine was but still.  Most of us can relate to being the odd one out, and boy oh boy was she an odd one.  The title comes from her meltdown surrounding her wedding - what's a feminist to do when she's gotten to the point in a relationship when it's time to try on wedding dresses?  While I haven't had to try on wedding dresses yet - thank god - I can see myself in the same position.  I've said for quite a while that I don't know if I'll ever get married.  It's not necessarily that I don't want to get married, more that I don't think I'm the kind of person that needs to.  I don't want to need anything (besides of course food, water, and all of the basic things that you can't deny in life like a great pair of shoes).  But if I get to that point, I can guarantee that I'll have a meltdown, much like the one which serves as the title of this book.  Same thing with children.  The idea of children isn't so bad but if I actually get to the point that I'm prego, I can bet it'll be an issue no matter what stage in my life I'm at.  It's comforting to know that a not-so-average yet all around ordinary life can serve as a best-selling reminder to the rest of us that we aren't alone in our insecurities, our idicincricies, or our all around strange-ness.

Susan Gilman's books are good for a decent laugh, cry, or general all around feeling of "God, at least my life doesn't suck that badly."  I also recently read her book Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven, which details a trip to China she took soon after the country opened for American travel.  While it wasn't my favorite book by any means, it left me wondering how so many strange things can happen to one person.  And it made me want to travel to completely different cultures, but since I work a real job there will be no traveling all that soon.  

Her writing is genuine and has a quality to it that makes you realize that all of these improbable things really did happen.  If they didn't, she's a wonderful liar.  Better than the rest of us, at least.

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