Title: Jeneration X: One Reluctant Adult’s Attempt to Unarrest Her Arrested Development; Or, Why It’s Never Too Late for Her Dumb Ass to Learn Why Froot Loops Are Not for Dinner
Author: Jen Lancaster
2017 Book Challenge Entry: A book written by someone you admire
Thoughts: I first discovered Jen Lancaster in like 2007. I was working at a local theatre in the box office answering the phone and booking tickets. I only worked weekends and Sundays in the box office were…how do I put it… DEAD. We were only open a few hours and the phone never seemed to ring during those hours.
Internet to the rescue.
When I wasn’t working on a paper, which luckily my boss either didn’t know about or didn’t care about, I would read or browse stuff online. I came across her website, then called Jennsylvania, after trying to find more info on her book Bitter Is the New Black. She talked on her website about her pets, her writing, her S.O., and other manner of just random personal business.
I was completely hooked. I ran out and got her books that were published and tore through them. Then I got another.
She has this amazing voice that just makes you feel like you are chatting with your bestie over a MASSIVE glass of wine. I’ve read almost all her memoirs and I am always amazed at her brand of storytelling. This entry was supposed to be for a book written by someone I admire. I really and seriously do admire Jen Lancaster. She writes honestly and I get the feeling she is the same in person as she is on the page. She took a situation, chronicled in her first memoir, and not only pulled through it with humor and fire, but also created a whole new career for herself. That, my dear friends, is absolutely to be admired.
Also she makes me laugh until I pee.
I started Jeneration X in the middle of what has easily been the most adult year of my life. In February, Eric and I announced we were pregnant. In March we purchased a house. In May, we moved into our purchased home. Throughout the summer, we worked on the house and in August we had a baby. By the time I was on maternity leave, I needed a little levity in my life. I picked up this book a few days before baby girl was born. When I was in the hospital and in those few days after we got home, I flew through the rest of it. Between feedings and trying to sleep that is.
Anyway, I had this horrible feeling when I was on the way home from the hospital that I wasn’t worthy of this perfect little human we were bringing home. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I don’t even have a real job! What. What. What was I doing? How could they let me bring this baby, this defenseless, dependent, fragile little baby, home to take care of?
They were clearly completely mental.
After getting home, I picked her book back up and I found so much comfort in it. She was going through a growing up thing too! She bought a house! She has fur babies! She and her husband had to deal with getting life insurance! All of these huge life things that feel overwhelming and ridiculously complicated and force you to grow up are things that you need to do eventually and it just felt nice to read about someone else having growing pains at the same time I was having massive adjustment problems.
One of the touches I really enjoyed was that at the end of each chapter, there was a Reluctant Adult Lesson Learned. My favorite was “Forgive the cliché, but friends are truly the family you choose.” Based on my phone dates, I sent it to my crew the night before the baby was born. There are some really amazing lessons in this book, (and some serious tips on how to pack a suitcase) but it never feels preachy. It is funny and insightful but also deep and, at times emotional. This book reminds me why I started reading her memoirs in the first place and makes me want to read more of her work. She writes fiction as well and though I haven’t read any of those, I am itching to start.
Jen Lancaster is one of those writers that just never gets old. She is like George Clooney or a beautiful glass of Cabernet. She just seems to keep getting better as time goes on and she proves that you can be “an adult” and still have your sense of humor.