I wanted to love Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby. I really did, but unlike some of the other essay collections that have come out recently, I felt like it was so fluffy that even in the middle of a pandemic, it was still too fluffy. Topics/formats for these essays range from the faux advice column of “Love and Marriage,” to the totally bizarre “Hello, 911?” Through these humorous essays, Samantha Irby explores facets of being a bisexual female turning 40 and grappling with all the life questions about how much credence to give what other people think of you and if you let all that go, what do you think of yourself?
Circling back to where I started, I know, it was a whole paragraph ago. It has been ages! However, I’d like to restate that I think these are topics worthy of exploration especially with humor. I’m coming up on the big 4-0 at the end of this month, and by the time you get to this age, there’s mileage, there’s damage, there may be criminal history. (There would be if anyone found the bodies!)
Credit where credit is due: Samantha Irby is funny, and this is the first collection of essays I’ve read by her. The other books might be amazing. I didn’t think this one happened to be. Almost every essay in here had potential for me, but it just all went on much longer than my brain could handle.
I present, for your consideration, Girls Gone Mild in which she chronicles a girls’ night out from the morning it starts to the morning it stops. Points for observation on an important phase of this being “put up or shut up,” or what I refer to as the point of no return in which you ask yourself if it’s worth saying you just came down with explosive diarrhea and must cancel when what you really want to do is go hide under a blanket and watch a rom com with the subtitles on because you’re eating chips. The problem is, yeah, it is girls gone mild. Nothing that crazy happens, and that’s problematic if we’re getting updates in almost quarter hour increments a la a teenager’s diary.
Lesbian Bed Death is DOA because anyone with internet access, a Facebook account, and a self-styled asexual friend or ally has already seen a million versions of “Sure, sex is fun, but what about nachos!” Not only is it unoriginal, but it goes on and on and on. It may be an embodiment of why I wouldn’t enjoy what’s often portrayed as the typical lesbian sexual encounter: I’d lose interest before we were done because I’m a quick and dirty girl. Those sheets aren’t gonna wash themselves, you know.
What am I missing? So many people love Samantha Irby and I want to love her too. I see the possibility for loving her in here, but this book didn’t do it for me. I’m open to other suggestions.