Merry Wanderer of the Night + TIME

I'm Sorry You Feel That Way

I borrowed I'm Sorry You Feel That Way: The Astonishing but True Story of a Daughter, Sister, Slut, Wife, Mother, and Friend to Man and Dog

from a friend, which isn't something I do a lot of but she thought I'd really enjoy it. I'm really glad I read this book because Diana Joseph is a hilarious writer and it commented on a lot of issues I could relate to myself. Like relationships between children and parents and what it means to be a woman. I especially liked her essays about romance and growing up, and what it means to be a slut ("What happens is sometimes a girl will go with this one, and he isn't right for her, so she'll go with that one, and she doesn't like him either" [13]). College has kind of turned me into a feminist (which has really been nagging me in the back of my mind lately, but that's another story) so reading Joseph's comments on gender were really interesting to me.

But the moments this essay collection really shines are the stories about Joseph's son. I love when she buys him a guitar to make him a rock star, which is so something I picture myself doing as a mother, only to find out that her son has absolutely no interest in becoming a rock star. And later, she finds that he thinks most people smoke weed, and that is bad. While it might not every be explicit we might be able to assume that Joseph has smoked weed at some point in her life, so it's difficult that her son looks down on these people so much. But then again, isn't that what he is supposed to think? And later he calls a girl at his school a slut, but Joseph was kind of a slut herself, and how dare he call this girl a slut when he doesn't know anything about her. So in this way her past comes into conflict with the personality her son has created for himself.

Another enjoyable moment was when she talked about her pervert friend Andrew Boyle; "I worry that my friend Andrew Boyle is a pervert, even if he doesn't hang fuzzy dice from the rearview mirror of a sleekly black Pontiac Trans Am" (136). As funny as this moment was, I think it's also really important. Joseph is upset by her son judging the slutty girl in his class and consequently judging his own mother even though he knows nothing about sex, why people have it, and what really makes a slut. With Andrew Boyle though, Joseph knows her friend, but she slaps this pervert label on him with a great deal of ease. I'm not saying this is a bad thing really, it's just interesting to see how easily we label people, but when it's us that is getting the label it's hard to take.

This essay collection earned a B.

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I'm Sorry You Feel That Way + TIME