LaurieH118's Reviews > My Fair Lazy: One Reality Television Addict's Attempt to Discover If Not Being A Dumb Ass Is the New Black, or, a Culture-Up Manifesto

My Fair Lazy by Jen Lancaster
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Jul 01, 12

Read in January, 2012

Jen Lancaster is funny, aggressive and insensitive. Sometimes she's such "a mean girl" that her unlikeability outweighs the funny. (Example: A woman who is so supportive of her gay male friends, and in Bright Lights, Big Ass, she goes on an on about being "all about the gays," should know it's not cool to dismiss Rachel Maddow in this book as "he.") For an author who so proudly writes about keeping her politics out of her work, she certainly manages to do her share of liberal slagging. And just when I'm sure I'm done with this annoying woman, I come upon a passage like page 91 (PB edition): "The issue here is that I'm a dangerous combination of stupid and mouthy ... Maybe when my old company was forced to make cuts, they didn't keep me, despite my numbers. Instead they kept the people they liked. Maybe not being an a**hole was more important than being good."

And then I want to hug her. That moment of self-awareness, as well as the touching passages about her ailing dog and cat, go a long way toward humanizing her and balancing her work.

So what makes this book fun is not only just her clever way with words. It's when she lets that brittle "aren't I smart/isn't everyone else stupid" guard down a little and becomes a woman with a heart. It gives this book a dimension some of her snarkier memoirs lack.

And yes, it's very funny. As a Chicagoan who both watches America's Next Top Model and attends the Goodman Theater, I felt that Jen does a hilarious job of straddling both worlds. I took this book with me on vacation to South Florida and even heard her voice in my head as I looked at a lunch menu. Why would a Chicagoan eat beef while looking out onto Gulf of Mexico? Inspired by the Jenaissance, I had the fresh salmon and it was terrific.
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