Arminzerella's Reviews > We Thought You Would Be Prettier: True Tales of the Dorkiest Girl Alive

We Thought You Would Be Prettier by Laurie Notaro
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Dec 26, 2009

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bookshelves: nonfiction, funny, autobiography-memoir, quirky, borrowed-from-the-library
Read in September, 2006

I enjoyed this collection of Laurie Notaro’s essays of insanity much more than the last one (The Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club) There were things that just amused me to no end, and her particular brand of humor reminds me of friends. She definitely seems like someone I already know (or I ought to get to know). It starts off with tales from her book tour, where she manages to lose her wallet, cut up her tongue during a reading, and fart in the restroom where her one (and only) fan shows up for her signing event. Whoops. My favorite essays were, “Living Urban Legend” and “I’m Gonna Kick Your Ass.” LUL was about the wasp that was found nesting in her mother’s EAR. Enough said, right? I’m so never sleeping again. And IGKYA was about the guy at the pet food store with the flippy Farrah Fawcett hair who utterly traumatizes Laurie with his mere existence. Which, apparently, isn’t all that hard to do, when she over-analyzes everything in her head before it all comes out of her mouth.

She’s definitely down with the milking her own trials and tribulations for every last drop brand of humor. She’s comfortable taking innumerable pot shots at herself, and everyone else she knows. I absolutely love her characterizations of her mother and husband.

A lot of it is just better taken as a whole, but here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite:

“‘Oh, a drink? You’re thirsty?’ my mother finally guesses. ‘Because of your throat? It hurts? Because you had your tonsils out?’
“As I’ve said before, my mother always believed that medical procedures were on a need-to-know basis, though that juicy little nugget of news might better have been delivered before I began fighting evil child-slayers in a desperate attempt to save my life.
“‘What’s the big deal?’ my mother said twenty years later when I questioned her about why she didn’t tell me I was about to have a routine surgical procedure and not executed. ‘I don’t know. What the hell difference does it make now?’
“‘Well, let’s see what the effects something like that could have on a little girl who thought her parents took her to be killed?’ I asked. ‘Tell me if any of this rings a bell: low self-esteem, paranoia, cynicism, and not to mention an intense, otherwise unexplainable loathing of charades and Pictionary.’”
“‘It’s not my fault you have a vivid imagination!’ my mother said defensively. ‘Why would I tell a little girl, ‘Get in the car, were going to have things cut out of your neck with a knife?’’
“I don’t know, maybe she had a point…” (pp. 140-141)
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