She has a trash mouth, which does appeal to me, but she wastes it on the trivial. She is charmingly insecure about her looks and hair. But what gal isn't? Look at her face ... sniping at her would be like yelling at a kitten. However, one must screw your courage to the sticking-place in reviewing ...
- My collection of toy ponies ("My Pony Problem").
- I got locked out of my apartment not once, but twice, the day I moved apartments. I'm such a flake! ("Fuck you, Columbus")
- I'm a vegetarian and it pisses off my friends and family ("Lay like Broccoli").
- At summer camp, they made all the kids (even the non-Christians) participate in Christmas celebrations ("Christmas in July") and even though I'm Jewish I liked it!
- I pissed off my friend's boyfriend one night and I think he left me an ugly surprise in my bathroom ("Smell This").
The closest we get to any honest emotion is in the essay "You on a Stick" about being the maid of honor for a high maintenance friend from high school whom Crosley has not seen since high school. A lot of the expected humor is at the expense of the bridezilla who mercifully has had her name changed in this piece. But Crosley hits a nerve about female relationships and the married state. Not everyone gives a damn about weddings or bachelorettes or the size of the ring he bought you. There is an ugly, largely unspoken of tension here ... implicitly, for some, a woman's value and self-esteem is tied to the size of the wedding celebration and the cost of the Vera Wang dress. It's one of the few places where we see a glimpse of honest anger and truth. The page practically crackles with heat and rage.
Or take for example the essay "Sign Language for Infidels". Crosley, or a reasonable facsimile of her fictional self, volunteers at the American Museum of Natural History in the Butterfly Room. It reveals a bit about volunteerism and self-delusion. We want to "appear" to be good people by volunteering but often don't have the wherewithal to follow through and often dislike what we have to do and whom we have to do it with as volunteers.
Maybe I just have an odd sense of humor. I think the following personal anecdote that I have written about in this blog is funny: a (presumably) homeless person sniping at me while I am serving food at the local soup kitchen during my stint as a volunteer in the winter during a particularly trying night because a) it explodes the little liberal fantasy I have that the homeless are sweet, beleaguered people who are grateful for my volunteer work. b) I can freely admit that he looks like a jerk for being rude to me and I'm a jerk for expecting that a potentially mentally ill person of limited means is not going to feel stressed and angry when he can't get his meal in what he perceives to be a timely fashion. Now, for me, that's funny because it says something about him (he is human, very much so) and me (a deluded liberal stripped of her expectations) and society (we think passing out some meatloaf to an impoverished person with possible mental health issues will make things better in our city).
So ... do you want to sound like a smart-assed, trash talking Westchester bred brat from a privileged background? Or do you want to say something meaningful? Okay, we're waiting Sloane. You can do it ... "My name is Sloane Crosley and I want to write comic pieces ..."