Thursday, December 27, 2007

Book Review: We're Just Like You, Only Prettier

December 27, 2007

Hilarious! Subtitled "Confessions of a Tarnished Southern Belle," this book by Celia Rivenbark had me laughing hysterically. Oh, I recognized so much of this book--and I am assuredly not a Southern belle. Really only the first few chapters are truly reflective of a uniquely Southern culture; the rest of the book can take place anywhere in the country where there are telemarketers, overzealous mothers, and Jiffy Lubes.

The book is a collection of reflections on life, including such chapters as:
* "No, we don't marry our cousins--unless, of course, they got cable";
* "How to be a hands-on parent using field trips, dead butterflies, and beefaroni";
* "Never Saw 'Em Before in My Life: What to say at the wedding reception when hubby's dressed your kid in Batman sweats and Tweety Bird swim socks";
* "Stamp Out Gossip? My Best Friend's Mama's Sister's Hairdresser's Cousin Won't Like This a Bit!"

Those are just a very few selections. One chapter had its funny moments but was sweet and poignant as well: "Mother's Day Memories: Make Mine Macaroni." Rivenbark is of the sandwich generation--having a first child at 40 and also watching her parents age. She writes: "Our time is fleeting and dear. As a good friend explained it, one day it is our mother who is buying us the Chatty Cathy that we begged for; the next, or so it seems, we find ourselves taking a baby doll as a gift to a mother in the nursing home. It has always struck me that women in nursing home beds almost always have baby dolls in their rooms. I suspect it is because they remind them of the happiest time of their lives. I know it is mine."

I can totally relate to Haven Kimmel, author of A Girl Named Zippy, who writes "I laughed so hard reading this book, I began snorting in an unbecoming fashion." I have Rivenbark's books, Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank and Bless Your Heart, Tramp and Other Southern Endearments on my reading list.

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