You may recognize Samantha Bee as one of the Daily Show’s correspondents who consistently brings the funny. I stopped watching the late night shows years ago, but apparently she’s still on, which is good because it’s hard to imagine a more perfect job for her. When I saw that she wrote a memoir a few years ago I wondered why I hadn’t heard about it. Funny women memoirs are my jam, my buddies on chilly nights when I can’t find a single pair of socks.
Aside: Guys, I think summertime ate my fluffy fashion socks. This is bad news because I loathe shopping. I’m considering stitching shut the bottoms of my long yoga pants, but I’m not entirely confident in my ability to pull it off.
But back to Samantha Bee’s I know I Am, But What Are You?
The author picture alone screams this is a serious literary work.
I started this book hoping to laugh and add Bee to my imaginary best friends club. Knowing something incriminating about a person is often a sign of true friendship, right? If so, mission accomplished.
How did Bee get from Canadia to the Daily Show, you ask? Perhaps she’s saving that part of her life for the sequel. Here she focuses on stories from her youth into early adulthood. We do know that her path did not include a traditional introduction to certain life lessons for around age 8 her mom handed her a little red book explaining the wonders of love making in direct terms: Boy meets girl. Girl pees on boy and kink ensues.
Her parents split when she was young, and her grandma steered her education to Catholicism while her dad remarried an industrious PG-rated saint. She shares a funny story about a dreaded encounter with a bear while on a camping trip. I like to think I’d have the nerve to do as her saint stepmother did and holler with hands on hips, but I’m pretty sure I’d melt into a puddle of panic.
Sometimes I wonder why certain people who haven’t stopped a war or befriended an alien get to publish books about themselves. But Samantha offers all kinds of helpful advice on how to be an old person and make it through adolescence. For instance, if you should ever find yourself in an older man’s grandmother’s basement apartment at the age of 14, poop your pants and the man won’t lay a finger on you. She’s talking literally or figuratively so long as you go crazy.
The first third of this book is great. The stories are tight, fast and humorous if not quite laugh out loud. The rest felt padded and repetitive. Some chapters were just there like a side salad you didn’t order. Considering how funny she is, I’m thinking the latter chapters needed her vocal delivery to sing, especially the chapters about a greasy haired roommate and playing Sailor Moon. For that reason, the audio version is probably more enjoyable because she reads it herself.
Overall, I was a little disappointed. My boyfriend recommended this book and it was only after I asked what it was he liked so much that he admitted to skimming. Who skims books? Boyfriends who give their girlfriends new fluffy fashion socks. That’s who.