A 40-something stand-up comedian’s blisteringly honest and hilarious account of a life still “majorly under construction.”
As she neared the end of her 30s, Kirkman (I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales From a Happy Life Without Kids, 2013) suddenly found herself divorced. Her career was where she wanted it, and she was now “in love with [herself].” However, her failed marriage made her uncomfortably aware that her life was far from perfect. Once she realized that the libidinal lack she experienced while married had nothing to do with her hormones or undiagnosed depression, she opened herself to exploring the unknowns of adulthood. As "Jen Cougar Mellencamp,” she had a fling with a 23-year-old musician too young to remember Kurt Cobain. She also learned how to deal with her own anxieties about living alone through an attempt to set up a home alarm system that made “a creep smashing [her] window” look like less of a disaster in comparison. Kirkman came to embrace the fact that she was a renter, or, as she saw it, someone who once a month gave her money to “a nice blond lady” rather than a bank as did her married friends with mortgages. She was also able to finally admit to the liberating value of having a friendship-with-benefits relationship and of not worrying about what others thought when she stayed home on New Year’s Eve and went to bed by 9 p.m. When Kirkman broke up with the man she calls the “Ab-Master,” it was without regret for what could have been and without fear that she would find another age-appropriate partner. “I want[ed] someone to relax with…not rebuild,” she writes. Like her idol and friend, the late Joan Rivers, Kirkman offers no excuses for the freedom-loving woman she is or for her focus on building a career as a successful stand-up comic. Her life may appear chaotic and her lifestyle choices unconventional, but both are as uniquely individual as her book.
Genuine, intelligent, and candid.
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“I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING AND OTHER LIES I TELL MYSELF AUDIOBOOK”
Chelsea Lately regular Jen Kirkman is “childfree by choice.” Here’s what she’d like to say to everyone who can’t stop telling her she’ll change her mind.
Jen Kirkman’s stand-up routine includes lots of jokes about not having kids and total strangers constantly approach her and ask, “Who will take care of you when you’re old?” (Servants!) Some insist, “But you’d be such a great mom!” (Really? You know me so well!) Whether living rent-free in her childhood bedroom while trying to break into comedy (the best free birth control around, she says), or taking the stage at major clubs and joining a hit TV show—and along the way getting married, divorced, and attending excruciating afternoon birthday parties for her parent friends—Jen is completely happy and fulfilled by her decision not to procreate. I Can Barely Take Care of Myself is a beacon of hilarious hope for anyone whose major life decisions have been questioned by friends, family, and strangers in a comedy club bathroom. And for everyone who wonders if Jen will ever know true love without looking into the eyes of her child.
“I CAN BARELY TAKE CARE OF MYSELF” AUDIOBOOK
Jen Kirkman, in her own voice, reads the unabridged version of her book, “I Can Barely Take Care of Myself; Tales From a Happy Life Without Kids.”
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