For a few years now I have been hooked on reading memoirs. Ever since reading “Running With Scissors” in 2009, I have been intrigued by the human’s ability to reflect on his or her past, come to terms with a train wreck of a childhood, and turn it into a comical chain of events that appeals to complete strangers. The introspection inspires me and allows me to do a little bit of my own self discovery. It also makes me feel pretty good about the fact that daddy never hit mommy at the dinner table and I wasn’t adopted into a family of cat food eating freaks.
Among the best memoirs I have read are:
Hyper-Chondriac: One Man’s Quest to Hurry Up and Calm Down by Brian Frazer
Bossypants by Tina Fey
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Some of my least favorites?
Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by by Rhonda Janzen
Don’t Make Me Stop Now by Michael Parker
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (is this even a memoir? WHY does everybody love it? It was so boring it made me angry. Bangry.)
Last night while cruising the aisles of Target I saw a memoir that is on my virtual “to read” shelf on my Goodreads account. I don’t know much about the book but it is titled “White Girl Problems” and the first chapter is All I want for my birthday is for you to know what I want for my birthday without me having to tell you. Sold.
Here is where it gets ironic. As I walked up to the only open cash register, I quickly noticed that both the customers in line and the cashier were African American. Normally a detail like that would have never crossed my mind, but the fact that I was holding a book with the words “White Girl Problems” written in the biggest boldest font possible caused me to panic. Now THAT is a white girl problem, buying a book that is titled “White Girl Problems” and worrying that the African American people around you are going to automatically assume that you are racist for buying a book like that. Is it racist for me to assume that they are going to assume that I am racist? Ahh! See my dilemma??
I considered ditching the book to avoid a potentially awkward moment with the cashier, but instead realized that I was probably over thinking it. It’s just a book, I told myself, and it’s not like I was buying “Klu Klux Klan for Dummies.”
I bought the book without any reaction from the cashier or surrounding customers. Like always, the scene I had imagined would come to fruition was a little dramatic. However, I am still battling with my own little white girl problem of not being able to read “White Girl Problems” in public for fear of offending strangers or making myself appear shallow. I am curious to see what constitutes a “white girl problem”, isn’t that phrase itself a little racist? Maybe not though. I guess a “black girl problem” could be something having to do with getting weaves put in, and it’s not racist it’s just a fact of life. Trust me, my students complain about having to get their hair done all the time and that is solely a “black girl problem.” I am trying to think of a “white girl problem” and for the life of me cannot. Aren’t most things in life just “girl problems” or “human problems”? What makes them white girl specific?
I am hoping this book can justify its bold title, and it better be worth all of the anxiety it has caused me.