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Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Harm in Asking: My Clumsy Encounters with the Human Race


I picked up Sara Barron's The Harm in Asking: My Clumsy Encounters with the Human Race forever and a day ago, and I finally dove into it while nursing this past summer, and it fit the bill better than any other book I read during that time. I was up at all hours of the night and found that I could only read comedic work. Voila!

This collection of essays explores Barron's world all the way from her childhood and high school experience as a mall worker and hopeful lesbian-wannabe to a college student who cannot handle alcohol but still wants to be a druggie to an adult who desperately wants to adult but still ends up being asked to give business advice on being an escort to her dream man on what she thought was a date. Barron's crazy life is our essay-reading pleasure.

Laugh out loud, snortingly funny. That's how I felt about this book approximately halfway through. I found Barron's wry sense of humor to be absolutely amazing, and I was so grateful for these stories when they came into my world. Barron doesn't take herself too seriously (except for when she does, to our comedic reading pleasure), and her willingness to just simply be herself is a gold mine for us. The time that she strutted down a NYC street feeling like she was the shit while farting is amazing. Her desperate desire to be a lesbian for the cache is wonderfully hilarious. Her dating life sounded suspiciously like mine for the majority of my adulthood.

All of this to say, it felt like I had a spirit animal in Sara Barron. My stories are definitely not as good as hers, but I felt a kinship of epic proportions through her writing. As a younger version of herself she wanted to be something, even if she didn't know what that thing specifically was. She is so easy to relate to if you have ever been young, single, and making mistakes as you find yourself. She is also easy to relate to as someone who just wants to find herself and bases those searches on what she thinks she needs to be rather than who she is. I get that, and I got this book. It was hilarious, and I regret nothing. (Except maybe those fake glasses in fifth grade.)

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