People I Want To Punch In the Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop-Off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges by Jen Mann (5 out of 5)


I saw this book sometime right before Christmas Eve. I’m not even sure when we got it into the bookstore, but you can bet I was pretty pissed at myself for missing it! This is precisely the type of book I love- true stories and viewpoints of a sarcastic suburban mom/superwoman/author/blogess who pulls no punches when something pisses her off. That is so true of this book by Jen Mann. The fact that Ms. Jenny Lawson has a blurb smack dab on top of the book is a dead giveaway that you may well piss your pants reading this gem. And I did (fear not, I own stock in an eco-friendly diaper company, so no soiling happened in the process of laughing myself into a urinating moment).

I’m not even sure where to begin as far as favorites. Jen Mann is the blogess who runs She’s also a wife and a mother to two. That alone qualifies her as a superwoman, in my book. Anyone can have a full-time job, a pet, and a few hobbies. However, to have a full-time job, to run a blog, to run a household (or try to, while conducting an emotional affair with the housekeeper, all hilariously recounted here), to be a wife and mother, and to put up with the snooty ass mothers in the pickup line at her children’s school- that brings it to a whole different level of admiration. Throw published author on top of that, and you have to give Jen Mann serious props. So, I do, I do!

Favorites are hard to pick in a book like this. First off, I almost want to email her and tell her how tortured I was by the cupcake that is tipped over on the cover. It was 10:15pm when I started reading this two nights ago, and it made me want a damn cupcake. Then, the life of the splendid, delicious treat put to an early end, likely by some action of the drop-off despots mentioned in the subtitle. So, I was mad as hell and wanting a cupcake. Then, I read all about Jen’s adventures in the AOL of yesteryear, where she was navigating chat rooms to meet new, interesting people. She strikes up a strange correspondence with a dude named Ebenezer, who finally wants to meet in person, after making sure Jen is going to pay for her own meal and IT’S NOT A DATE. Jen wears denim overalls and of course, is charmed by the odd but quirky fellow. After he tries to lead her into Central Park in the dark of night, Jen takes off, only to realize later that Ebenezer likes her. Worse yet? She likes him.

Yes, she marries him. Spoiler alert. Years go by, they make a home that neither likes to clean and that leads to the housekeeper/maid/lifesaver Rosie, who Jen loves with an almost enduring emotional attachment. Then Rosie’s husband gets another job and she moves to St.Louis, leaving Jen and Ebenezer in a hell of their own making- their home. Rosie’s a lifesaver when it comes to breastfeeding as well. NOT Rosie breastfeeding Jen, or vice versa…but when Jen can’t figure out how to breastfeed Gomer (her firstborn son. And yes, I dig the name), Rosie shows her. Actually shows her. Adolphia, their second born and first daughter, comes into the picture shortly after, having the good sense to be born on her brother’s birthday. Gomer is a pretty independent little dude, who apparently is unmasked as a racist in his kindergarten class (another fabulous chapter), while Adolphia is a girl dedicated to being a PFL (Princess For Life), which Jen is not, and that sets up all sorts of other fun. There are playgroups for Jen to try to get Adolphia into, until Jen encounters the witch who is in charge of shuffling parents and kids into playgroups. Don’t worry, Jen gets her revenge. I had honestly never heard of playgroups until this, so color me rightfully amused when Jen lets them have it for not letting them into the playgroup they desire. The chapter about Jen trying to fit in with her coworker and attending a 4th of July party that turns out to be a party of swingers? Freaking hysterical, especially down to the rock in the yard (no idea what I speak of? Read the book!). No crappy chapters in this puppy, just hilarious and genuine suburban situations with all sorts of strange stereotypes in full force. None are safe from the periscope of Jen Mann, and we all benefit. Peals of laughter follow, and yes, make sure you don’t drink a lot of water before you read this, because, seriously, you will pee your pants. Truly fabulous.

~ by generationgbooks on January 24, 2015.

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