We Are Never Meeting in Real Life


Gals, gals, gals (and guys), 

I don't even know what to say about this book and these words and this author.

I purchased We Are Never Meeting in Real Life a few months ago and had steadily been making my way through it since August. 

I had never heard of Samantha Irby prior to finding this annoyingly bright cover at the bookstore - I may never have found her blog on my own unless I had randomly stumbled upon it while scrolling down a rabbit hole because of my never-ending Tumblr obsession.

I'm worried that some of you may never read her words, either, and that's why I'm shouting (I'm screaming) at you to go - go right now - to the store and pick up this collection and try, try, try to see it for what it is: an honest essay of what it means to be a woman, a person, who is dealing with the world, too, but not too afraid to at least try to be honest about who she is and what she wants out of life. A woman who allows her romantic relationships to be seen by all of us. A woman who has the softest spot for the cruelest cat. A woman who speaks openly about being mentally and physically ill. A woman who makes me want to be a stronger and more honest woman.

"Joanna, who owns the indie bookstore down the street from our crib, asked me the other day to give her the name of a good book I'd read recently, and because I value her opinion, I stood in front of her for, like, three real minutes cycling through every book I've rated on Goodreads in the last three months trying to determine which one would be the most impressive. I just stood there with my ears on fire wondering if I should say A Little Life because no one would think you were dumb if you made it all the way through a seven-hundred-plus-page book. And I didn't; I did not make it through that book, because a quarter of the way in, this other book about teenagers in love that I wanted to read came out, so I abandoned the smart shit to spend an afternoon sobbing over a story about children I could have given birth to having sex." 

I spent a while reading through this one, but it was never difficult to quickly fall back Samantha Irby's life each time I started a new essay. I cannot count the number of times I laughed so hard that tears ran down my cheeks. I cannot count the times that I cried because I felt like someone had finally put the words to how I've been feeling for the past few years. 

I loved this book so intently because I have much of the same anxiety and frustration and humor for the world that Samantha Irby seems to have, too, and it's great to finally find someone else who says things like:"I want to be one of those people who feels satisfied when I pay my bills rather than cheated out of whatever frivolity was sacrificed in their place." Because I work so hard for all my money to go to things like water and electricity and the wifi I'm using now to write this. 

"I can't go to the library. I mean, first of all, what if someone else checked out the book I wanted to read? I'm not the only one reading the book reviews in the Times, so now I gotta put my name on a list after your aunt Karen and my elementary school principle, then just, like, wait for them to be finished? I would rather be dead." 

I don't have enough words for this one, so I'll just leave you with one of my favorite quotes: 

"I've never been loved like this before, and I resist it, every day, because I do not deserve it. Real love feels less like a throbbing, pulsing animal begging for its freedom and beating against the inside of my chest and more like, "Hey, that place you like had fish tacos and I got you some while I was out," as it sets a bag of spotted grease on the dining room table. It's not a game that you don't understand the rules of, or a test you never got the materials to study for. It never leaves you wondering who it could possibly be texting at 3:00 a.m. or what you could possibly do to make it come home and stay there." 

Because real love, like these words, will stay with you.