To be honest, Jessi Klein was probably wearing flats when we spoke. To be tellingly honest, I never noticed her shoes. In her engaging, hilarious memoir, You’ll Grow Out of It, Klein divides women into two types; poodles and wolves. Poodles, tells us, are women like Angelina Jolie, who are naturalistically, effortlessly feminine. She puts herself squarely in the group of “wolves” which is to say, women who have to work at it. This after she tells us, in the beginning essay, that she was a tomboy as a girl and she’s now grown up to be a “tom man.”
If you’re beginning to twig to the fact that Klein is going to give you a bit of an insider’s view of how women think, then you’re on the right track. You’ll Grow Out of It, which clearly does not apply to Klein in so many ways, offers readers a glimpse into Klein’s agile perceptions. From her 28th birthday at Disney World to the 100-plus wedding dresses she tried on, You’ll Grow Out of It is by turns funny, sweet poignant and always the stuff of truth. She clearly understands that brevity is the soul of wit and in the short pieces here you’ll find plenty of wit, lots of wisdom and more laughter than in most so-called TV comedy. It’s the sort of book that begs you to read it aloud to anyone in your vicinity, and to re-read it when you have the chance.
Klein really does delve into all the aspects of a modern woman’s life from growing up as a tomboy and into what she calls a “Tom Man” to encountering a man accurately described by the title of the story “The Cad” to shopping at her favorite store (“Anthropologie”) to “How to Get Engaged” to the aforementioned “The Wedding Dress” to “How I Became a Comedian” to “Get the Epidural.” She’s barely passed the age of [mumble mumble, I’ve learned enough to say nothing], and yet she covers a goodly portion of life. Anyone wanting a glimpse into the mind of an intelligent, imaginative artist who happens to be a woman can do no better than to dip into Klein’s mind.
Rest assured you’ll laugh out loud, early and often. But more importantly, you’ll find some smart and witty prose delivering a sometimes-scathing vision of Americana – but not too scathing. Klein is having a good time in her life, and reading this book, you’ll not only see why, you might get a few tips you can use yourself
Men who want to get an idea of what sort of intellect they are attempting to court would do well to read this, as well as women who might feel as if they have just found a sort of soul-mate. But if you just want to be amused by someone who is smart and funny, then the chances are you will be glad that Jessi Klein never grew out of it. Moreover, you’ll be glad that someone told her she would. It’s physics; for every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction. It’s how we launch rockets, or in this case, lives.
Occasionally, I find that one interview informs another. For example, having spoken with Dr. Glade B. Curtis about Your Pregnancy Week by Week, I found myself perhaps a little more familiar with women’s perceptions thereof, and inclined, by virtue of that knowledge, to ask questions fearlessly, for example, about lingerie. Or pregnancy. As Klein pointed out when we spoke, even the word can make you uncomfortable, unless, etc. So I learned about Spanx. Who knew?
You can hear our in-depth conversation, which Jessi herself was kind enough to call a conversation, by following this link to download or listen to the MP3 audio file, or just listen below.