Ever since I read and laughed through Irby’s latest book of essays, Wow, No Thank You, I wanted to read her very first book which is based on her blog, bitches gotta eat. Although Meaty is still very funny and extremely clever, it is much more raunchy than her last book. But what I could absolutely see is how strong her writing has become since Meaty.
The essays are once again hysterical and identifiable. She writes what women feel. In the essay “awkward first date” Irby lets the reader begin to know her by answering questions she poses to herself. Question: what is your favorite cereal? Answer: Is Triscuits a cereal? Question: who do you miss the most? Answer: The idea of my mother. As you can see, she tries to give both funny and truth.
Irby grew up raising herself, and being the caretaker for her disabled mother at the early age of 9. Her mother, a nurse had suffered from MS and other debilitating issues. It was up to her to run home and make sure her mother was ok for fear if the school found out her mother could not care for her, she would be taken away and put in a foster home.
But as Irby grew up, and her outlook on life being sarcastic yet naive, being complicated by her many health issues which she takes on with honesty and humor, she was able to prosper and grow stronger. With wit she describes dates where she had to wear adult diapers due to her colitis, having chin hairs, being exhausted by bad first dates…you know, having to shave your body and be extra super clean, only to know in an instant the guy was not for her and wondering why she tried so hard in the first place. She opens up about how she really enjoys eating in bed and watching television. Irby also give us a few of her favorite recipes, with entertaining commentary as she explains the ingredients.
The book of essays is filled with her distinctly different views on just about everything; life, love, hospital stays and hilarious stories of friends. Although some of the essays could be taken for being a bit vulgar, they are always based in truths which I believe some of us really do think, but never say out loud. Irby though, brazenly puts them down on paper.