Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"How to Remove Wine Stains"... and so much more

            During class today we discussed the fact that David Sedaris seems to use humor as a catharsis in order to release pain felt from his childhood.  While Amy certainly uses humor, it seems that her humor is used to convey a point to society.  The entire cookbook is very relaxed and often funny yet offers good recipes and good tips for entertaining are scattered within some bogus ones.  Overall, Amy seems to be playing on the message of acceptance and just dealing with things because life is not perfect.

            In the section of I Like You entitled “Rich Uncle Comes to Visit”, Amy offers a story, several recipes, and some good advice on how to remove wine stains.  The advice: “You don’t.  Boil your garment in a pot of hot chopped beets and water.” (56).  In other words, you aren’t going to be able to remove the stain so you might as well deal with by dying the entire garment because a stain does not deem it ruined.  This seems to be a metaphor for life in general, i.e. things will happen, things will get messed up, but that doesn’t mean they are ruined or that life won’t go on.

            Her lesson continues on page 265 where she informs the audience on the proper way to put on panty hose.  She goes through 8 steps before finally concluding that one should “pull the hose upward until they are perfectly positioned and as comfortable as they can be.”  Again, there is certainly a sense of the deal with it mantra.  Amy notes that the panty hose (or life in general) can be uncomfortable but one must accept it and move on.

            Perhaps the most perfect peace of advice in the book does not even come from Amy, but rather her brother Paul, aka the rooster.  Paul gives directions for making a “bucket of fuck”; that is, a bucket filled with candy that has “bucket of fuck” written on it.  The directions are simple, “when life gets you down just say ‘fuck-it’ and eat some mother fucking candy”.  Crude, yes, but the point is invaluable.  As an individual and society we must learn to accept what we cannot change and simply deal with it. 

            Amy’s guide is absolutely hilarious.  She uses the ridiculous to highlight the realistic and forces the readers to question themselves.  Overall, Amy seems to have one underlying message throughout the entire book: life is not perfect and there are some things that cannot be planned for yet, one must accept these things and allow life to go on.  

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