Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Laying Naked Covered in Sprinkles and Frosting

Somehow I managed to read through the first section of the Amy Sedaris’ I Like You, without actually understanding that, in some absurd way, Sedaris was completely serious about what she was writing. I thought, despite Amy’s warning that this “is not a joke cookbook,” it was simply a glorified hospitality guide for the light-hearted. Not having thrown many parties myself, the first section, to me, contained fairly valid suggestions, with a few side jokes. I had quite the wake-up call once I reached the Hospitality in Action section.

Within the first chapter, “T.G.I.F.” Amy described the party she threw for four businessmen on a Friday night. She decorated with a tissue-paper lobster door sign, clamshell ashtrays, sailboat napkins and a matching apron, and a makeshift break room in the kitchen corner. I read the page in awe thinking how I would react to entering that party. I thought maybe she was joking; I was wrong. Amy followed her decoration description with her menu and recipes. This party happened, and Sedaris recorded every aspect so the reader could recreate its bizarreness.

Throughout the rest of the book, Sedaris continued to outdo herself in presenting hilarious “party” scenarios. However I didn’t understand what her point was. Without a point, the book simply worked as a unique “joke cookbook.” While watching Sedaris interact next to Martha Stewart in the clip last class, Sedaris’ point came to light in my mind. Stewart, while flipping through Amy’s book said, “I try to make things look like they should and you just try to make it look like it does.” Martha will forever be fighting an uphill battle, battling against an unobtainable ideal. Amy, on the other-hand, is perfectly proud of who she is and what she can produce. This is evident in a picture towards the end of the book; Amy lays naked covered in sprinkles and frosting, with a large smile across her face. She is comfortable in her own skin, and her parties are just one way she shows this to the world.

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