reflective / reviews

I have never in my life been radiant, Amy Sedaris (a response to I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence)

I’ve said before that I don’t like to post reviews of books I didn’t finish reading, as it doesn’t seem fair. I’ll make an exception for those authors who are already pretty successful, though.

And this isn’t so much a review as a general response to Amy Sedaris’ I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence. Goodreads indicates that I was not the only one who picked this up under the impression it was a collection of humorous essays, like her brother writes.

It’s not a book of humorous essays. It’s a pretty straightforward guide to hospitality and throwing a party.

Personally, it takes a whole of lot of energy for me to even attend a party. I am not someone who’s ever going to throw herself into hosting Parties to Impress, or anything more than the most casual get-together for intimate friends.

If I had any doubts about that aspect of my personality, this book laid them to rest. Particularly when Amy confides how she feels naked without an apron. We officially parted ways when she informed readers that they must appear radiant when their guests arrive.

That sounds awful. I have, in fact, never in my life been radiant for any occasion, and the thought of trying to appear so after putting all the work into preparing party-food and cleaning one’s home sounds horrendously stressful and no fun at all. Whatever genes Amy has that makes this activity attractive to her (as in, something she’s done more than once and enjoyed enough to write a guide for it), I am lacking.

Moreover, I’m pretty skeptical about some of the advice she gives in this book. After she recommended issuing invitations by phone, so she can immediately confirm RSVPs, I had to check the publication year, because that seems laughably outdated in the age of Facebook events and texting. Don’t you know that phone calls are now reserved for life-or-death emergencies, Amy?

I’m also side-eyeing the part where she suggests making money off of your guests by selling treats or souvenirs for a quarter a piece. Product parties have become a pretty big and odious trend, and I think they’ve made any type of give-me-money party (that doesn’t explicitly describe itself as a fundraiser) pretty tacky. Don’t your friends get burned out being invited just so they can feed your tip jar, Amy?

Anyway, party hosting: not for me. Not sure how much use extroverts get out of this book.

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