You don’t have to be a twenty or thirty-something to appreciate the humor in Sloane Crosley’s I Was Told There’d Be Cake – but it would help. In a series of 15 “being young in New York” essays that range from getting a job to survival, Crosley will give you a laugh and make you glad you don’t have to have that first job ever again (see essay titled “The Ursula Cookie.”)
When Crosley describes her solution to discarding unwanted memorabilia in her opening essay – you can’t give it away (you’re not sure who gave it you?); you can’t donate (what if reappears?); you can’t just throw it away ( it is memorabilia, after all) – I could relate – and would try her solution – except there are no subways in Hawaii.
I confess; I did not read all the essays. After awhile, the youthful exuberance and kitschy references to 80’s computer games, roommates, and young studs were too much for my aging metabolism; unlike Sloane, I have reached “my noise complaint years.” Thankfully, her titles provided a guide to essays I could skip, e.g., “One Night Bounce” – if the title doesn’t clue you, the first few pages of each chapter will. Move on to “Sign Language for Infidels” – a funny manual for all would-be volunteers. She ends with “Fever Faker” – the essay that gives her a reprieve from a strange disease but not from growing up.
Beware – no lifeguards on duty in this book – read at your own risk.
” charming and old-fashioned. [Crosley] mostly succeeds in…her second collection of essays about making it, zanily, in the big city. Crosley is like a tap-dancer, lighthearted and showmanlike, occasionally trite, but capable of surprising you with the reserves of emotion and keen social observation that motivate the performance. Her subjects tend toward New York chestnuts: near-heroic apartment searches, bad smells in taxis, New Yorker-out-of-water trips to exotic places.”
I might give it a read…maybe on a long plane ride…