I recently picked up Why I'm like This by Cynthia Kaplan (purchase from Amazon.com). The first question that comes to mind is: "Why didn't I pick this up sooner?!"
So quick overview:
This book is a collection of stories from Kaplan's life. I'm a big fan of memoir-like books, especially if they are funny (i.e. anything by David Sedaris). She includes stories over the course of her entire life thus far so you get a wide range of topics. From her dad's obsession with gadgets to her therapist that pops pills (including Kaplan's) and falls asleep during sessions, you definitely get up close and personal with the author.
And for a giggle whore like me, this book was a riot!
Seriously, I laugh at almost anything. It's a strange compulsion and doctors have yet to figure out how to control it.
Part of what made it so funny to me was that Kaplan utilizes metaphors in some of the most ridiculous ways, which are my favorites. The utter exaggeration she uses to describe scenarios brings everything to life as if she may have slipped a little LSD into the pages of the book that is slowly seeping into your skin. Psychedelic.
But I think what made it really HI-larious to me was that I could completely relate to her life situations and her thought processes. The best evidence of this was in her admittance about her grotesque imagination that makes her fear the most ridiculous things. She freaks out at moths (okay that's not too ridiculous...their powdery wings are freakish), avalanches, and Legionnaire's disease. Although these may seem like rational fears, she DWELLS on these. Allows them to chew on her cortex for hours on end.
She also fears Mountain Men:
"Mountain Men are men who live in the mountains and occasionally come down and kidnap female hikers. At least that is my understanding of them...They look like a countrified ZZ Top. They go too long without the company of womenfolk and litt'luns, which is what makes them so dangerous."
For those that don't know (and that's most of you save for Queenie), I have an imagination that rivals Kaplan's even in her most anxious of situations. For instance:
-I fear the car sliding off the road and down the mountain every time we drive up or down from Fraser. Seriously. My knuckles are white the whole time and I don't take a full breath until we are off the side of the mountain (that's an hour long ride, folks).
-Last night, when we were awakened in the middle of the night by a very loud THUMP, it took me about 10-15 minutes to fall back to sleep because I kept thinking the dead body upstairs that had fallen to the ground was going to start leaking blood through the ceiling.
-Driving on the Atchafalaya bridge (ESPECIALLY at night) could always drive me into a tizzy. You never know when one of those 18-wheeler gangs are going to gang up on you and force you to the side of the road so that they can rob and kill you (and for those of you that think that's crazy, I read an article about that very thing about 10 years ago and it's been imprinted into my sub-conscious).
It gets much worse than that (Queenie can attest to that) but I'd rather save some of my dignity to be washed away in another post.
Long story short: if you enjoy a good read and a good laugh, this may be the book for you!