Just this weekend, I caught myself both scouring Amazon to see if Lena Dunham’s memoir, Not That Kind Of Girl, had been released yet and also hating myself. As you may have guessed, those two things are definitely for sure related. Because, while I recognize that Lena’s talented and funny in a Lena-Dunham-sort-of-way (you know what I mean), the jury’s still out on how I feel about reading about her fairly short life for hundreds of pages. Who knows, maybe it’ll be a hate-read for the ages! However, the jury has popped in to say that I am, in fact, crazy jealous that she got paid nearly $4 Million American dollars to do all of that writing.
But, as I discovered this weekend, said book still isn’t out yet. It’s like, “What’s the hold up, Lena? But also, do I care enough to read so much about you or will I become annoyed? And, speaking of which, have I got enough fiber in my diet?” But what is available for us to read at the moment is an essay that she wrote for The New Yorker. And I’m guessing that if anything is a good idea of what her book will be like, this is it.
This first excerpt was pointed out by The Cut, which caused the exact type of vaguely irritated feeling that I’m expecting I’ll feel through most of the memoir.
I leave the office a beat before they do, but they catch up with me at the elevator, and I’m holding my breath as we ride down together, trying to somehow take her in without looking directly at her. I wish she were a picture in a magazine, so I could stare, rotate the page slightly, stare again …
Through shrewd detective work, Audrey discovers that her camp friend Sarah is my school friend Sarah, and begins passing me notes. They are fat envelopes, decorated with puff paint and star stickers. Inside the first one is a letter, in the kind of fun teen scrawl they use in “Saved by the Bell”: “HEY YOU SEEM AWESOME! I bet we’d get along. My mom says we would if we could meet. I love shopping, the Felicity soundtrack, oh, and shopping. Here’s a pic of me at the Wailing Wall after my Bat Mitzvah! INSTANT MESSAGE MEEEE.”
The rest of the essay goes on for much, much longer. Feel free to read it all and then decide for yourself if you’d pay Lena $3.7 million to write a whole book of essays just like that one. And, while you’re at it, figure out if maybe I could have used that $3.7 million more than her. I’ve got 3.7 million Old Navy flip flops on layaway, if you’re wondering why it’s so urgent. Say 3.7 million again. 3.7 million.
[Update: This post has been changed to reflect that this is an excerpt from an essay and not an excerpt from Lena's book, as was previously written. We apologize for the confusion.]