One essay is called, “I Know You Don't Like Me.” Yeah, Leve is pretty direct. I'm sure she figures that life is too short so let's get to the point. In this essay she thinks people should just be forthright with their feelings.
She writes, "Think of all the time it would save. No more lying to get out of a relationship. No more trying to figure out what you may have done to make someone distant or wondering if you're being paranoid. They wouldn't have to offer a reason. 'I don't like you' is all I need. Knowing where they stand would be enough." I agree with all of this except I'd want a reason. It doesn't have to be a big reason. But something. When I was in third grade I was somehow connected to Andrew, a kid in my class. We'd hold hands as we walked to the lunch room each day. He told me he didn't want to do it anymore because he wanted to be with Christina, another girl in our class. His reasoning was, she wore a training bra. Not the best reason but still at least he had a reason, and that made a difference.
One of my favorite essays in the book is about Facebook. She writes that she joined Facebook under pressure from her friend Sophie. "'I'm so excited!'" Sophie wrote on her wall. "'Finally!'You'd think I'd gotten engaged."
Leve says Facebook for her "opens up a whole new world of paranoia. I always knew I had the potential to alienate people in real life but now I can drive away thousands of people in cyberspace too?" She writes about her friend Emily who she had been trying to get in contact with. Emily hadn't gotten back to her so Leve assumed she was just busy. Emily left a status message on her own wall talking in the third person, "'Emily has just spent eight hours doing nothing and is incredibly bored.'" Now what? I'd be hurt too! I'm as paranoid as Leve. When I ask someone to be my friend and they don't "friend" me I'm thinking, "What’s up with this? She's friends with so and so, what's wrong with me? Who am I, chopped liver?" I often end up leaving a message saying "friend me for crying out loud; I'm getting a complex." Usually that does it; we become friends and I'm so happy. :)
She sees FB as a tool to replace email. "Now even texting and phone calls have become a chore. I'll get through to Madonna before I'll get through to Lisa."
Facebook does open up an opportunity to find out about the mundane of our friends. Leve writes, "'Liza is folding laundry.' I felt so included. God only knows what else I've been missing." I find out a lot about people from their status.
Another essay is about Recycling. I found this essay especially enlightening. I had never thought of this...that being childless is a benefit to the environment. Who knew? Now I feel better about not having kids. Leve writes, "Putting fewer people on earth does far more to prevent global warming than buying organic blueberries." She makes a point, so much that I really feel better. I'm not making trips to soccer games or carting my kids from place to place. I'm not buying non-biodegradable toys, electronic devices or containers. I should get a rebate from the government for my conscientious decision. Thanks Ariel, I feel so much more superior!
At first I wasn't as impressed with the book but as I got to reading more and more and understanding Leve's personality, I loved it. I highly recommend this book!
Reviewed by Eva Mahoney