Adulthood or Bust

Friday, May 11, 2012

"Jeneration X: One Reluctant Adult's Attempt to Unarrest Her Arrested Development, or Why It's Never Too Late for Her Dumb Ass to Learn Why Froot Loops Are Not for Dinner," by Jen Lancaster. New American Library, 350 pp. $25.95

I'll admit, I was a little more than excited when this book came in. I've loved Jen Lancaster since "Bitter Is the New Black" and I've been waiting for "Jeneration X" for about six months.

Lancaster is an '80s baby, and she is not afraid to show it. John Hughes is her hero, Rick Springfield is her prophet, and anything boasting the label "as seen on TV!" is her Ambien-induced Nirvana.

"Jeneration X" is about finally buckling down and becoming an adult. She's "made it"--a New York Times bestseller, a wine-sipping segment on the "Today" show with Kathie Lee and Hoda--and she's even managed to garner a sense of high-culture along the way (read "My Fair Lazy" for this life-chapter).

But the time has finally come. The moment that the rose-hazed memory of the first Rick Springfield concert turns into the terror of seeing the cast of "Glee" live and in person is the moment to realize that growing up really isn't all that scary.

Some of Lancaster's experiences can and will happen to only her, and some happen to everyone at any given point in life, but one key element binds them together: her unmistakable and ridiculously funny wit.

She's hysterical. Between a two-hour action-by-action timeline of unwanted lip hair and the steps attempted to remove it, to the realization that she really just didn't like the attitude of the little voice on the newly-purchased Wii Fit, she learns lesson-by-reluctant lesson that sometimes it's time to put away the plastic Barbies and get a grown-up hobby, and sometimes "it's not what you do that makes you a grown-up; it's how you spin it."