I didn’t really know what to expect when I picked up This is Really Happening, but I was intrigued by a memoir written by someone my own age, currently working at Buzzfeed (like a good friend of mine does), and presumably facing many of the same issues I myself, as a 20-something, am facing. I don’t usually go in for memoirs or autobiographies unless I REALLY love the person (Mindy Khaling, Neil Patrick Harris, Cary Elwes… I’m looking at y’all) or the format is spectacular (seriously, NPH’s Choose Your Own Autobiography is exquisite in every way and Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half is stunning and one of a kind). But I am really glad I picked up Chack’s book because it was such a great [quick] read.
Honestly, this book felt like sitting down with a close friend and just kind of shooting the breeze together – the stories are often poignant and heartfelt, but they never really feel heavy, even when the topics are beyond serious. Instead, every essay is infused with humor and self-deprecating honesty that blends together to create something that manages to feel homey and exciting, warm and fuzzy and sharp and full of wit, all at once. It’s quite an extraordinary feat to pull off, and one that I think assures me at least that this will not be the last time we see Chack’s name on the cover of a book. I know that I definitely look forward to more insights into the life and mind of one of my fellow millenials (one whom, it can be argued, has a rather unique set of life circumstances).
Here’s a taste at the wit and humor you’ll get in this book:
“I’ve had my period over a hundred times in my life, and still every time it comes I think to myself, I can’t believe this is an actual thing that happens. It’s like once a month the uterus magically transforms from sleepy organ to dark storm cloud that rains blood for days on end. How is everyone so calm about this? Sometimes when I want to feel crazy I imagine a world that’s exactly like ours in every single way except for one tiny difference: periods don’t exist. I picture myself walking up to an unsuspecting inhabitant of this alternate world and saying to them, ‘Every twenty-eight days my vagina discharges blood and uterine lining for the better part of a week and I can’t stop it from happening.’ And then they start screaming, ‘HOW ARE YOU ALIVE?! SOMEONE GET THIS WOMAN TO A HOSPITAL BECAUSE SHE SHOULD BE DEAD BY ALL ACCOUNTS. WHAT AN EXTRAORDINARY AND STRONG PERSON YOU MUST BE TO DEAL WITH THIS HELLISH AFFLICTION.”
But, at the same time, you’ll also get serious insights into life:
“I actually find great comfort in the fact that everything ends. It’s the only fair part of life, really – that no one gets to stay. It doesn’t matter how much money you make or how many friends you have, when the time comes, you gotta mosey on, partner. And it’s sweet to think that most of us don’t want to go, like life is a party that’s too fun to leave. How lucky we are to even be invited.”
This is Really Happening is a fantastic insight into our generation, and just a fabulously fun read. For me, this was the perfect mix of serious and sensational – I now feel like Erin and I are friends, and I feel like I would be at ease if I ever met her. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars