Memoir Monday: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

Happy Normal

And we’re back! This week we take a journey into the world of Jeanette Winterson, and if you, like me, are asking, “Who is Jeanette Winterson?” well then you are in luck! This should be the book you start with because it is a literal autobiography as opposed to some of her other books which are fictionalized versions of her life. She’s written several books, one of which was a TV show on the BBC, but this is my first exposure to her writing. Take my word for it that it is brilliant.

There were several moments in the book that really spoke to me, and I’ll share a few here to convince you to go grab this book and let its magic wash over you.

“Books, for me, are a home. Books don’t make a home – they are one, in the sense that just as you do with a door, you open a book, and you go inside.”

This spoke to me for, what I hope, are obvious reasons.

“No one is ever going to lock me in or lock me out again. My door is open, and I am the one that opens it.” – speaking about her adoptive mother, who would lock her in closets or out of the home, randomly.

This one’s just wishful thinking, but it made me feel good to read it.

“It is better to know who you are, and what lies in you, what you could do, might do, under extreme provocation.”

No one listens to me when I say I would not make a good mom and that I understand myself enough to know this and I know WHY this is. Also I learned things about myself when we were out of power for five fucking days last week that I would rather not experience again so…

“Being barely alive on your own terms, is better than being a bloated, half-life on someone else’s terms.”

Again, wishful thinking but good to know someone else is living the dream.

“In a system that generates masses, individualism is the only way out. But then what happens to community – to society?”

This should be the official slogan of the After-Times. But we should be talking about this more.

“Unhappy families are conspiracies of silence, and the one who breaks the silence is never forgiven.”

Keeping the secrets about what happened in my house, especially during high school, was a circus act and GUESS WHO LEFT AND BROKE THE SILENCE OMG. Which reminds me that I had this story to tell you all.

My parents haven’t called or texted me since Wednesday of last week, and that was to ask me to text my sister who I haven’t talked to for almost 8 years (initially due to assholery, but then just because we don’t care) to congratulate her on her wedding, which we were not invited to, instead of asking me how we were all doing after the hurricane. She sent me three pictures of the wedding and said it would be nice if texted my sister congratulations and I had to remind her that we had been without power and air conditioning for 3 days AND THE LAST FUCKING THING I NEED TO WORRY ABOUT IS IF THE SISTER WHO IS A COMPLETE FUCKING STRANGER TO ME RECEIVES A FUCKING TEXT ABOUT HOW I FEEL CONGRATULATORY ABOUT HER NUPTIALS WHICH I ACTUALLY GIVE NO FUCKS ABOUT.

**deep breath** Let’s just say my mom is lucky she texted this to me and didn’t call.

So basically if you had an…interesting childhood? or have a complicated family situation you should go read this book because it will offer you hope and make you feel less alone because crazy and unfeeling is everywhere. Go get you some.




  1. I love this book and I love Jeanette Winterson (except Tanglewreck) and you should read The Stone Gods so we can talk about it.

    The woman with no dress, I don’t even care if that is made up I love that so much and still think about it.


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