Book Review: I Regret Nothing: A Memoir by Jen Lancaster
Sure Jen has made mistakes. She spent all her money from a high-paying job on shoes, clothes, and spa treatments. She then carried a Prada bag to the unemployment office. She wrote a whole memoir about dieting…but didn’t lose weight. She embarked on a quest for cultural enlightenment that only cemented her love for John Hughes movies and Kraft American Singles. She tried to embrace everything Martha Stewart, while living with a menagerie of rescue cats and dogs. (Glitter…everywhere.)
Mistakes are one thing; regrets are another.
After a girls’ weekend in Savannah makes her realize that she is—yikes!—middle-aged (binge watching is so the new binge drinking), Jen decides to make a bucket list and seize the day, even if that means having her tattoo removed at one hundred times the cost of putting it on.
From attempting a juice cleanse to studying Italian, from learning to ride a bike to starting a new business, and from sampling pasta in Rome to training for a 5K, Jen is turning a mid-life crisis into a mid-life opportunity, sharing her sometimes bumpy—but always hilarious—attempts to better her life…again.
I always enjoy checking in with Jen. After reading so many of her memoirs, I feel like she’s a friend. Speaking of her being my friend, she came to Kansas City a few weeks ago and I went totally fan girl on her. She had mentioned during her talk that one of her dogs is on Prozac. When I went through the line, I told her that if it made her feel any better, one of my cats is on Prozac. (For real!). In I Regret Nothing, she writes about her trip to Italy and I told her that I have also been to Italy. I could tell she was fearful that I would never shut up because she looked me directly in the eye and said firmly, “Thank you for coming.” What she meant was, “Get a hold of yourself and move along scary fan girl.” And I don’t blame her at all – I could have yammered on forever if not prompted to beat it.
This memoir is more introspective than Jen’s other books because it’s about her making a bucket list and then trying her best to cross off the items on it. Some stories, like the one about her attempting to ride a three-wheeled bicycle, are really funny. Other stories are not so funny, like the one about her Internet trolls. Which by the way, that’s another thing I wanted to talk to her about. I’ll just write it here since I’m sure she reads my blog every day. Jen, don’t let the trolls get into your head. They are pathetic individuals and giving them attention just makes them worse. You are awesome no matter what any anonymous coward online says. Do not feed the trolls.
This book had some really funny parts but overall was not as humorous as her other books. And I don’t think it was meant to be. As Jen is maturing and taking her life more seriously, I expect that her books will reflect that. And I’m fine with that because she’s my BFF and I still want to know what’s going on in her life, funny or not. If you haven’t read any of Jen’s books yet, I recommend starting with her first two – Bitter Is The New Black and Bright Lights, Big Ass – to get a sense of her biting wit and sarcastic yet sometimes clueless self.
I’m wearing my pearls because Jen always wears them! Does she look scared that I will stalk her in the parking lot after she leaves? She’s hiding her fear well.