I think the goal with any writing, but especially narrative nonfiction, is to put the blockade of putting your thoughts in this unnatural medium of print and then trying to reach through that and actually convey what's going on, what you think, and make people laugh and recognize themselves while doing it. Definitely the laughing thing.
My grandmother was a kind of Scarsdale, New York, society woman, best known in her day as the author of the 1959 book 'Growing Your Own Way: An Informal Guide for Teen-Agers' - this despite being a person whose parenting style made Joan Crawford's wire hangers look like pool noodles.
There is no such thing as a crazy dog person in New York. Are there people who are completely insane about their dogs? Hordes. But cat people may as well have whiskers and tails themselves. That's because their pets' lack of social need taps straight into our worst fears as the human inhabitants of New York.
Everyone has been in a social situation where you say something and it goes unnoticed, then someone else says the same thing and everyone laughs a lot. You learn how to be more creative and whacky and amusing.
When I was nine years old, I wrote a short story called 'How to Build a Snowman,' from which no practical snowperson-crafting techniques could be gleaned. The story was an assignment for class and it featured a series of careful but meaningless instructions. Of course, the building of the snowman was a red herring.
It's funny. People often compare me to other humor essayists. They're usually quite nice comparisons; I will accept those gladly. But I am always sort of appalled at the idea of being lumped with other, more chick-y female writers. And the truth is probably that neither comparison is accurate.
Normally, I am a vocal advocate for 'looking both ways' and 'knowing the size of one's own body.' But working, socialising and simply running errands in Manhattan, means I am bound to break my own rules on occasion.
There's an 'Everything must go!' emotional liquidation feel to the end of your twenties, isn't there? What will happen if we turn thirty and we're not 'ready?' You don't feel entirely settled in any aspect of your life, even if you are on paper.