Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Book Review: The Day I Wore My Panties Inside Out

By Melissa Amster
While the cover of "The Day I Wore My Panties Inside Out" screams out "Sex and the City" meets Jenny McCarthy, what's inside is a package of treats that you won't want to miss. And it starts with Jen Tucker apologizing to her friend for using the word "panties" in her title in the first place!

Ever had one of those days when you wish you never got out of bed in the first place? Jen navigates through such a day in her life and takes her readers with her through all the chaos. She's home alone with her three kids while her husband is living it up on a business trip overseas. Everything that could go wrong does, from runaway dogs to misplaced dry cleaning to a betrayal from her favorite appliance. And the kicker is finding out that she wore her underpants inside out the entire time!

First of all, Jen has to be the best mom ever! (Sorry, Mom!) She writes love notes to her kids and puts them in their lunch boxes. She has homemade chocolate chip cookies on the ready for when they get home. She listens to them talk about their day and jokes around with them. She becomes a protective "mama bear" whenever necessary. And she talks about her kids with so much love and adoration that you'd think she was writing a Hallmark card instead of a memoir. If my kids ever got their hands on this book (which won't happen, thanks to the cover design), they would be so jealous of Jen's kids. (And I'm nice to my kids for the most part!)

Jen also has to be an amazing best friend. Just from reading this book, I felt we made some sort of best friend connection. It was like sitting and talking to a close girlfriend, even though the conversation was a bit one-sided. However, I felt compelled to e-mail Jen and tell her what I thought and how I could relate. I even sent her one of my personal blog posts so show her I meant it! And notice that I usually refer to authors by their title and last name (like Ms. Tucker, in this case), but Jen's novel (and everything about her) warrants me addressing her by her first name. She gives a lot of great advice and insight, but doesn't come off as preachy, even when she's talking on a spiritual level. Yes, Jen has faith in a higher power and isn't afraid to show it! While the Jewish side of me tends to shy away from anything that mentions the name Jesus, I didn't feel that way with this book. It was just Jen being herself and sharing her religious beliefs in a friendly way. (I love when she talks about how her daughter prays to turn her soul to cake. It even opened the door for me to discuss prayer with my kids.) I actually like when someone is spiritual in any religion, as long as they are using their religion for good. And Jen certainly does that! She believes in being kind and courteous to everyone and always putting others before herself. Most of all, Jen is hilarious! I was laughing to the point of tears when she describes a rather uncomfortable situation. Maybe because she was voicing everything I ever thought while in that same situation! She also writes her daughter's voice so well that I feel like she's right in the room with me (the daughter, not Jen, although I would love for Jen to be in the same room too).

I've been known to give my best friends constructive criticism and must do the same for Jen so that she can keep producing memoirs. First of all, there were just so many spelling and grammar errors. I hope she doesn't show this to her high school English teacher without reproducing this with corrections first. What happened to her proofreaders? Were they sleeping on the job? Also, if Ellen DeGeneres needs a stand-in, I nominate Jen for the job due to all her tangents. She'd start a story and then go into five other stories before coming back to it. I was beginning to forget what was part of her bad day and what wasn't. The tangents were enjoyable, but they just made things confusing for me sometimes. Finally, I don't want to take away from her experience in any way because I wasn't there and she could have been leaving stuff out for time and space constraints. However, I felt like her day wasn't that horrible, all things considered. She had her parents right down the road willing to lend a hand. She had her friend cooking her and her family a whole meal, also keeping within special dietary constraints. She had a relatively easy time getting her kids to bed. I'm not sure how much more to ask for. Maybe she was just sharing that even in the worst days, there are some good things to look back upon. Or perhaps she handles the day with such "grace" that she makes it sound easier than it must have felt. I definitely cringed at the appliance betrayal situation though. I would have beat that thing into a wiry pulp if I had been in her shoes!

Overall, I really enjoyed reading "The Day I Wore My Panties Inside Out," even though I did have to hide the cover in public (and in my home too). Do NOT judge this book by it's cover though! It's a sweet story about the day in the life of a mom. It goes to show that even moms can have stressful days. We don't have to be corporate lawyers or fashion magazine assistants to feel the need to cry into our pillows. Jen shows us how to make the best of a bad situation and even get a good laugh out of it. What more can you ask for, really? It's also nice to read a memoir by someone who isn't a huge celebrity (unless your kids have read Jen's non-panty themed books). I definitely recommend reading this for a dose of entertainment and some good food (like Jen's cookies) for thought.

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Unknown said...

Melissa, you sweetie pie! The praise and the criticism is all taken in by me with much gratitude. And you STILL like me even after you truly know I am a total whacko. *BLUSH* XOXO

Literary Marie said...

Great review! I've added this book to my TBR pile. It sounds like a really good, entertaining read.

LOL @ hiding the cover while in public.

Amy said...

What a fabulous review Melissa! Now I feel as if I just read the book, even though I read it a while ago.

I CAN'T wait till Jen's next book is out. And I have a feeling you will be keeping us informed :)