“The Bloggess writes stuff that actually is laugh out loud, but you know that really you shouldn’t be laughing and probably you’ll go to hell for laughing, so maybe you shouldn’t read it. That would be safer and wiser.” —Neil Gaiman
Lawson got her start writing a blog, called The Bloggess (hence the reason Gaiman referred to her as such), which is where I first discovered her. In her debut collection of stories, Let's Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson talked about her life, from her very unconventional childhood through becoming a parent. I have never laughed so hard when I read (listened) to a book. Until now. One day, as I drove home from work listening to this book, I swear to you I actually guffawed. I was laughing so hard that I seriously considered pulling my car off the road.
But things are not all funny. There's a full chapter that's a letter to an insurance company; to say that Lawson's troubles highlight the problem with our entire health care system is an understatement. Lawson has a lot of medical problems, from rheumatoid arthritis to anemias to inactive tuberculosis. And that doesn't take into account her mental health issues which include avoidant personality disorder, anxiety, ADD, and treatment resistant depression. Despite having insurance, she spends hundreds of dollars every month on medicines and treatments that her insurance will not cover but which work for her. Her quiet rage is entirely understandable. I'm certain her fearlessness in sharing her battles with all of this helps other people who face similar battles although she is quick to credit those how have shared, through comments on her blog, their own struggles, which led to her writing more openly about her issues.
Lawson is probably not for everyone - she does curse quite a lot and reproductive body parts come into play frequently. But if you can handle that, and you don't mind chapters that often veer wildly off the original topic, I promise that you will laugh out loud (not just say "lol"), who will actually get some pretty good insights into what makes a marriage work, and, most importantly, you will get to hear from a woman who wants you to know that you are not alone. That's important to her because she needs readers to remind her that she is not alone either. We're all in this together.