"You'll change your mind."
That's what everyone says to Jen Kirkman-and countless women like her-when she confesses she doesn't plan to have children. But you know what? It's hard enough to be an adult. You have to dress yourself and pay bills and remember to buy birthday gifts. You have to drive and get annual physicals and tip for good service. Some adults take on the added burden of caring for a tiny human being with no language skills or bladder control. Parenthood can be very rewarding, but let's face it, so are margaritas at the adults-only pool.
Jen's stand-up routine includes lots of jokes about not having kids (and some about masturbation and Johnny Depp), after which complete strangers constantly approach her and ask, "But who will take care of you when you're old?" (Servants!) Some insist, "You'd be such a great mom!" (Really? You know me so well!)
Whether living rent-free in her childhood bedroom while trying to break into comedy (the best free birth control around, she says), or taking the stage at major clubs and joining a hit TV show-and along the way getting married, divorced, and attending excruciating afternoon birthday parties for her parent friends-Jen is completely happy and fulfilled by her decision not to procreate.
I Can Barely Take Care of Myself is a beacon of hilarious hope for anyone whose major life decisions have been questioned by friends, family, and strangers in a comedy club bathroom. And it should satisfy everyone who wonders if Jen will ever know true love without looking into the eyes of her child.
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by Jen Kirkman
by Jen Lancaster
by Jen Klein
by Gish Jen
by Jen Sincero
by Jen Waite
by Jen Shirkani
by Jen Mann
"The "Chelsea Lately" comedian and staff writer explains how she confronts the judgment she endures because of her decision to be childless. At once frank, touching, and confrontational, her writing is served well by her edgy reading and audible frustration with how rude others can be about her position on children. The edginess softens, though, when she recounts her personal history. In a barely discernible way, she gently pleads with her listeners to understand some of the challenges of being Jen Kirkman and accept her choice not to take on the responsibility of parenting. Though some of her observations and griping are not as funny as intended, by the end of the program most listeners will be glad they heard her out and glad they know her better. T.W. (c) AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine"
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