book review: I Don’t Care About Your Band

Title: I Don’t Care about Your Band
Author: Julie Klausner
ISBN: 978-1592405619
Pages: 272
Publisher: Gotham (February 2, 2010)
Category: memoir
Review source: publisher
Rating: 4.5/5

And there are so many guys. I remember the first time a friend referred to a guy I liked as a “man,” and I made a face like I was asking Willis what he was talkin’ ‘bout. A man is hard to find, good or otherwise, but guys are everywhere. That’s why girls go nuts for Don Draper on Mad Men. If that show was called Mad Guys, it might star Joe Pesci, and nobody wants to see that.

But I know way more women than girls. There’s a whole generation of us who rode on the wings of feminism’s entitlement like it was a Pegasus with cornrows, knowing how smart we were and how we could be anything. The problem is that we ended up at the mercy of a generation of guys who don’t quite seem to know what’s expected of them, whether it’s earning a double income or texting someone after she blows you. And that sort of sucks when you want a boyfriend. There are no more traditions or standards, and manners are like cleft chins or curly hair—they only run in some families.

I Don’t Care about Your Band delivers amusing, maddening, melancholy, and extremely relatable stories about her hook-ups and dates with complete honesty, self-effacing humor and rawness that make you want to be author Julie Klausner’s galpal. Julie, a writer [her writing has appeared at salon.com, in The New York Times, in New York Magazine on-line among others], actress, and comedian [who worked as a staff writer for VH1’s Best Week Ever] and has also performed with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. Using her writing skill and comedic timing, she may have written the best break-up/relationship book I’ve ever read. Julie writes in a conversational style and throws in pop-culture references. I’m older than Julie and I was a late-bloomer sexually, but [I know my mom is reading this] I made up for lost time and it is okay for women to have fun sexually. Men have been doing it for decades. A woman is entitled to one-night-stands as much as men are but that does not mean that women also do not want to find caring, wonderful boyfriends. So how far is too far on a first date or when you first meet someone and want him to call again? It’s such a balancing act for women. For men, no problems. No rules. Because you know most guys will take advantage and push you as far as they can go. He’s got boobs and a vagina in front of him.

I Don’t Care about Your Band stands apart from other “relationship” books because Julie talks with few boundaries and many details about sex with every type of guy imaginable. Julie also dishes about what happens before and the aftermath and her feelings about the entire experience. She tells it like it is just like any good Jewish New York woman does. Yes, once you pick it up, settle in because you will not want to put this winning and refreshing memoir down. Julie discusses her childhood and how she was Daddy’s little girl and that he took her to Broadway shows. She also admires Miss Piggy’s gusto though was confused by Kermit’s rather lukewarm attraction to her [weren’t we all?]. She learned early that you give a guy a blow job and you aren’t getting anything in return [have we EVER heard of a case of boys going down on girls in the back of a school bus anywhere?]. We both found our gay friend. And she had a crush on Mike Nesmith [the turtleneck-wearing Monkee and not Davy Jones]. Check. We have SO much in common. She too strongly disliked the advice of The Rules [“that shrill creed designed to make women feel bad about their own desires…”]. And then we got the equally banal He’s Just Not That Into You [‘which provide women the tremendous relief of knowing that they were simply not terribly liked by the objects of their affections’], and to my appall, received an hour of attention on Oprah.

My advice to women who are habitually gravitated towards musicians is that they learn how to play an instrument and start making music themselves. Not only will they see that it’s not that hard, but sometimes I think women just want to be what it is they think they want to sleep with.

Some of the experiences chronicled in I Don’t Care About Your Band: Colin, the vegan heavy metal band guy who wants to do snowballing [see Clerks for clarification] for starters; Rob, the actor, who fears showing her his apartment so they spend all their time at hers [he’s nine years older than her] and he never wants to be seen in public with her; Greg, “the ugliest person” Julie has ever had sex with; Josh, the rather low-key porn-industry guy who used sex toys on her; another rocker named Jonathan, a fan of Julie’s [he made her meet her at his place in Brooklyn]; Alistair, an ex-con she met in an adult-ed writing class she was teaching. He made her split the check! ON HER BIRTHDAY! Tacky. And he had a small penis. Of course, Julie elaborates on all these guys in I Don’t Care About Your Band. I don’t want to give it away and spoil your reading.

But I only know that kind of peace since I’ve given myself a break. All of a sudden, at some point, it became no longer necessary to punish myself for every transgression I made, like eating candy before noon or not writing a feature screenplay every week. Once I rid myself of the chemicals in my brain that canceled out patience with anger, I could start making more informed choices about what makes me feel good and whom I allow to make me feel bad. I other words, I could start liking myself. And I began letting myself like people who have that in common with me.

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  1. #1 by virus threat on February 13, 2010 - 17:59

    I love keeping up with your stories. It truly adds that special something to my morning routine.

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