Why I don’t regret reading Abbi Jacobson’s book

I may be one of the few people that picked up Abbi Jacobson’s book, I Might Regret This, without having watched a single episode of Broad City. I turned the book to look at her picture on the back and said to myself, ‘Oh yeah, I think I recognise her’. One of my high school friends once spoke about how much she loved Broad City, which was the only exposure I had at that point. Full disclosure, I have now watched the first three seasons on Stan (Australia), and I love it!

What drew me to the baby pink, black and fluro yellow cover as I wandered around this bookstore were the words ‘regret’ and ‘vulnerabilities’. Sounded like the type of book I want to read – honest, real, down to earth. Furthermore, the blurb on the back told me it was about Abbi’s solo road trip across America. Solo. I love being by myself, this girl already gets me.

Even though Abbi thought she might regret her road trip, I don’t regret reading her book. I found it to be vulnerable, genuine, full of love for the reader and most importantly, full of self-love.  I felt like Abbi’s voice was a combination of an old girlfriend I was catching up with, and my own perception of the world around me. For me, it was the perfect balance of “Yes, I totally get you!” and “How interesting, never thought of it that way.”

Essays, illustrations, lists and the odd ‘sleep study’ made the book engaging and not like other autobiographical accounts. There was even an illustration of a list of lists to make, which I loved. I’ve had an on and off relationship with making lists (current status: not making them, trying to relax) but I do value their purpose. That adrenalin rush when you cross something off your list gives you a sense of accomplishment that you don’t need to boast about, it’s just yours to enjoy. It was nice to think that Abbi also appreciated the power of a list.

The actual content in Abbi’s book I also loved. Her tale of meeting a woman she became interested in, sprinkled with musings about having a so-called love life, was refreshing. Her story about meeting Ilana for the first time, and the all the work that went into making Broad City, was just what I needed to start watching the show. To have two young women, making comedy, on television, about their own lives, is incredible! Compare this to the plot of My Best Friend’s Wedding, which prescribes 28 as the age by which you should be married. What a crisis, 28 and unmarried, help me now. I couldn’t bring myself to finish this movie, I found it that painful. I bring up this movie as Abbi rightfully goes on a rant about it in the book. It made me curious and so I watched it (well, three-quarters of it).

Being the passenger on Abbi’s roadtrip made me laugh, think and relax into a cushion of story-telling from a fellow working woman. I even learned a thing or two about American geography and the world of improv. Broad City is currently my new favourite show and I look forward to watching  the last two seasons.

To finish, I’m going to share a line in the final page of the book that sums up my recent trip to New Zealand with my partner, where I spent a lot of time investigating cafe reviews and having early nights. It was comforting to have Abbi reassure me for a brief moment.

It’s okay to go to sleep early and spend too long finding the good coffee spot but not seeing the historical sights.

Thank you, Abbi, for your voice and your stories.

~~~

Featured Photo by Nuno Antunes on Unsplash

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