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The Problem With Memoirs

October 1, 2010

I don’t think I ask for too much out of this life. Just enough money so I can travel the world in first-class style and stay in luxury hotels and eat at a restaurant because I want to, and not because it’s cheap. But the world where this is possible for me has not yet materialized. Maybe someday it will, and maybe I’ll be able to write a bestselling memoir about everything I learned during my travels. Women, and maybe even some men, will read about how I ate butter-covered pastries in France and think to themselves “I too can have everything I dreamed about while watching the Travel Channel!” They’ll see photos of me dancing on Santorini singing Abba songs and feel inspired to quit their day job, cash out their 401K and see what life is like for the rich and famous.

But here’s the thing. For most of us, this isn’t possible. Most of us don’t get laid off or dumped and have thousands of dollars to spend on traveling overseas to “find ourselves.” We don’t have the money to buy a house in some exotic locale so we can write a book about it. We have to make these personal discoveries while filling out job applications or traveling to exotic locales such as Cost Plus World Market or the specialty food aisle at the grocery store.

And that’s the problem I have with so many popular memoirs that are written for women. Yes, it’s inspiring that you know yourself better now that you lived the life of a rich vagabond. But what about those of us who may only see Europe through the eyes of Samantha Brown? So maybe one day I’ll write a memoir about finding yourself in your own neighborhood and in the daily happenings of a normal, middle-class life. It probably won’t be all that exciting, so I might have to throw in jokes every once in a while or a hilarious anecdote that illustrates my Very Important Point. But I can guarantee there will be no Italians named Marcello or luxury hotels.

That is, unless I win the lottery and then I’ll probably be too busy getting massages in every five-star hotel around the world.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Schniff Schnaff Shalomie permalink
    October 1, 2010 4:32 pm

    I think you should go ahead and write that. Since it’ll be the “anti-luxury-memoire”, you’ll develop a cult following of those who feel as you’ve expressed above.
    But then, the right person will tweet it, and, next thing you know you’re sitting beside Matt on “The Today Show.” Shortly after, you will be on Santorini with a lucrative writing contract.

    At that point, tell Marcello I said hi.

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