I Can’t Be­lieve It’s Not Bet­ter

A Woman’s Guide to Cop­ing with Life

Herizons - - Arts & Culture -

Mon­ica Heisey

Red Deer Press

Re­view by Ly n Cockburn Yes, yes, it’s ever so nice that Spe­cial K ce­real is serv­ing up ads on our TV and tablet screens fea­tur­ing skinny, medium and tubby mod­els who are sup­posed to help us ac­cept our­selves. Bet­ter yet, we can read Mon­ica Heisey’s book I Can’t Be­lieve It’s Not Bet­ter. We can laugh loudly as we rec­og­nize that her foibles are our foibles, as we wearily ac­knowl­edge that, although women are of­ten crit­i­cized for those foibles, we can sort of ac­cept who we are.We are strong. We can refuse to ever eat Spe­cial K ce­real again.

From food to Face­book, Heisey of­fers anec­dotes, po­etry and, yes, wis­dom.Of course, she chooses the prob­lem­atic topic of food for her first chap­ter, which con­tains a mar­velous poem ti­tled “A Poem About Cheese.” The poem’s first line is, “Shall I com­pare Brie to a sum­mer’s day?” She even pro­vides a how-to for eating in bed. “Use a Plate, You Filthy An­i­mal.”

Anx­i­ety about any­thing and ev­ery­thing plagues many women—whether it’s some­times, of­ten or most of the time. Heisey ad­vises us to “Turn a neg­a­tive into a pos­i­tive by chan­nel­ing your stress into a dec­o­ra­tive rash.” A sketch con­ve­niently ac­com­pa­nies this state­ment.

This book may not help you to a) ac­cept that you don’t have any faults what­so­ever; b) get rid of that an­noy­ing part­ner; c) keep you from beg­ging an an­noy­ing part­ner to come back; or d) ban­ish anx­i­ety once and for all—but it will of­fer some sound ad­vice on how to stay mildly sane in a world that’s still of­ten tough on women.For ex­am­ple, Heisey says a woman can tell she’s had too much to drink at a party if she’s con­sid­er­ing pee­ing some­where that is not a bath­room. In­deed, it is in her ad­vice on eti­quette that Heisey best sums up life for many women.She writes, “A true lady hides her real-life misandry in up­beat, Web-based hu­mour.”

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