Moms review comics' memoirs
Photograph: Anna Simonak
Girl Walks Into a Bar… by Rachel Dratch (Gotham Books, $26)
Reviewed by Elaine Dratch
How did you feel when you first picked up Rachel’s book?
I was so excited to see all of Rachel’s work come to fruition—in hardcover, no less! I sat down and read it all in one gulp.
Which part made you laugh the hardest?
The funniest chapter was the one about the old country photo of her great grandmother—my bubbe—her six sisters and their “nature-made Torpedo Tits.” The truth is, if you lined up me and my three sisters and our respective daughters today, you would find that those “apples” haven’t fallen far from the family tree!
Which part do you kind of wish weren’t in there?
Although probably necessary for the story, I wish the exact non-method [a casual romance] by which her son Eli was conceived hadn’t come up.
What’s not in the book that you’d want to scribble in the margins for readers to see?
On the weekend of Rachel’s big announcement, we got home late at night from a vacation and were surprised to see Rachel. That night, she asked, “Are you going to be home tomorrow morning?” Yes. “Well, is Dad going to be home?” Alarm bells went off in my head. I said to myself, “Either she is engaged, she broke up with John or she is going to tell us she is adopting a Haitian baby.” (The earthquake had recently happened.) So when Rachel told us she was pregnant, it just didn’t seem to register as a reality. We walked around in a daze—Dad worrying about her age and the baby’s health and me worrying that our initial reaction was too tame. It didn’t take too long for the excitement to set in. I wanted to shout it out to everyone I knew, but had to restrain myself until Rachel told them. (Although I told my sisters, and told them to act surprised.)
Which part made you proudest of Rachel?
Despite her ups and downs, Rachel has the ability to be both sensitive and humorous, and she is never mean. So many chapters end with a guffaw, but one that tugs at your heart. (Hmm, should she put that on her cover?)