The fifth prompt in my friend Julie’s reading challenge was to tackle a book in your to-be-read pile that you’ve overlooked time and time again. For me, that’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir), a hilarious collection of sweetly horrifying true life tales from blogger Jenny Lawson. My best friend gave me this book years ago, after assuring me that I’d find more than a little in common with Lawson’s various embarrassments, and probably also piss myself from laughter. And so taking her recommendation to great heart, I promptly stuck the book on the shelf beneath four other things and then totally forgot about it. Slick.
But some gentle nudging in the form of this reading challenge encouraged me to release this forgotten gem from bookshelf purgatory, and I’m glad I did, because Let’s Pretend This Never Happened was hella funny. Lawson gets a lot of mileage out of a very unique childhood, one that mirrored a lot of moments in my own rural upbringing, only writ extra large and super bloody. Seriously, there are SO many stories involving taxidermized animals and her crazy Viking father’s penchant for traumatizing his daughters with pelt-centric pranks. It takes a special kind of writer to wring the humour and humanity out of a dead dog story, and yet Lawson manages it. I tittered throughout and was sad when I finished the final chapter. Thankfully, my friend gifted me with Lawson’s follow-up book, which is also currently languishing on my shelf, though not for much longer.
This manicure is inspired by the inside cover art of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, a 1950s-style collection of hand-drawn pigs, foxes and raccoons in various states of repose (if by “repose” you mean setting up a lighting rig.) They’re probably stuffed. Everything in this book seems to come back to taxidermy in one fashion or another!
I employed a bit of animal fakery in this mani myself, eschewing my normal free-handed approach for an attempt at stamping (key word here being “attempt,” because lordy, do I suuuuuuccccck at stamping.) I used MoYou London’s Enchanted stamping plate #14, which features a charming assortment of twee little animal designs, including a sweet pug design I stamped onto my index finger in honour of Lawson’s dearly – and somehow hilariously – departed pug, Barnaby Jones Pickles. In solid black as against an ivory creme, OPI’s My Vampire is Buff, I think the overall effect looks a bit like faded print on a slightly yellowed page of your favourite, much loved book. So pretty much perfect inspiration. 🙂
4 thoughts on “Literary Inspiration: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened”
This has to be one of my favorite manicures you have done to date. It really does look like an old fashioned children’s book. Beautiful. And the book sounds incredible. The other one has the raccoon in hysterics on the cover right?! I need to read these. I have a cousin apprenticing to a taxidermist and she makes some strange things. But it is fascinating. A bit too morbid for my blood to perform but I can appreciate a long ago craft. Plus growing up around a ton of stuffed animals probably has given me some immunity to the idea. You did great on your stamping!! Mine just smudges and looks like a hot mess.
Thanks, Julie! I thought it turned out rather well myself, given that I’m just the worst at stamping (that’s not a humble brag; I’m really bad at it, plus it’s a technique I just don’t get a lot out of.) I love the little pug design – he looks quite confused. 🙂
Jenny Lawson’s books are hilarious – Ridiculously Happy (the next one on my list) is indeed the one with the party hat-wearing raccoon on the cover. She’s a total hoot.
By the way, I too grew up around all manner of stuffed animal (and I don’t mean stuffed plush animals!) My uncle was a hunter – lots of pelts and horns and wall-mounted heads about. Somewhere I have a hilarious photo of Will, who has been a vegetarian for decades, sitting on my uncle’s couch beneath a gigantic fisher pelt, flanked by two sets of buck horns. He kept his composure remarkably well!
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