Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair: The True-Life Misadventures of a 30-Something Who Learned to Knit After He Split

Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair: The True-Life Misadventures of a 30-Something Who Learned to Knit After He Split

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780757305917
Publisher: Health Communications, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/15/2007
Pages: 284
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Laurie Perry knits and writes in Los Angeles, where she chronicles her daily life on her online diary, the Crazy Aunt Purl blog. "Crazy Aunt Purl" has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and on MSN.com. Perry has written for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Winter Haven News Chief in Winter Haven, Florida. Her original short story "Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair" was published in a collection of knitting-themed essays called Cheaper Than Therapy.

Read an Excerpt

There are three rules every Southern girl has hammered into her consciousness, and they shape you and haunt you until the day you die.


Cardinal Rule Number One: Mind your manners.


This is of course the most important rule, especially early on in your upbringing, as it applies to everything from 'watch your mouth' to 'mind your elders,' and encompasses all forms of behavior from 'elbows off that table rightnow' to 'do not look at me in that tone of voice.' As you get on up in years you learn to mind your manners by not pitching a hissy fit when a smile and firm but pleasant tone will do, and by always being strong and kind, and of course you never smoke standing upright or while wearing your sorority pin. Because that is just tacky.


Cardinal Rule Number Two: Make the best of a situation.


When delivered by your Uncle Truman or a male teacher or your softball coach, this rule can sound like 'Keep your chin up' or 'Put your game face on.' Sometimes there's a bait-and-switch approach, where you may have (in a moment of weakness) confessed some sad or upsetting thing to a willing human listener, and they reply back with a long, often horribly detailed story of the so-and-so girl who faces a far worse and more disastrous situation than you yourself could even imagine, which I suppose is meant to make you feel better about your own pathetic sob story but on me has the opposite effect.


Cardinal Rule Number Three: Always wear clean panties.


This particular gem was amended by my mother when I was sixteen, as she warned me in no uncertain terms to always wear clean panties and keep them on.


These rules presented for me a dilemma of decorum at the best of times and a true test of character at the worst of times. My comportment was once again in the crosshairs on the day this story begins, a day like any other, really, a completely normal day.


Although I was a married woman of thirty-three years of age living in cosmopolitan Los Angeles, California, and working in a downtown skyscraper (I work at a bank, but it sounds more glamorous to say downtown skyscraper), quite a remarkable departure from my small-town roots, I was now facing the trifecta of Southern Cardinal Rules, brought on by a rather strange and airy sensation in the back regions of my gray pinstripe skirt.


I felt a draft. Back there.


Today, the day of my inconvenient new rear-facing air-conditioning system, was a day of precarious underwear selection. While I had every intention of going home that very evening and facing Mount Washmore, the laundry pile in my bedroom closet, I was currently Making The Best Of Things. The wash-day panties I was wearing were nothing more than a string holding together some cotton, and not only was it an unfortunate thong-style contraption, it had the novelty of being green and red because I was on my Christmas undies. I had not embarked upon any lunchtime calisthenics, or lobbed kung fu kicks on my coffee break, or done anything, really, aside from sit on my ass in an air-conditioned office and Look Busy. Graphic designers at financial institutions do not have physically vexing jobs. But as soon as I stood up to stretch, I felt it—yes—a definite draft.


First I performed the not-so-subtle maneuver of slightly pulling my skirt to the left and craning my head back to see if I could spot the damage. Nothing.


A quick recon mission with my hands told me all I needed to know: my skirt had distinctly more air-conditioning in the backyard than it had this morning when I pulled it on. Sans panty hose. Meaning, at any moment my Christmas-themed under-things could be exposed to the cruel office air, in August, and also, this was maybe not the sort of impression I wanted my coworkers to have of me.


I stood in my cubicle and considered the alternatives. No sewing kit, so there's that. No safety pins either. I started for a moment toward the tape dispenser, but let's be honest here: no amount of Scotch tape in the world could keep my ample behind encased in pinstripes. So I did the only thing I could think of, and with my heavy black corporate stapler in hand, I crab-walked demurely through the hallway into the ladies' room. I moved pretty quickly considering all the wind rustling in the eaves behind me, desperately hoping not to run into any chatty or curious or breathing coworkers who might wonder why I had to take my stapler to the restroom with me.


I made it into the ladies' room without running into anyone, locked myself into the stall (the big one, of course, better for maneuvering), and stripped off my skirt to perform the necessary stapling surgery on the back seam.


One might imagine that sitting with staples up your backside for the rest of the workday would not be a particularly comfortable thing to do. One would be right. But that's what I did for the rest of that afternoon, squirming as little as possible, wondering if I were up-to-date on my tetanus shots, wondering if I could actually drink a glass of wine the size of my head when I got home, wondering if my mother had envisioned this very scenario when she advised keeping my panties on. I doubted it.


I drove home that night, a normal night like any other, tired, staples pressing into the backs of my thighs. It was a Thursday, and I sat in traffic trying to decide what to make me and my husband Charlie for dinner. Spaghetti? Baked chicken? Meat loaf? He had very particular tastes when it came to eating, nothing with sauce (except pasta), chunks, or garnishes. No salads and no vegetables besides fried or mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, and (surprisingly) peas. During the first year of our marriage this seemed unusually cruel for a new, young wife who couldn't cook.


'So you'll eat tomato sauce, like on pizza or pasta, but not actual tomatoes?'


'Yep.'


'Fascinating.'


Somewhere around year four, I rose to the challenge and began to see cooking as an experiment in creativity: what could I prepare, with my limited skills and his limited palate, that would be edible and also pass the Picky Test?


That night, I walked through the door, said hi to my husband, 'Hey! Howwasyourday, I got staples in my behind, be right back,' scratched a cat on the head, and stripped off my poor mangled skirt. I made dinner—-spaghetti after all. Charlie liked it with extra Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top, and we sat eating it at the table on a Thursday night just like any other. And that is when my husband told me he was leaving.


And then he did.


And that is where this story begins.

© 2007. Laurie Perry. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair: The True-Life Misadventures of a 30-Something Who Learned to Knit After He Split. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.

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Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair: The True-Life Misadventures of a 30-Something Who Learned to Knit After He Split 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Stacey Thomas More than 1 year ago
This book was more about coping during a divorce and self-discovery than about knitting ( and wine). There were fun patterns from a beginner knitter (the author) at the end of the book. It is a fun and quick read.
Justjenniferreading on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I liked this book alot. I thought that the writing was witty. Quite a few times I would start laughing and my dog would perk her ears up and give me that look like "what are you doing?"Having been through a break-up (not a divorce, but a long-term relationship break-up) I could relate to just about everything that she was saying. And for me being able to relate to the characters is one of my must-have features for a book to be enjoyable. Also being that it was a book about knitting, I knew all of the struggles that she was going through. Not sleeping because you just want to finish one more row (that inevitably turns in to 20 or 50)!I think that this is a good pick-me up book. If you're down it can make you laugh, which is always a good thing to me. While reading I found myself laughing not so much because she was going through it, but because I have gone through the same things.I would recommend this book to anyone going through a tough break-up, a knitter, or just someone looking for something amusing to read.
Antheras on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Laurie Perry, now best known in knitting circles as ¿Crazy Aunt Purl,¿ did not set out to become a blogging superstar. The introverted Southerner transplanted with her husband to L.A. and was stunned when said husband coolly informed her that he was leaving ¿to get his creativity back.¿ Left alone with four cats and a penchant for wine as comfort food, Perry quickly finds herself ¿three minutes from crazy¿ and grudgingly agrees to join a friend at a knitting class. There she discovers a new best friend - knitting can always be fixed, it helps you keep busy and find your own creativity, and it¿s not about to leave you.As Perry slowly sticks her head out into the world, she finds solace with her new knitting friends and begins to blog about her adventures with a distinctive self-deprecating humour. She quickly gained a loyal following who shared her joys, sorrows, dating mishaps and knitting adventures. Her stories are ones which everyone can relate to and readers love her trademark writing style ¿ her voice just leaps off the computer screen and she immediately feels like a long-lost best friend (as evidenced by the seventeen-hundred condolence messages left on her blog after the death of her beloved cat Roy).Crazy Aunt Purl¿s Drunk, Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair: the true-life misadventures of a 30-something who learned to knit after he split is much more than simply a self-help book on life after divorce or about learning to knit. Perry has penned a book about heartache and self-discovery and each reader will find something here to which they can relate. Readers will laugh, cry and moan along with Perry as she conquers her wine and cheetos problem, heads out on her first post-divorce date and discovers that life does go on after ¿he splits.¿
cal8769 on LibraryThing 7 months ago
A very funny look at one woman's life while dealing with the aftermath of a divorce.
PermaSwooned on LibraryThing 7 months ago
This author is a writing style that just makes you want to hug her. She is bruatally honest about herself, and that makes her writing like talking with a friend. It didn't seem like there were any real problems in her marriage other than the fact that her husband was a super picky eater until he just up and left one day. He cited his need to "get his creativity back", which is yet another euphemism for having found someone else. She really does pretty much fall apart, and her description of which food groups are addressed by wine and cheetos give us a pretty good picture of those days. She starts to claw her way out of the pit of despair when she is dragged kicking and screaming to a knitting group. One can't underestimate the medicinal nature of various social groups. Knitting is fun, but today's knitting groups are a joy. Watching her find her way to a better, stronger, more independent self is a wonderful reading journey. AND there are simple patterns included as well.
Jaie22 on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Endearing, which isn't a word I'd normally use to review a book. Laurie is so easy to like and identify with. And, since she still blogs, the book can go on (sorta).
punxsygal on LibraryThing 7 months ago
A thoroughly engrossing tale of Laurie Perry's reaction to her husband leaving to find his "creativity". Having been through a divorce myself there were many spots I could have underlined as they expressed thoughts I had. And as a knitter I can recommend the healing powers of knitting.¿
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. She is witty, real, and into yarn.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I laughed until I cried.. from beggining to end.. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed reading this book.. but I can say it did NOT make me want to try any type of knitting. :-)
Schlyne More than 1 year ago
It's more a coping through a divorce and self discovery with a few funny stories than about knitting. It has a few patterns in the back. It's a fun read.
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Beverly_D More than 1 year ago
The author describes herself as being three minutes from crazy, but that's more how the people in my office were describing ME, as I read the book on my lunch hour and howled with laughter like a cartoon lunatic. Pure fun. Even if you're not a knitter, you will still love this book. And if you ARE a knitter, you'll probably love it more, AND be able to make some really cute stuff.