The humorous essays in the memoir, Is That The Shirt You’re Wearing?, a 2018 Thurber Prize Semi-Finalist, are woven together by journal entries from two summers in the author’s life when absolutely everything happened.
The essays address a diverse range of topics, from Brakeman hating being called “Ma’am” (and proposing a wonderful alternative), to accidentally teaching her seven year old daughter to swear; from discovering the perils of shopping in the loud and stinky Hollister store, to being scolded by a Very Important Singer. Each essay is introduced by a journal entry that provides a humorous or poignant (yet always very relatable) update on the lives of her husband, three daughters, and elderly, yet still guilt-inducing mom. The journal entries emphasize the cyclical nature of life, and trace the author’s bumpy transformation from chronic planner to one who discovers the joy of living in the moment before she runs out of moments.
This is not a mommy blogger whining about her kids. Instead it’s a slice-of-life of a typical American family, a chronicle of the ups and downs of modern life. Readers of Brakeman’s previously published essays have compared her writing to that of Nora Ephron. Though the humor is often wry in tone, ultimately people will find this collection to be life affirming.
When not writing, mothering, daughter-ing, or wife-ing, Brakeman works behind-the-scenes on variety television shows. Also, she is a nice person and eats her vegetables.
PS. She lies about the vegetables.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
TABLE OF CONTENTS BOOK ONE: Summer of My Discontent Yearbooks Should Be Buried in a Deep, Deep Hole Don't Call Me Ma'am Teaching My Daughter to Swear The Oregon Caves: Two Hours of Terror, A Lifetime of Pain I Chat, You Chat Buddy, You Complete Me The Heightist Amongst Us Too Saggy for the SAG Awards You Will Buy My Cookies Sample Day in a Mom's Summer "Vacation" My Dreamy Boyfriend The Bad, Awful, Horrible News My Madonna Story My Husband Had Prostate Cancer And All I Got Was This Stupid T-shirt Mother Versus Nature Sharp Like Knives Is That The Shirt You're Wearing? Grandpa Your Vitamin Water Angers Me Lake Inferior Take Me Out of the Wretched Softball Game Lunch With Two Joans I Wish I Knew You, Dead Person Don't Dye Alone Hollister Hell BOOK TWO: Summer of Please Don't End Babies . . . Eeh Gluten Free Drop out 10 Ways to Annoy Your Kids Things Left Behind How MUMPS Like Me Ruined Facebook Don't Hate Me Because I Can't Hear You We Can't Let The Duck-Faced Women Win A Jury of My Peers Not Another Slumber Party Chopper Lives . . . And Lives . . . And Lives Parenting Tips The Experts Won't Tell You It's Just A Damn Chair (A Damn Comfy Chair) Health Hazards You Can't Ignore The Healing Power of the Gay Softball Moms The New Bizarre Online Security Questions It Was Only Five Dollars Sorry I'm Thin and Irksome Laundry and College in 7 Easy Steps Chopper Part Three: In Which His Reign Of Terror Finally Ends You Toy With Me Facebook Parent Group Gone Wrong You Will Meet A Handsome Stranger