Wendi Bear: It’s Not My Fault
Life brings us many unique and different situations. It’s how we handle them, carry ourselves and work through the difficult times that make us stronger, smarter and hopefully wiser. But, sometimes the narrator shares many experiences with readers that many might find humorous, sad, and fearful and some wondering why she managed to remain in relationships that would create a downward spiral and others that would prove disastrous. Throughout the book we hear her voice as she meets many different men, describes her encounters with them and then recreates many of the intimate times they spend together making the reader wonder why such a bright, intelligent and creative young woman would even think to associate with any one of these men.
Love comes to those who work at it and even then it might not last forever. Hearing the narrator’s voice as she describes her up and down relationship with three men that stand out the most, Donut, Brutus and Redbeard, each man appears to have his own agenda in mind when it comes to her. Each man sets the limits in their relationship and each man puts the brakes one when things get too serious. The mother of two children who need her guidance and whom she provides for should take a quick look in the mirror and realize that there is more to her than what others are seeing or meets the eye.
From her experience getting a Boob Job, the end result not so successful to dealing with a man named Butterball, you wonder about what she was thinking. Acceptance, fitting in, feeling loved and wanting someone she can count on in her life is what I think she is fighting and hoping for. Going to cosmetology school, becoming a hair dresser a great start but drinking her way through many of her days and nights more than just destructive and definitely not the way to go to succeed.
The chapter that really hits real hard is the one with Cliff where she was spending her birthday with him and the way he treated her and the fact she forgave him makes you realize just how much she wanted to be loved and who did not really matter. Cliff disappeared many times and returned when he felt like it. He even cheated on her while they were away. Another chapter that was quite telling and describes her relationship or lack of one with her parents is the one where her mother wants her to ask the Reverend of the Church she attends for money to pay their rent. This chapter you have to read for yourself to learn just how this impacted her as a young child and how much she lost at the end.
The narrator has a heart of gold when it comes to anyone hurt or any animal in need of help. Read Tiny the Turkey and find out what happens when she sees an injured dog. We learn more about Donut and his attitude towards her, her willingness to bend over more than just backwards to keep him in her life and in his bed. One story that hits hard deals with a school performance that her mother would not attend and her feelings about not getting picked for the Holiday Hoedown. Relating that to an event in the present we learn that not only did her mother let her down she almost did the same to her son, PJ.
Learning more about this woman we find that she is consumed with her needs, her feelings and finds it necessary to have the support of any man in her life just to feel wanted and satisfied. Girl friends come and go, partying, getting drunk, cocaine and avoiding many of the real issues in life, the main character seems bent on losing more than just the battle with alcohol and finding the right mate but possibly the connection with her children that most parents need and want. Having no source of money, Donut out of her life, Redbeard moving on, the narrator often resort to getting drunk, taking jobs in different clubs and finding herself dealing with men most of us would steer clear of. Added in she relates how she got started at the age of fourteen, met Redbeard, her life on the streets for two years, her estrangement from her parents and an operation that changed her life. A mother that never really showed any signs of love or support and a father who refused to nurture his daughter, it seems as if she is and was bent on a road of self-destruction trying to prove she needs no one yet wanting anyone.
The flashbacks help the reader understand the life, the rationale behind her thoughts, movements and why she often did things without giving any thought to the consequences. It’s My Fault: Just whom did she blame? Which men would she have been better off without and why was she so fixated with Donut? He is definitely one Donut that should remain on the baker’s shelf or in the donut box untouched.
A family cruise that was more like a nightmare. Meeting a man named Pepe and stealing him from a friend. Abused, betrayed, belittled, insulted and yet she keeps coming back for more and forgiving the wrong people for whom she should stay away from. A brother who gave his family a scare and a situation that should have brought them together. Others could serve a young woman who did not seem to really care about herself as a person but only her childish needs, which she felt. Wait until you read the craziest things she ever did and where! From being with Red, Redbeard, Laverne, Shirley, Pepe and many others the journey is long, hard, and difficult and definitely would fill many bottles, glasses, liquor stores and jugs with tons of whiskey, vodka and much more. So, where is she now and who is her main partner? Read the Epilogue, read the last chapter and find out whether she learned anything from her own thoughts, experiences and friends. This is one book that will either make you laugh, make you wonder why someone that has something going for her would allow herself to be used and abused by anyone and would not realize that some donuts belong in the boxes with the powdery sugar and others need to be permanently tossed. Filled with real life experiences that Wendi Bear shares with readers from her own blog and with the help of some great friends. It’s Not My Fault if you like or dislike this book but you’d be missing something quite unique if you don’t read it.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer