Hey Ladies!: A Cautionary Tale
Let me begin by admitting that I was lucky enough to spend ages 8-21 being an Upper Middle Class Asian in Asia, thereby escaping completely the clutches of the American bridal-industrial complex. However, having lived over half my life here now, I can’t claim to be completely unscathed as a result of watching loved ones succumb to that soul-sucking behemoth. My own wedding was quite nice and bridesmaid-free, a small (by Asian standards, with only 100 guests or so) affair on the beach with appropriate dress code and a request for no boxed gifts. It was still quite stressful to put together, so I don’t understand why certain American women willingly put themselves through the wringer micromanaging every little moment of a single day of their lives, and all the lead-up that entails.
Fortunately, Hey Ladies! is here to help explain. Following a year in the lives of 8 best friends, HL! is written in the form of e-mails and texts etc. as the women hilariously prepare for the wedding of one of their own. It is jaw-droppingly outrageous and side-splittingly awful and I could not stop reading it (or admiring the pictures by Carolyn Bahar.) HL! is a relentless but ultimately kind-hearted skewering of a certain demographic of American women and the expectations they exert upon one another as they attempt to appear successful (not, if you’ll notice, to actually succeed.) The protagonists are all flawed and rather silly but they do care about each other very much. These women remind me of people I know and love, and there are glimmers of myself in most of them. Honestly, I’d be surprised if any American woman between the ages of 18-68 didn’t recognize at least part of herself in these ladies.
A quick, charming, satirical/anthropological read. Sequel please!