If you don’t know who David Sedaris is, you should.
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim begins with a story about Halloween. A young David becomes slightly obsessed with a neighboring family that doesn’t own a TV and eats together every night. He studies them like a different species, because to him they are. His family doesn’t do “family” things.
This family goes on vacation and misses Halloween, but a day later they trick-or-treat in the neighborhood. David’s mom orders him and his siblings to give up some of their own hard-earned candy when the family comes to their door. Struck by the injustice of them asking for candy on a day that it isn’t socially acceptable to ask for candy, David Sedaris recounts his hilarious, semi-crazed reaction.
The subsequent stories are all about his family and his partner. Often asking himself “why do I do these things?”, his recounts of his nephew’s birth, apartment hunting in a foreign country, drowning a mouse in sympathy, and befriending a young psychopath are riotously funny.
The stories are written simply and matter-of-factly, but with poignant dialogue. His conversations with his siblings, especially his brother (no two blood relatives could be so different!), are oddly irrational and adolescent.
David Sedaris is a totally loveable total weirdo and makes me feel shockingly normal.
Click to listen to this hilarious story about Sedaris being a “Santa’s Helper” (Elf) at a department store!