I just got Hey Natalie Jean in the mail today. I went out for lunch with Nathan and when we returned to the apartment there it was, in a little brown cardboard amazon box sitting on my porch. I unlocked the door and immediately ripped open the package, too full of excitement to think about anything else. And then, Natalie and Huck were right in front of my face, in all their grey hard covered glory.
You see, in 2008 my aunt got a little bit into blogging. As a self proclaimed writer, I had to check it out for myself and haven't really stopped since. Back in those days I was big into checking out the Blogs of Note, secretly crossing my fingers that someday my little blog would be among them.
One day, and I'm not quite exactly sure when it was, I clicked through different blogs of note and stumbled by accident upon a one Nat The Fat Rat (which just goes to show how long I've been reading her blog). It was a picture of Natalie standing next to the giant sign that says "Welcome To Moscow" and my insides got all excited since hey! that's where I live too! So I clicked on her links and read her posts for probably a stupidly long amount of time and I fell completely in love with her.
She was hopelessly optimistic and I absolutely adored the way that she would find meaning in the mundane. It drew me into her world, all the silliness that she was creating by just writing her honest little thoughts about stuff and things.
If you've never been to the little town of Moscow, Idaho, then you have no idea what a different world it is down there. There is a chapter in Natalie's book where she writes about her own private Idaho. Having lived in Moscow for four years, I can say that she put my feelings into words better than I could have dreamt. That little town in all its boringness is also quite beautiful in a really dumb way and sometimes I miss living there more than I care to admit.
Now Natalie inhabits a little apartment in the big New York City and just, hello. Nathan talks sometimes about moving to NYC and I can't help but think of her every time he brings it up. I feel like maybe sometimes I am just two or three steps behind her. Or maybe four or five, but who's counting?
Anyway, this book you guys! In the short amount of time I've had it in my little hands I have read well over the half way mark. She is funny and serious and incredibly relatable. And while I'm not big on the fashion part of Natalie's world, all the other stuff is just so exactly on point with how I feel about a lot of life or have felt in the past. It's vaguely like reading my own words and not unlike finding out that wait a minute here, maybe I am normal after all because other people have large feelings about small stuff and big things as well.
And in the words of Natalie herself, this book is exactly the ham sandwich I was looking for. Who needs a rueben anyway?