"When I was little, I was so girlie and ambitious, I was practically a drag queen. I wanted to be everything at once: a prima ballerina, an actress, a model, a famous artist, a nurse, an Ice Capades dancer, and Batgirl. I spent inordinate amounts of time waltzing around our living room with a doily on my head, imagining in great detail my promenade down the runway as the new Miss America, during which time I would also happen to receive a Nobel Prize for coloring.
"The one thing I did not want to be was a hippie."
"...'you're not a hippie,' said my mother, fanning incense around our living room with the sleeves of her dashiki. 'You're four years old. You run around in a tutu. You eat TV dinners and complain when the food doesn't look exactly like it does on the packages. Hippies don't do that,' she said. 'Hippies don't make a big production out of eating their Tater Tots.'
" 'Come to think of it, hippies don't torture their little brother by trying to sell him the silverware, either,' she added. "if I were you, I'd worry less about being a hippie and more about being an extortionist.' "
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer wrote about Susan Jane Gilman: "Publishers' frantic search for the 'female David Sedaris' may have finally come to an end."