I Think I Figured Out How She Does It

by Bobby Finger

[I Don’t Know How She Does It spoilers follow!]

Prompted by the upcoming film adaptation’s cryptic advertising campaign, this week I sat down and took notes while reading Allison Pearson’s unnecessarily long novel about a woman who slowly discovers that time exists, I Don’t Know How She Does It. On the inside cover of my Anchor Books movie tie-in edition, the friend who gave me this wonderful gift scribbled:

When you find the answer — 
please share.

How She Does It, I soon learned, is a concept far too complex for one simple answer.

It actually has 81.

How She Does It:

  1. She blames the nanny.
  2. She takes extra time brushing her teeth to avoid having sex with husband.

“Do you know how many ways there are of saying the word no without actually using the word no? I do.”

  1. She speaks in rhetorical questions, then finds it necessary to follow them with vague answers.
  2. She resents her husband.
  3. She runs across prohibited grass.
  4. She takes the stairs.
  5. She works for a hedge fund.
  6. She bribes her children.
  7. She takes baths.
  8. She sends friends poorly written complaint/catch-up emails.
  9. She signs emails with far too many X’s for a single human.
  10. Smear test!
  11. She gets angry at her cab driver because she is in a hurry.
  12. She apologizes to her cab driver after arriving early.
  13. She bans her children from chewing gum.
  14. She buys her children Christmas presents at the airport.
  15. She gives her daughter a hamster named Jesus.
  16. “Nuts duty.”
  17. (That means she puts nuts in bowls.)
  18. She resents her husband.
  19. Agent Provocateur bras.
  20. She watches Titanic.
  21. Remember when that one guy hits the propeller?!
  22. She stops “canceling stress busting treatments.”
  23. Stress busting treatment?

“Must Remember: Sex?”

  1. She writes a list of “Must Remembers” at the end of each chapter.
  2. She daydreams about being tried in “The Court of Motherhood”.
  3. She hires a personal trainer

“Kate, seriously. What you need is to slow down.”
“No, Richard, what I need is a helicopter.”

  1. She needs a helicopter.
  2. She blames her problems on her children.

“Arrived late and dying to go to the loo. Will have to wait.”

  1. She holds it.
  2. Two double espressos.
  3. Hasn’t she learned?
  4. She references David Lynch?
  5. Must be the coffee.
  6. She belittles her husband

“But what is ideal? Mummy staying at home and laying down her life for small feet to walk over. Would you do that? Could I do that? You don’t know me very well if you think I could do that.”

  1. She can’t do that.
  2. She gets lice.
  3. She resents her husband.
  4. She refers to Tom Hanks as “the new Jimmy Stewart.”
  5. She has an email affair with a new client.
  6. She describes the differences between men and women like a terrible comedian who has a huge following despite being terrible.

“What’s that awful word? Multitasking. Women are meant to be great at that.”

  1. She isn’t great at that.
  2. She sings Oliver! for three hours in the car.
  3. She lies to her husband.
  4. She email-flirts about Memento.

“Candy is standing by my desk wearing a skirt so short it’s practically a text message.”

  1. She thinks things like “Candy is standing by my desk wearing a skirt so short it’s practically a text message.”
  2. She sits in bed with her husband to discuss whether or not they’re too tired to have sex.
  3. She wakes up unable to remember “what conclusion [they] reached until [noticing] that inner thighs were lightly glued together with glacé icing.”
  4. OK, I’m never looking at glacé icing the same way again.
  5. Do I even know what glacé icing is?
  6. OK, searching for images of glacé icing on google.
  7. Yep, that’s pretty much exactly what it looks like.
  8. She resents her husband.
  9. She refuses to throw her daughter a swimming party because she can’t take time off for a bikini wax.
  10. She cheats at Monopoly as a child.
  11. She goes on a dinner date with her new client.
  12. She gets drunk at dinner and the client carries her back to the hotel.
  13. She avoids “reunion sex” after returning home.
  14. She quotes Helen Reddy.
  15. But I mean, who doesn’t.
  16. She goes to Euro Disney.
  17. But I mean, who wouldn’t.
  18. Why am I still reading this.
  19. Wait, when does Whitney premiere?
  20. Next Thursday, right?
  21. I Don’t Know How Whitney Does It.
  22. She forces house guests to listen to Burt Bacharach while she catches a rat in the kitchen.
  23. She cancels spa day.
  24. I’m GASPING.
  25. NOT SPA DAY!
  26. She resents her husband.
  27. She tells her children there are no McDonald’s in heaven.
  28. She has a genuinely touching introspective moment!!!!!
  29. Oh my god the name of this chapter is No Answers.
  30. If I don’t find out How She Does It I’ll scream.
  31. Oh. She quit her job.
  32. That’s how she did it.
  33. She quit her job.
  34. She ends the book by pondering, “What else?”
  35. I Don’t Know How She Does It 2: What Else?

Bobby Finger never reads his movie tie-ins on the train. It’s just too embarrassing.