Giuliana Prada recalls her dating travails in her debut memoir, Hiding Boys in Bathrooms.
Prada, a self-described “poster child for someone who would attract and, yes, date dysfunctional males” chronicles her romantic mishaps throughout her evolution from a shy college freshman to a sociable school teacher in her 30s. She devotes a chapter to each of her significant relationships and details her time with each person. Her boyfriends include commitment-wary substance abusers and even a grifter who persuades her to co-sign his auto loan.
Although Prada admits her own penchant for drinking, she retains an air of decorum in these pages. She lives with her grandmother and can prove reticent to take off so much as her jacket during a date, even when inebriated.
Written in a smooth colloquial tone punctuated with self-deprecating humor, Prada’s accounts proceed chronologically. While she laments that she seems “to be in a constant state of Nowheresville,” in fact, Prada shows signs of growing self-assurance, such as when she boldly repossesses her ex-beau’s car, for which she remains financially liable.
For her collection of tales to rise above idle banter, however, a fuller integration of her romances into the overall fabric of her life would provide more context and deeper appreciation of her journey into adulthood. Little is said of her career or other relationships, thereby leaving one bewildered when she reflects at the end that she “was in a constant state of confusion, disillusionment, and unhappiness” about all facets of her life. The series of anecdotes hastily concludes with Prada considering why she may be unlucky in love. Unfortunately, she gives short shrift to this deliberation, ending her narrative with: “[T]hat’s another story altogether.”
While this book may leave those seeking a more contemplative memoir feeling jilted, it’s nonetheless a light read that should produce smiles and sighs for those who want to learn about one woman’s romantic woes.
Also available in paperback.