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Justin Halpern’s Humor Returns in “I Suck at Girls”

Writer Justin Halpern, whose explosively popular Twitter feed @shitmydadsays grew into a bestselling book and a television series, mines the stories of his youth again for the new memoir I Suck at Girls. This time the focus is Halpern’s own coming of age and early experience (or lack there of) in the dating world. “I just felt like there were a lot of books for people that score with the ladies all the time, and then there are a lot of books for people that were total social outcasts who really went through a lot just to live a normal life. And I didn’t feel like there was a lot of that in between, where I felt most people fell, including myself, and I was like, you know what? People share way more embarrassing stories than these. Maybe I can just give them something that makes the common person feel like they have a kindred spirit,” says the author in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, explaining the inspiration for the book.

On what the process of writing this book taught him: “…I kind of came to the conclusion after I did finally get married that love and relationships are just a series of horrific losses with hopefully one win. The best you can hope for is at the end of the day you get one win, so it’s kind of the opposite of everything else we do in our lives, and I thought that that was kind of interesting.”

And what did Halpern’s dad think of his second book?

“He liked it. He actually liked it a lot. It’s funny because I don’t think he would ever pick this off the shelf to read it, but I don’t think he would pick Sh*t My Dad Says off the shelf to read it either.” Halpern admits, his dad did have some reservations about how the book would affect the writer’s own marriage. “He thought that the idea of the book was a good idea, but he’s like, ‘I don’t think it’s a good idea for your marriage to write this book.’”

However, Halpern’s dad had no reservations about helping his son remember the time he walked in on his parents having sex when he was a kid, so he could include that scene in the book. “[M]y dad was like, ‘Sure, let’s do it.’” Though his mother was mortified by the whole idea. “What’s funny is that she didn’t want to read that story when I was first going through it, and then she got a copy of the book early and she called me on the phone and said, ‘So everyone’s going to know that you walked in on me and your father having sex!?’ I’m like, ‘Oh, God, this is such an uncomfortable conversation to be having.’”

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