Meet Wendy Merrill, a quirky, attractive, in-recovery-from…well, you can pretty much name it…who, while seemingly on the quest for her perfect mate, keeps falling into manholes. After losing herself in an endless series of attachments, this serial mater comes to see how her relationships with men are indicative of all her relationships – with alcohol, food, drugs, family, friends, and most of all, herself.
Smart, funny and embarrassingly honest, the tales in Falling Into Manholes recount the common experience of looking for love in all the wrong places, and the not-so-common experience of finding it in yourself – and it feels like talking with your best friend. Wendy represents the bad girl/good girl paradox deep within every woman, and writes what women often think, but don’t have the nerve to say. Her favorite books growing up were Little House on the Prairie and The Happy Hooker, and even then she fantasized about a scenario in which Xaviera Hollander lived happily ever after with Laura, Ma and Pa. Wendy was the tall, scrawny late bloomer on the sidelines of the seventh-grade dance who turned into the sweet-sixteen-never-been-kissed good girl yearning to be bad. PhD’s were the norm in her family, yet she aspired to be comfortable on any barstool in the world. In college, she took a class called “Dating and Marriage” – and got an F. “I always aspired to an A+,” she says. “I just didn’t think it would end up being my bra size.”
With honesty, humor and style, Falling Into Manholes explores the contradictions and imperfections of being a woman, in a book about relationships, addiction, self-esteem (and the lack thereof), and going to any lengths to discover what matters. This menmoir gives the reader what we all need more of: a good laugh, an easy read, and hope.
Wendy owns and runs an advertising agency called WAM Marketing Group and lives above ground and beyond her means in Sausalito.