Over the weekend, I bought a copy of Tina Fey's collection of essays, "Bossypants." I normally don't go for celebrity books, because I'm just not that interested in the lives of the rich and famous. But Fey's a writer -- it's definitely her voice on the page -- and I loved watching her in Weekend Update during her SNL years. I'm also a fan of 30 Rock. After I read an essay of hers in the New Yorker a couple weeks ago, I decided I had to read "Bossypants."
I knew almost as soon as I bought it that this was not a book I could read in public (and not because of the man hands on the cover). I started reading it in the Wal-Mart check-out line and by the time I got up to the cashier, I was giggling ridiculously and getting very odd looks from my fellow shoppers. No one giggles in Wal-Mart on a Saturday. No one even smiles, except the greeters. A Saturday at Wal-Mart is what I imagine the zombie apocalypse will be like: lots of fluorescent lighting, screaming children and people lumbering in a daze clutching jumbo packs of chicken thighs. Wal-Mart on a Saturday is not funny -- unlike Fey's book which is funny, but also wise and oh-so-true.
Normally, I underline and write notes in the margins when I'm reading a book and I find something that I like. If I did this for Bossypants, every other page would have notes like, "Haha!" or "LOL!" "Wow - So true!" and "Oh, snap!" (Clearly, my reading brain is stuck in 2002). Since the book is brand new and I want to be able to lend it out, I stuck post-its on sections I really liked and now it looks like I'm preparing to write a doctoral thesis on Tina Fey and women in comedy.
I've got about 100 pages left, but here are some funny/wise things that I've marked so far:
-- On bad kisses: "He was the Cream of Wheat of making out. I would try it every now and then, thinking maybe I'd like it, but every time: no."
-- On how improv comedy is kind of like life: "In improv there are no mistakes, only beautiful happy accidents. And many of the world's greatest discoveries have been by accident."
-- On writing: "You can't be at that kid at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute (And I'm from a generation where a lot of people died on waterslides, so this is an important lesson for me to learn.) You have to let other people see what you wrote. It will never be perfect, but perfect is overrated."
-- On people who don't think women can be funny, and pursuing a career: "It is an impressively arrogant move to conclude that just because you don't like something, it is empirically not good. I don't like Chinese food, but I don't write articles trying to prove it doesn't exist. So my unsolicited advice to women in the workplace is this. When faced with sexism or ageism or lookism or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: 'Is this person in between me and what i want to do?' If the answer is no, ignore it and move on."