16. Bossypants – Tina Fey
Tina Fey and I don’t necessarily share the same sense of humor. And no one should like everyone and everyone’s sense of humor anyway, it’s not necessary to like everything or everyone and if there’s one lesson I’d like everyone to take away from my rambling it’s definitely about not having to like everything or everyone and not expecting them to like you either and being okay with that. I wish there was a Sesame Street song about it but I guess I can just do variations on “One of these things is not like the other…one of them dislikes what you like and also everything you stand for…” I should not try to incorporate songs anymore. It did not work out the first time, it probably won’t work out again. Lesson learned. Hopefully.
Anyway, Tina Fey. I think the book was at its best when she was writing about her awkward beginnings. That felt less surface level than most of what she wrote about her current life. Her stories about regional theater summer productions stuck with me although I did have to cringe about some of the less dignified things that ended up happening, but who wouldn’t? Throughout the rest of the book, the surface level coverage started to bother me. I feel less like I can take little lessons or useful quips away from her experiences because of the missing depths and I’m not sure if that’s necessary or not. It may just be a product of her still being alive and being in charge of her own representation or maybe she’s not really leaving a single thing out and just like floated on a cloud over to trying to wrangle Oprah and writing for SNL…I doubt it.
Steve Almond told me that you need to write about your shame, and it seems like memoirs are a perfect chance to do that. Also, writing about shame and what really happens in between trying so hard to break in to an industry and actually breaking in without glossing over the worst moments can really make an impact.