Because I live in the “Mommy Fast-Lane” I don’t often hear about new book releases (or other events that happen outside the worlds of my kids’ schools or my mother-in-law’s-doctor’s-office’s waiting room). But when I saw Tina Fey’s new book Bossypants on the end cap at Wal-Mart I stopped in my tracks, moved the deli meat and eggs out of the seat of the shopping cart and placed it there so I could start flipping through the pages while I finished shopping.
You see, I’m a late-blooming Tina Fey fan. As I’m rarely able to stay up late enough to watch Saturday Night Live, and her time there was before we had Tivo, I saw little of her prior to the birth of 30 Rock in 2006 (except for her Sarah Palin sketches which made it all the way to network news). The show was on the air for quite some time before I caught wind of how hysterically funny it was and started watching. But the moment I invested a little time in getting to know Liz Lemon, I was hooked. I had found my sarcastic soul-mate.
I was afraid of taking out other shoppers by reading-while-shopping, so I finished up and headed home. I threw the cold stuff into the fridge, sat down at the kitchen table, and started laughing. Just the back cover had me snorting Diet Dr. Pepper out of my nose. So I put away the groceries, gave the kids a snack, and settled into my favorite chair to dive in.
Reading this book is the most fun I’ve had by myself in a long time. It turns out that Tina Fey is a lot like me. (Except for the part about being stinky rich and famous and a Democrat.) And if you’re reading this blog, she’s probably a lot like you, too. A regular person with a strong work ethic, intense love for her family, and a longing to make her dreams come true. Her straightforward observations about life are a lot like mine. Respect people for who they are and what they can contribute. Give all you’ve got to whatever you do. Love your family. Be nice to your in-laws.
My recommendation: If you have a uterus, a child or are an underdog in any way, go buy/download/borrow Bossypants immediately. If none of those apply, go watch something on ESPN.
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In homage to Tina Fey, and in celebration of Mother’s Day, I’ll leave you with this:
The Mother’s Prayer for Its Daughter.
First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.
May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.
When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half and stick with Beer.
Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.
Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes and not have to wear high heels.
What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.
May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.
Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.
O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.
And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.
And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.
“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.