After reading the thrilling conclusion to Tina Fey’s latest literary treasure, Bossypants, I’m confident that she and I would be the greatest of friends. In fact, she probably already wants to be my friend. If she had a Paris Hilton-esque reality show about finding said BFF, I would be a sure-shot victor, combining our wits and writing talent (hers, not mine) to benefit a society that is in such dire need to laugh and laugh often.
Fey’s book is a collection of personal essays that chronicles her life as a youngster through her journey into motherhood and everything in between. Her quirky father, befriending lesbians, her voyages through Second City and SNL, the Palin fiasco, and more are covered in the book’s tightly written 275 pages. Yes, she briefly mentions her scar and discusses how others’ obnoxious reactions to it speaks volumes of them. And yes, I sort of hate myself for even mentioning it.
Fey’s witty banter is light, yet not without merit. Lessons learned from Lorne Michaels or tips she picked up from various producing gigs are all highlighted, showing that the glamorous business of TV isn’t all fun and games (but the fun and games are a-plenty! Pee jars, eeew!). Fey’s writing makes everything, the good, the bad…her feet, seem OK. Transforming her oddities and quirks into lovable traits makes her seem rather unscathed from her endured years in such a tough business – and that’s what’s so fascinating about her character and style. (She writes: “I never go barefoot during a photo shoot. Even if they say your feet are ‘out of frame,’ don’t believe them. I know what you’re thinking and no, I don’t have horrible messed-up feet. Maybe my feet are so amazing that I want to shelter them so they can live a normal life. I don’t want them to be the Suri Cruise of feet. Did you ever think about that?”) The writing is so sharp that the book is almost unquotable…because everything in it deserves to be celebrated. Just like a quinceañera!
OK – I’m gushing. But it’s only polite to support a new friend’s endeavors. So maybe I didn’t really need to know her forays into the world of breastfeeding (definitely didn’t!). Maybe her dilemma over the possibility of having another child is just one of those rollercoasters rides I don’t need to be on (yanno…the older, more boring wooden ones). Even when my attention wandered through the more feminine-skewed chapters, Tina Fey is still Tina Fey. It’s not just the content of the story she’s telling, but how she describes it that will keep you jonesin’ for more.
When describing the early days of 30 Rock, Fey writes:
We premiered on Wednesday, October 11, 2006, at 8:00 P.M. and we were an instant hit—like figs for dessert or bringing your guitar out at a party. We were New Coke! We were not a hit. But we barreled ahead knowing that we’d at least come out of this with DVDs to show our friends. The story ideas came fast and furious in the beginning. “What if Tracy went off his medication and started hallucinating a little blue dude everywhere?” Sure. “What if Jenna was in a movie called The Rural Juror and no one could understand her when she said the title?” Fine. “What if we do a story about Liz being called a cunt?” Why wouldn’t we? That had happened to me plenty! You know that saying “Dance as if no one is watching”? Well, that’s what we were doing.
And that’s why she’s so likable. Fey has a unique perspective on life and work, and is constantly dancing as if no one is watching. If she ever needs a dancing partner, I’d gladly strap on some dancing shoes, while secretly hoping it didn’t require cowboy boots and the word “rodeo.” Because that’s just the kind of friend I am.