I am ADORING Mindy Kaling. I read her Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me a couple weeks ago, and I don’t know the last time I laughed so hard on the elliptical/train/plane.
The book has been compared to Tina Fey’s Bossypants, and while they are similar (AND while I enjoyed Fey’s), I personally preferred Mindy’s memoir by a mile. It’s self-aware, hilarious, insightful, and (cheese alert) inspirational to see someone going after her dream. Here are some snippets from the book that I loved:
On hypochondriac friends: “In the unlikely event that you do get sick, you do not have to give everyone a play-by-play, as though none of us has ever been sick before, or as though there were some suspense in the story of your cold, with twists and turns (‘I woke up this morning feeling pretty good, only to take a turn for the worse after lunch!’) I know this story. You get better. It works out.” Amen, Mindy.
On using girly manipulation at a photo shoot. After a pushy and insensitive stylist brought tiny dresses to the set and made Mindy feel bad for not fitting into them, she decided to choose to be strapped into the most expensive, elaborate pink gown. The stylist suggested she pick something more muted (and presumably less expensive to stretch and strap). With no recourse other than to play the card, Mindy proclaimed, “I don’t feel comfortable”: “When I played the ‘I don’t feel comfortable’ card, he knew it was over. ‘I don’t feel comfortable’ is the classic manipulative girl get-my-way line. It’s right up there with ‘I don’t feel entirely safe.'” So true!
On her good friend Jocelyn: “Jocelyn is willowy and half-Asian, and while fitting the bill technically for a model, has no interest in modeling. She’s just that cool. Me, on the other hand, whenever I lose, like five pounds, I basically start considering if I should ‘try out’ modeling. When the three of us walked down the street together, I looked like the Indian girl who kept them ‘real.'” Hah. Mindy is very open about her huge ego.
On being peer-pressured into knitting gifts for her parents with her clique of middle school friends: “Who was I knitting stuff for? If I gave my mother a knitted scarf she’d be worried I was wasting my time doing stupid stuff like knitting instead of school work. Presenting a homemade knitted object to my parents was actually like handing them a detailed backlog of my idleness.” Feel the same.
This photo of Mindy at age 5 has been around the blog world, and her caption for it is “People think I’m exaggerating when I say that I was a happy child who you could not tell was male or female.” I mean…she’s got a point.
Anyway, I was truly sorry when I finished her book, and so I was truly elated to find that she writes with some consistency on The Concerns of Mindy Kaling. It’s a spiffy spinoff of her previous blog, Things I’ve Bought, where she posted product reviews during dead times in the writing studio for The Office. Read The Concerns of Mindy Kaling if you haven’t yet read her book and want to test the waters a bit more, or if you’ve finished it and just.want.more.Mindy.
(Image via The Concerns of Mindy Kaling)