Monday, April 11, 2011

Six Things I Learned From Tina Fey

It's rare that I finish a book in 24 hours (unless it's heavy on the pictures and light on the words). But it did not surprise me that I did that with this book.
First, let's talk about this book cover. It might be the best use of Photoshop I've ever seen - unless this is how Tina Fey really looks in her off time. If that's the case, the people at Spanx should get her to be their spokesperson because she looks much smaller everywhere else!

While I found this book funny, it also carried a lot of truths. I'm not considering this my new Bible, but I did learn a few things from it.

  1. When your gay friend decides to tell what the world knows, you're not supposed to say things like "FINALLY!" or "What took you so long?" Clearly, I have been going about this all wrong. Tina says the correct responses is something along the lines of "Is everyone, like, freaking out? What a...wow."
  2. Cruise ships are designed to kill you. If you don't know me, let me be VERY clear about this: I have no desire to take a vacation on a cruise ship. It's not just because I've seen Titanic and know how that ends. It's mostly because I don't enjoy buffets - or people who feel like they need to get their money's worth by shoveling in food until they pop (kind of like that true life story Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs). But, Tina (look, I've given her money, so that totally puts us on a first-name basis) honeymooned on a cruise. There was a fire. In the engine room. A result of a burst fuel pipe. Any of this sound like it should have a good ending? Well, Tina is alive and none of this was on the news, so it did. But when she says she told the story to a friend who had been a performer on a cruise ship, I learned something that will stay with me should I ever take a cruise. "Bravo is serious. The more times they say it, the more serious it is. The most times they ever say it is four times, and if they say it four times, it means you're going down to your watery grave." Her emergency required three "Bravos." Friends, do you have any idea how close we were to never knowing Liz Lemon? Count your blessings.
  3. Size might not matter. Tina has been very skinny and a little bit fat. Her lessons from both: We should leave everyone alone about their weight. And then...
  4. Stylists want non-models to be the size of models. So, when this appeared in my mailbox a few weeks ago, I thought, "WOW! Tina Fey kinda looks like a model!" Then, I read this and I will never look at a magazine the same again. "Once your hair and makeup are done, you'll slip into your first look. It will most definitely be one of the dresses that didn't even come close to fitting you, so Lot's Wife will bridge the gap with a thick piece of white elastic and some safety pins. Don't ever feel inadequate when you look at magazines. Just remember that every person you see on a cover has a bra and underwear hanging out a gaping hole in the back. Everyone. Heidi Klum, the Olsen Twins, David Beckham, everybody." And about Photoshop, an invention so great I want it in real life, Tina says, "I feel about Photoshop the way some people feel about abortion. It is appalling and a tragic reflection on the moral decay of our society...unless I need it, in which case, everybody be cool." I don't know how you get young girls to to look at magazines and understand those girls look perfect because of team of people have made them that way. Even the prettiest of models has insecurities. In fact, they probably don't even leave home without makeup so they don't wind up on a website saying, "Ew! Look at her - she's hideous!"
  5. Dear Internet. If Tina is still trolling the internet looking to see what anonymous strangers write about her, I hope she finds this. I have nothing but love for her. Those strangers who got a response from Tina in her book should enjoy their new-found fame. In fact, they should put it to good use by writing a response from the safety of their mom's basements, where they no doubt troll celebrity sites looking to say mean things about people they secretly envy.
  6. Shortest chapter contains the most honesty. This is it: I need to take my pants off as soon as I get home. I didn't used to have to do that. But now I do.
There are many more lessons to be had (though I don't remember one workplace story about tears - they totally don't belong there and if you cry at work I will totally judge you as a baby not worthy of my time). If you want those lessons, you'll have to buy the book. Or if you ask nicely, I might loan you my copy.

UPDATE: I found this note about tears in the workplace. You may sleep better now.

PS - plowing through this book has brought me even closer to my book goal for the year.
I like that Goodreads assumes I'll continue motoring through the rest of my books on my reading list - like they're all 300 pages or less!
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