That title is my biggest fear, and the sole reason I joined twitter (because if you aren’t on twitter, then yes. Yes they are).
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? takes a valuable lesson from my 8th grade English class on writing essays: you put your best bit at the end, your second-best bit at the beginning, and then you sort of heap the rest in the middle, higgle-piggle.
Because the intro is herlarious. It’s all questions about the book, but questions along the lines of ‘I don’t know. I have a lot of books already. I wanted to finish those Girl With the Dragon Tattoo books before the movies come out’ (to which Kaling responds, ‘This book will take you two days to read. Did you even see the cover? It’s mostly pink. If you’re reading this book every night for months, something is not right.’).
So that’s fun. And is followed by a list of alternate titles for the book (e.g. ‘When Your Boyfriend Fits Into Your Jeans and Other Atrocities’ or ‘There Has Ceased To Be a Difference Between My Awake Clothes and My Asleep Clothes’ or ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It, But I Suspect She Gets Help From Illegal Immigrants’), and then the book proper starts.
And the rest is all childhood stories and stories of when she first moved to New York to be Famous and roommate stories and really, it’s like being trapped in an elevator with someone who is good at stories and also has done shit. Which is where this differs from, say, The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop which I started and did not finish because dude seems to think that I care about his carefully-delineated life when, unless you are a good friend OR good at stories, I do not. HE, in turn, reminded me of those people who are forever posting ‘Roast chicken in the oven, glass of wine in hand, rainy day out and puppy at my feet…SO GOOD’ as their facebook statuses UGH BE MORE INTERESTING PEOPLE I DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR MANUFACTURED PERFECTION, all of which to say there is very little ‘piping hot coffee’ and ‘crisp fall air’ and ‘perfectly-worn book covers’ up in heah.
Hem. But there are back-stage stories re: working on The Office and there’s a page-long chapter on how she thinks celebrity roasts are mean-spirited and horrible and there is some VERY INSIGHTFUL STUFF on achieving your dreams and one of the most rational attitudes about being a chubby person that I’ve ever seen. In a bit about how stylists try to dress you when you are ‘that nebulous “normal American woman” size’, Kaling speculates that most stylists ‘hate that size, because I think, to them, it shows that I lack the discipline to be an ascetic or the confident sassy abandon to be a total fatty hedonist. They’re like: pick a lane!’ And then she lists the things stylists make you wear when you are normal-sized (like navy. And cap sleeves. And ponchos).
And it’s no Tina Fey, a point which Mindy addresses early on (it being apparently very difficult to lure Tina ‘into a Freaky Friday-type situation’), but it’s ONLY JUST not Tina Fey, and I’ve already read Bossypants so this is an excellent follow-upper.