Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tina Fey and ME

My husband bought me Tina Fey's Bossypants for Mother's Day. (Petite digression: Anyone know why the type is coming out wonky and in blue? I think it's because I stole this picture from the internet. I had to, because the cover of Bossypants is too freaky for me with the hairy man torso.)

So, Dalton got me the book, which I read in 24 hours---oh, good, the type is normal again--- because I'm obsessed with Tina Fey. I've written about her before. I wanted to express annoyance that the press always connects Fey's weight loss with Lorne Michaels' decision to put her on the air.

What I didn't admit in that post is that I am jealous of Tina Fey. I relate to Tina so much, and feel that we have so many similarities that it leads to full-on career envy. We're both writers, we're both sarcastic, we both have brown hair and wear glasses. We are both moms. Yet there she is ruling the world, running a tv show and writing a book that was excerpted in The New Yorker. Damn, I have always wanted to be in The New Yorker. In contrast, here I sit, still in sweaty yoga clothes, trying to finish this post before the school bus arrives and I begin the unglamorous work of keeping my children from killing each other, while getting everyone to soccer on time, homework done, a reasonably healthy dinner cooked. And on and on. I wonder what special gene Tina has that makes her super successful?

"She is a workaholic," theorized my close friend Heather. "She would go home to put her kid to bed and then make everyone from 3o Rock come to her house so they could write all night." I am definitely not a workaholic. I am a hard worker, and was once an overachiever but I burned out around age 44. And I've never been one to work late into the night, not unless you count going to rock shows for live reviews as "work."

Heather also relates to Tina, though H. has short blond hair and no glasses and is not that sarcastic. Aha! Maybe that is why Tina has done so well for herself! Many women feel a kinship with her! Not just those who can dress up as Sarah Palin for Halloween. (I wanted to post my picture in my SP costume here, but iphoto was being weird and, as I said, the school bus will be here any minute.)

Tina is also pretty fucking funny. I found myself laughing uncontrollably, more in the first half of the book than later. And she was hilarious as a Jersey Girl on Jimmy Fallon.

From the book, I have analyzed five similarities, and five differences, between myself and T.F. This is interesting to no one, except myself, so talk amongst yourselves for the next bit.

1. Name: Tina/Christina
2. I can be funny too, sometimes
3. Both got pregnant with second baby at 40
4. Can't drive; lost virginity at age 23. (These seem related.)
5. Long-suffering husbands

1. She acts
2. She did not breastfeed, and wrote some rude things about breastfeeding moms having nipples the size of dinner plates, maybe because she was feeling defensive. I breastfed each kid for 2 years. While working full time as an editor-in-chief. See: "overachiever," above.
3. She's not really a girl's girl, or at least her show isn't very girly.
4. She's very rich
5. She chooses to continue working, while I threw in the towel except for some half-hearted part-time freelancing as well as full-time complaining.

OKAY. The bus is here.

P.S. I guess what I am saying is that Tina represents the road not taken, or perhaps the road not available to be taken. It is possible that me being jealous of Tina Fey is a bit like a karaoke singer being jealous of Christina Aguilera.


  1. I'm so glad you're such a narcissist.

    I would have written that on the last post, but it took me three days to figure out how to change the settings on my google account so that it would show the proper identity.

    And not to pull the rug out from under anyone, but studies totally show that your kids will inevitably turn out a tiny bit smarter. You know, so there's that.

  2. I'm reading (uh, listening to the audio of) this book right now. I actually think you're both girlier and funnier, but maybe that's just because I know you in person, and not Tina. I really do love Tina Fey, but sometimes I think I love Liz Lemon more, and I get them confused.

  3. I'm thankful you had a few moments to write all the thoughts that were in my head about the amazing Lady Fey.

    The BossyPants cover scares me as well. I feel like Tina is using it to prove that there are things she doesn't care about and is evolved enough to not obsess over. Fey wannabes like myself try to project her carefree, oh-a-book-cover-is-no-big-deal attitude but actually I'd lose sleep coming up with the best (and most flattering photo) cover art for months.

    I guess that's all part of her charm. She makes it look easy to be so funny, smart, and well spoken when talking to Oprah that *I* can believe I can be a Tina Fey too. Hairy arms and all.

    But, seriously, I imagine once Tina reads your post, she's going to start writing you fanmail or at least ask to borrow a sweater.

  4. The cover is scary, but her dad's blurb on the back sort of makes up for it. I love her, too--maybe even more so now that she reminded me of Sea Breeze and Hot Stix (in the beauty tips part of the book).

  5. Your writing may very well have inspired Tina Fey.

  6. I can say without reservation and even with only knowing you a little bit that you are funnier and a much better friend to girls. Also more stylish and fun. I COULD MAKE LISTS, TOO.