Please note: My “Reading Reflections” are not reviews. They are simply my thoughts in response to certain passages.
To whomever found my website by searching “i’m addicted to novels again” — congratulations! That makes me so happy.
(But ironically, today I am posting about non-fiction.)
BOSSYPANTS is really more of a collection of humorous personal essays than it is a true memoir. That said, it does cover Tina Fey’s life from childhood to present day, and it offers insight to her personal life as well as her career. I can’t say that every story was a hit, but I did laugh out loud on more than one occasion.
(Also, I found the background story on the Sarah Palin SNL skits to be particularly interesting. Now I kind of wish Seth Meyers would write a book too.)
This is what I tell young women who ask me for career advice. People are going to try to trick you. To make you feel that you are in competition with one another. “You’re up for a promotion. If they go with a woman, it’ll be between you and Barbara.” Don’t be fooled. You’re not in competition with other women. You’re in competition with everyone. (88)
Underneath Tina’s humor and humility is a noticeable streak of feminism. The normal, non-obnoxious kind. The kind that comes from loving women and believing they deserve equal opportunities. The kind I also subscribe to.
We women have a reputation for being catty, but honestly? In my life, most of my greatest champions have been female. My mother, my lifelong friends, one of my writing professors, certain coworkers, and now my writing group. From what I hear, this is not always the case for women, and that’s a shame. We shouldn’t just be not competing with one another; we should be building each other up, encouraging each other, offering support.
(Well, I suppose all of humanity should be doing that for one another, really. Feminism is in many ways a subset of humanitarianism.)
If you retain nothing else, always remember the most important Rule of Beauty. “Who cares?” (114)
This line — and her whole section on beauty, really — not only made me laugh, but also made me feel better about myself. She’s a smart, funny, successful, and beautiful woman, and she still struggles with all the same issues I do. If she can shrug it off, then maybe so can I.
“The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready; it goes on because it’s 11:30.”
This is something Lorne has said often about Saturday Night Live, but I think it’s a great lesson about not being too precious about your writing. You have to try your hardest to be at the top of your game and improve every joke you can until the last possible second, and then you have to let it go. (123)
Note to self: success does not come from perfection.
You have to let people see what you wrote. It will never be perfect, but perfect is overrated. Perfect is boring… (123)
Second note to self: what she said.
One of the worst parts of all this was that I learned what it felt like to be a lightning rod. I got some hate mail, and there are definitely people who will dislike me for the rest of my life … On an intellectual level, this doesn’t bother me at all. On a human level, I would prefer to be liked. (234)
I think this relates to my previous post about watching what you say on the internet. Because while you do want to take care with your words, you don’t wan’t to be stifled by fear. Be smart, not silent. Otherwise you’ve lost without ever trying.
Do your thing and don’t care if they like it. (145)
Easier said than done, but for creatives, it’s good advice nonetheless.