Who’s bossy?

A few years ago I started getting comments now and then that I reminded the commenter of Tina Fey. I knew vaguely who she was as this was about the time she was becoming well-known for impersonating Governor Sarah Palin. I took this as a compliment. I think Fey is a nice-looking woman. We share some physical characteristics, mostly being brunette and of small stature – though I’m not as small as I once was. I also like to think that my wit and sarcasm play a part in the connection. If it’s a newspaper late night and we’re eating pizza and breadsticks and someone’s brought brownies, Fey’s other character, Liz Lemon, probably springs to mind as she loves to eat. I even had a former student gift me with season one of 30 Rock on DVD. #hooked

So on a recent Girls’ Night Out excursion with three of my besties, I was tickled to get my hands on a copy of Bossypants, Fey’s 2011 book about her life thus far.

Bossypants

Oh, wait, perhaps I should quickly define our version of Ladies’ Night Out. Once a year, the four of us drive to the city (“the city” is how Okies refer to Oklahoma City), to enjoy an annual event for book nerds. The Friends of the Oklahoma City Library System has a huge sale of used library books every February, taking up two big rooms at the State Fairgrounds. We load up various tote bags and wheeled apparatuses, drive the hour and 20 minutes, stand in line for 45 minutes, then bust into one of the rooms where we move between rows of tables with hundreds of other book nerds. Some of these are crazier than we are, as they are pushing or pulling wheeled trash cans, huge plastic bins, and suitcases. You can tell the newbs, standing wide-eyed in the aisles wondering how they’ll carry all their books to the checkout line that’s snaking around the room already. Ah, best night of the year. After up to two hours of “shopping”, we go out to eat. That part’s normal.

ANYWAY, one of my better finds was Bossypants, and it was the second book I picked up to read (following Michael Gates Gill’s How Starbucks Saved My Life, which I devoured the day after the sale). Fey is hilarious. She discusses real life topics, but through her Fey lens. Though she tells it just the way it was, her quirky humor made me laugh out loud. At 10, she wanted to shave her legs, but her mom wanted her to wait. I heard my own mom’s voice as she described her mother’s response, that it was too soon and she’d regret it. Both Fey and I had looked down at what she calls “dark shin fur”, and wondered what the heck we’d regret. We didn’t look like our blonde counterparts. It wasn’t fair. Both our mothers wanted to avoid discussing uncomfortable topics. Her mother had given her a Modess My First Period kit, complete with products and a pamphlet titled Growing Up and Liking It. My own mother had given me a set of books from the Life Cycle Library. I still see these books at the occasional used book store or garage sale and have flashbacks.

Throughout the rest of the book, in that same humor for which she is known, Fey tells readers about her high school years, first loves, going to college, looking for that first job, getting on Saturday Night Live and then her own 30 Rock. She discusses being a mother, being a daughter-in-law and being Tina Fey. And she pulls no punches.

Fey says what we are all thinking but we’re afraid to say. Sound familiar?

That’s what I keep hearing about Donald Trump. “He says what we’re all thinking, but are afraid to say.” Well I don’t like what Trump is thinking or saying, but I like that Fey gal.

Tina Fey for president.

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About teachjournalism
I am a high school teacher of journalism, technology and reading. I advise the school's newspaper and yearbook, both student-led publications. Documenting and sharing my experiences is a way of reflecting to improve my own work and and inviting commentary so that we might all benefit. I believe, as I tell my students each year, that we all learn from each other.

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