Oftentimes I read a book and think, “I’d like to be friends with that person.” Sometimes I get so attached that I think I actually AM that person’s friend, like when I think “How’s Claire doing? Haven’t heard from her in a while.” and then I remember she just wrote a book I liked, I don’t know her from Adam. But usually I read a rad book but just think, “that was great. I will read more from this author, if they write more.” and leave it at that. However, the experience of reading Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) just made me feel like she and I need to be friends, and it would be such a mutual win-win. Here’s why:
1. I fill out a gold spandex music video costume much better than Ellie Kemper.
Mindy is friends with her co-star on The Office, Ellie Kemper, and that is great, as Ellie is hilarious and they seem to have a lot of fun together. But my overall feeling from reading Mindy’s book is that she has been spending way too much time with skinny gals and she needs some thick chicks like me around her. The part in her book where she cries in the bathroom stall because she’s at the photo shoot (ironically for People’s Most Beautiful issue) and all they have are size 0 dresses just about broke my heart. She wonders if she should just lose 20 pounds so these things don’t keep happening to her, and I want to take her by the shoulders and say, “No! You are so damn perfect just as you are! It’s insanity that those dipshits only brought dresses for mannequins! Eat a sub and enjoy life! You’re holding it down on network TV as a hot, normally-curvy woman, and you must continue.” A huge part of her book is how she feels about her weight which I think is actually pretty awesome because people don’t talk about that stuff openly, but overall my feeling was, “Chubby?! Seriously? Girl, you just need to spend more time out of L.A., in the company of ladies who can brunch you under the table. Okay that sounded dirty but you get my drift. Be my bud and we’ll swap clothes (we’re the same damn size and we both love fashion!!) and eat well.” I’m not hating on skinny ladies, I’m just saying Mindy needs some girls with booty like me to round out (you see what I did there?) her friend group.
2. I’m a Gentile and I’m Totally Interested in Hearing More about Your Mom.
Mindy bemoans the fact that since all her friends are Jewish guys, she never feels heard when she gushes about her mom. Their eyes glaze over and they start to think about how awesome their own mom is, and don’t really believe Mindy’s mom could ever be as cool as theirs. And Mindy’s mom sounds friggen amazing — she’s a doctor, a great cook, and in a kick-ass long-term marriage. I’m Irish. We’re fiercely loyal to our Mas but we don’t talk about them much. So Minds, gab on about your incredible mother, and I’ll ooh and ahh and really mean it. She’s clearly fascinating.
3. My Husband and I Are Such Pals
In her chapter entitled “Married People Need To Step It Up” Mindy calls for more married couples who are friends and lovers at the same time. Well, Joel and I are 11 years in to our relationship, and we still have fun everywhere we go. We make songs together under the name Him Downstairs — usually we just record them, laugh, and never let them see the light of day, but we are actually performing some of them on February 4th at Queens Nails in SF. Want to come see us in action? It’s going to be a weird futuristic performance with awesome costumes and if you showed up it would be like Christmas in Africa. But I digress. The most important part of a marriage is the friendship, because shit gets real in long-term love, and you need someone you can crack up with even when you’re late on rent, sleep-deprived and the sink is full of very un-sexy dishes. It just may be time to watch a marathon of Sons of Anarchy and binge on corner store treats to forget your troubles together. On New Year’s Eve we went to fun party, but left early to ring in the new year alone together, because it’s just more fun that way. We have ridiculous un-cutesy nicknames for each other — first and foremost of which is “Bines”. Oddly enough, we somehow managed to adopt the surname of an RA from our college as our pet name for one another, to the point where our friends call us both Bines and have no idea why or where it originated. Mystery solved? I feel sad for your friend whose marriage is only hard work, but I do have to admit that it is quite a bit of work, some of the time. You do have to put in the long processing hours when you’d rather be painting your toenails, you do have to go couples therapy every few years for a tune-up, you do have to compromise and say you’re sorry all the time. But it is worth it, especially if you end up with someone who knows your airplane drink order (gingerale and cranberry) by heart and will stay up late trying to beat a video game with you. So, we do exist, Mindy, the married couples who are also friends and call each other by their last names (I do it even though we have the same last name, which can get confusing) and I think you’d like to have a picnic with us and watch us give each other shit about whose culture has better food. It would warm the cockles of your commitment-craving heart.
4. I Could Teach You Some Fly Dance Moves
The piece about your dance audition for Bombay Dreams had me laughing so hard my husband kept asking, “What’s wrong? Are you okay?” So I’m glad I got that out of my system before we go out dancing together, which we will clearly do next week. I will help you learn how to shake your mane in a classy way that also keeps you from feeling self-conscious because you don’t have to look at your dance partner. I won’t make you learn “the box step” or shame you for not know what a ball-change is. Just stick with me, we’ll rock out together. Also, I always know how to light up a Karaoke bar, never choosing a lame crooner, always a party-starter or interesting non-sequiter, so I won’t let you down at our post-party in Koreatown.
5. All Your Best Friend Rights and Responsibilities Make Perfect Sense to Me
I considered printing them out for potential BFFs in the future. But then I realized I just needed to make you my BFF, and my work would be done. Swapping wardrobes? Check (see #1: I know you can’t share clothes with Jocelyn and Brenda they way we could). Sleeping in the same bed? Obvi. Honesty yet gentleness about appearance? I got you. People call me Emily Blunt, I’m so truthful. But I will be nice, I promise. And all the rest, too, especially the ones about taking care of one another and being considerate — I’m great at reciprocal friendships, for realz.
6. Your List of Favorite Eleven Moments in Comedy is Classic and Dead-on
I have seen all of them, and we can watch them over and over and laugh while eating freshly popped popcorn and texting Beyonce. I love that you included the Racial Draft sketch. But I’d have to add Bernie Mac’s bit in The Original Kings of Comedy and I hope you’ll agree it will make a nice baker’s dozen for your list.
7. I Think We Have The Same Sexual Values
I don’t think it’s prudish or weird that you aren’t into one-night stands and don’t understand hooking up. I totally believe in monogamy as well and it makes me sad when I read those crazy articles about how culture is changing and no one wants commitment anymore. And I would never ditch you for Burning Man, which I think fits into this category.
8. I am the Queen of Irish Exits and Will Never Shame You For Using Them at Will.
In fact, I will cover for you like it’s nobody’s business. When people ask, “Where’s Mindy?” I’ll reply, oh, she had to go check on her car. It was acting really weird on the way over, so she’s just making sure it will still run later, much later, when she properly says goodbye to each of you at the end of the party. In fact, maybe I should go see if she needs this wrench I keep in my purse for such occasions…” at which point I would do an Irish Exit of my own and text you to see if you want to meet up to eat spicy curly fries and talk about why that party was so lame. In grad school I was so infamous for leaving without telling anyone that if I started getting antsy my friend Jason would say “Goodbye Rhea. Just go.”
9. I have seen about as many episodes of The Office as Evan Lieberman
So, I’m not some crazy stalker who would be saying “That’s what she said” after everything you say, or would just want to be introduced to your famous friends. However, unlike Evan, I would never bail on you via text, with some lame “I’m feeling under the weather frowny face” excuse. In fact, as I compile this list, I realize a lot of it is reassuring you that I won’t flake out on you. I know there’s a lot of woo-woo types in California, but the only flakey thing about me is my delicious pie crust.
10. Every Friendship Needs Some Drama
POSSIBLE POINTS OF CONTENTION: Of course I follow you on Twitter (I may be an over-worked mom but I find time for the things that matter) and it appears that you are a big fan of one Ms. Deschanel. Well, in case you haven’t heard, she is my nemesis so the two of you could not be buds. But I do concede that the blog she’s a co-founder of, Hello Giggles, is kickass even though that name makes me want to throw up the egg and cheese sandwich I had for elevenses. Also, would you be willing to do the lionshare of the travel for this long-distance friendship? I’m not a hater but I don’t adore L.A. Wouldn’t you rather come see me in the lovely Bay-to-the-A? After all, you are my new …