Why I Don’t Hate Tina Fey

8 May

I have a confession to make. Seeing pregnancies on TV, talking about pregnancies, FB announcements  and all of that used to just mildly annoy me. Yeah I may have gotten a bit miffed, but not much more than that. Up until That happened, I didn’t quite get all of these women crying all the time, not being able to handle pregnancy. Yeah, it was a bit hard to see a happily ignorant knocked up woman. But I could handle it I was fine.

Well folks – it’s official. Those days are gone.

You know what led me to have my first cigarette since quitting? Going to see Rio on a Saturday afternoon with my brother and my nephew. *Spoiler Alert* (kind of) – at the end of the film the two blue birds start a family and have little baby blue birds. And the humans make themselves a bit of a family too. Watching this in the theater I wanted to break down right then and there. I held it in until we reached a restaurant and I could excuse myself and go to the bathroom. Then I sat there, in the middle of a burger joint surround by kids. Sitting on a toilet and sobbing like there’s no tomorrow.

A line was officially crossed that day. When my brother dropped me off after the quality family time I immediately lit up. And I sat on a bench and cried some more. Just for good measure.

Once you get to that spot there’s really no turning back. A birth announcement on FB yesterday sent me reeling. A preggo woman working at a convenience store makes me sob. I spent half an hour playing with a friend’s 2-year-old on Thursday and left her apartment only to collapse in the car.

I am officially there. I’m avoiding shows about pregnancy. I’m avoiding happy healthy mothers. I haven’t been on FB, twitter, or the blogs for the last 24 hours just because I can’t even fathom dealing with all of the mother’s day talk. Even if it comes from Infertiles.  And each time I have no choice but to deal – I go to a corner and cry.

Then there’s Tina Fey.

Let me back up for a second.

I love audio books. The last couple of years – I’ve spent more time with audiobooks than with paper books. It’s great for driving, for running errands. I just feel like it’s a good use of my “running around” time.

I have a subscription to audible which allows me one credit a month to download any audiobook I choose. This month I decided (despite it’s rather short 5 hour running time), to download Tina Fey’s “Bossypants”.

I love Tina Fey. Seriously. How could you not love her? The woman is brilliant, yet humble and self deprecating. She’s one of those people who you can just tell is down to earth, and who you’d love to watch “Ferris Bueller” with while eating some pizza. Plus – she’s one of the funniest fucking people on this planet.

But she’s also pregnant. At 40. And it looks like it happened naturally for her. That makes me kind of want to hate her.

But I don’t. I can’t.

Which brings me back to Bossypants. Today was an errand running day. Apart from a teacher’s meeting my day was made up mostly of getting the car washed and other mundane tasks. So when I left the house this morning, I started listening to Bossypants. I have now finished it.

That’s right. I couldn’t put it down. Or in other words – I couldn’t take those earbuds off. All day. Managing databases, cooking dinner – all done with Tina Fey’s jauntily narrated autobiography playing.

Today was the first day I have laughed out loud since That happened. And not once, not twice. Multiple, loud guffaws. Moments of pure and utter joy as Ms Fey described her non-existent beauty routine, and celebrated how adoptive mothers can so easily shut down smug breast feeding mothers (whom she likes to call teat nazis).

My day was made brighter by the musings of this amazing woman. I laughed, I laughed, then I cried.

Yes. Bossypants made me cry. I’m going to quote verbatim the last few paragraphs of the book (sorry but I promise it doesn’t give much away), where Ms. Fey talks about the anxious dilemma she has regarding having a second child (of course this was written before she got knocked up):

I have a great gynecologist who is as gifted at listening as she is at rectal exams. I went for my annual checkup and, tired of carrying this anxiety around, burst into tears the moment she said hello. I laid it all out for her, and the main thing I took away from our conversation was the kind of simple observation that only an impartial third party can provide. “Either way, everything will be fine,” she smiled, and for a little while I was pulled out of my anxious, stunted brain cloud. 

One time my mom babysat a set of the Italian Rum Cake Kids while their parents went to a wedding reception. This was the first time this nice couple had gone out alone since their children were born. Their parents dropped them off after the ceremony. Little Christo and Maria were still all dressed up. Christo wore a tiny black suit and a white shirt. Maria wore a red velvet dress and cried in the playpen from the moment her parents left until the moment they returned. My mom tried everything to console her, food… The end. 

After a couple hours of this, seven-year-old Christo was beside himself. He had never been babysat before. How long was this fuckery going to go on? His sister was hysterical. He paced around our living room, now in his shirtsleeves and black pants. Pulling his golden curls nervously, he looked like the night manager of a miniature diner who had just had a party of six dine and dash. He ranted to his baby sister in Greek, “ 

, vreh βρε Mapia!” This sent my mother running into the dining room laughing hysterically. I chased her. What? What did he say? Roughly translated it was “Oh! My Maria! What is to become of us?” 

His overdramatic ridiculousness tickled my mom in such a specific way that she was doubled over in the dining room, hoping the kids wouldn’t see that she was laughing so hard at them she peed a little. A phenomenon I now understand on all levels. 

They were going to be fine, but they couldn’t possibly believe it. 

That must have been what I looked like to my doctor friend. That must be what I look like to anyone with a real problem—active-duty soldier, homeless person, Chilean miner, etc. A little tiny person with nothing to worry about running in circles, worried out of her mind. 

Either way, everything will be fine. But if you have an opinion, please feel free to offer it to me through the gap in the door of a public restroom. Everyone else does.

And that’s when I started crying.

I don’t begrudge Tina the fact that for her, having a second child is merely a “decision”. If you read the book, I don’t think you will either. I think she’s way too aware and grateful for her particular lot in life. And for me, that’s enough.

Rather, in her words I see myself. She is an anxious and control freaky person. And she is telling me that everything will be fine.

And I feel like crap. I really do. And hearing Tina Fey saying that everything is going to be fine isn’t going to make that feeling go away. But still. I know she’s right (and so’s her gyno). Everything will be fine. Today I laughed. Maybe tomorrow I’ll have some hope again.

Thanks Tina. Happy Mother’s Day.

8 Responses to “Why I Don’t Hate Tina Fey”

  1. Elphaba May 8, 2011 at 22:35 #

    Okay, I didn’t read the whole thing because I have Bossypants on my pile waiting to be read, but I’m glad to hear you liked it.

    And I’m sorry you’re at that point where the sight of pregnant women sends you reeling.. it sucks. And let me tell you, it doesn’t go away…

  2. Esperanza May 9, 2011 at 00:08 #

    OH. MY. GOD! Bossypants is on audible READ BY TINA FEY! I think you just gave me the best Mother’s Day present ever. Thank you! I will be purchasing it right now. I started reading it on my iPhone but listening to it will make me actually want to do chores around the house. I’m so excited.

    I’ve been thinking of you today. I hope get through this difficult day relatively unscathed.

    I wanted to let you know that your video prompted me to send something to a blogger friend who just lost her first and probably last pregnancy. Thank you for that inspiration. I hope my gift can give to her what Marie’s gift gave to you.

    And Happy Mother’s Day to you too. I bet your beautiful babies made you scrambled eggs this morning in spirit.

  3. Betsy May 9, 2011 at 03:34 #

    I loved Bossypants and the mother talk really didn’t bother me. I taped SNL this week but I’m a little leery of watching it because of the promos. Sending hugs to you today!

  4. Kristin May 9, 2011 at 05:48 #

    I’m so glad you found your laugh again.

  5. Kristen May 9, 2011 at 05:54 #

    Sorry you’re feeling like crap (totally understandable though) but glad you were able to laugh. I have been hearing about Bossypants everywhere…can’t wait to read it.

  6. Jjiraffe May 9, 2011 at 08:47 #

    “My Maria, what is to become of us?!” I loved that story, too. I loved the whole book, especially the part about that grim YMCA she worked, where her only potential romantic interests were a guy with no shoulders who led her on or a 60 year old mail room attendant who spoke like Daffy Duck. Them’s slim pickings.

    I’m glad she was able to make you laugh.

  7. Teejay May 9, 2011 at 20:51 #

    I hope she’s right. I saw a couple of her scenes on SNL and i don’t hate her either. I just may have to get this book of hers.

  8. marriage20 May 9, 2011 at 23:58 #

    OMG I love this post!! Except for the fact that you are in pain. But I’m glad you can laugh in your pain. Hugs!!

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