My biggest problem with celebrity memoirs is that they are self-serving, full of google-able facts and celebrity shout outs. I only care about one of those things—I love when celebs call out other celebs. It’s great. And, it makes me feel like I’m a part of their inner friends circle.
Yes, Amy Poehler has the unapologetic celeb call outs. I mean, her best friends are people I idolize and want to be
friends with. And, yes. She jokes about how self-centered writing a book is. She literally spends 7 hours talking (because I listened to the audiobook) about herself and her experiences.
But, here’s what Amy does that Lena Dunham and Mindy Kaling sometimes failed to do: Get to the point.
I feel like she wants her readers to learn from her life experiences. Sure there are treats for her fans: anecdotes about her time on Saturday Night Live and fun stories about the cast of Parks and Recreation. But everything is meaningful and significant to her.
It’s like she started writing with something in mind. She sat down and said: “I want readers to know how to apologize.” Insert story about failing to apologize when it was needed (“Apologies have nothing to do with you. They are balloons in the sky. They may never land.”). And then, “I want them to know aging doesn’t suck.” Insert story (well, lots of stories) about getting old and staying fabulous (“Fighting aging is like the War on Drugs. It is expensive, does more harm than good, and has been proven to never end”).
Here are a few of my favorite passages from the memoir (self-help book) penned by my hero: Amy Poehler.
- “I woke up apologizing for my snoring and he (EEK NICK KROLL, NICK KROLL!) pulled out the two earplugs he had worn to bed so that he could hear what I was saying. It was one of the most romantic gestures I have ever seen.”
- “I think we should stop asking people in their twenties what they “want to do” and start asking them what they don’t want to do.” — HERO.
- “It’s called Yes Please because it is the constant struggle and often the right answer. Can we figure out what we want, ask for it, and stop talking? Yes please. Is being vulnerable a power position? Yes please. Am I allowed to take up space? Yes please. Would you like to be left alone? Yes please. I love saying “yes” and I love saying “please.” Saying “yes” doesn’t mean I don’t know how to say no, and saying “please” doesn’t mean I am waiting for permission. “Yes please” sounds powerful and concise. It’s a response and a request. It is not about being a good girl; it is about being a real woman. It’s also a title I can tell my kids. I like when they say “Yes please” because most people are rude and nice manners are the secret keys to the universe.” — I loved this justification
- “Decide what your currency is early. Let go of what you will never have. People who do this are happier and sexier.” — I think mine is wordsmithing. Does writing turn guys on?
- “Try to care less. Practice ambivalence. Learn to let go of wanting it. Treat your career like a bad boyfriend.” This was followed by a lengthy comparison of a career to a bad bf. It was so inspiring and motivating—not to be so motivated with careers. EESH sounds bad, but it was so so good.
- “Let me take a minute to say that I love bossy women. Some people hate the word, and I understand how “bossy” can seem like a shitty way to describe a woman with a determined point of view, but for me, a bossy woman is someone to search out and celebrate. A bossy woman is someone who cares and commits and is a natural leader.” —Bossy Pants shout out?
- “When your children arrive, the best you can hope for is that they break open everything about you. Your mind floods with oxygen. Your heart becomes a room with wide-open windows. You laugh hard every day. You think about the future and read about global warming. You realize how nice it feels to care about someone else more than yourself. And gradually, through this heart-heavy openness and these fresh eyes, you start to see the world a little more. Maybe you start to care a teeny tiny bit more about what happens to everyone in it.” The way she loves her boys is tear worthy. Well, except when she said she wanted to eat them….
- “I swear, if I could eat my children, I would. I’d consume them like some beast in a Hieronymus Bosch painting, but in a friendlier, more momlike way. Their little bodies make me salivate. It takes everything I have not to swallow them whole.” Yet, I still get it.
- “Girls, if a boy says something that isn’t funny, you don’t have to laugh.” I seriously need to remember this.
- “Being foolish was the smartest thing to do.” Not sure if I remember the context, but I completely identify.
READ OR LISTEN YOURSELF. IT’S WORTH IT.