“Now that I am older life seems full of things to worry about. Sometimes I search for bad news as if reading the details will protect me somehow. I call it tragedy porn. I will fill myself up with every horrible detail about the latest horrible event and quote it back to people like some bad-news know-it-all. Remember that Austrian dad Josef Fritzl who raped his daughter and kept her and her kids in the basement for twenty-four years? I do, because I spent many nights reading every horrible specific fact about it and talking about it to everyone who would listen, until one day Seth Meyers gently reminded me that I worked at Saturday Night Live and it was a comedy show and maybe I was bumming everybody out. At the end of the year the “Update” team surprised me with a framed copy of an Entertainment Weekly cover Seth and I had posed for. They replaced Seth’s face with Josef Fritzl’s. I am smiling and pulling at his tie. This is what it is like to work in comedy. Hilarious and horrifying.”
I received this book as a Christmas gift and stopped reading it because the end was approaching too quickly and I needed to stockpile it on my shelf knowing I could open it at any time and be reassured that someone who shared at lot of the same experiences and opinions about shit with me–but who was older than me and who was so wonderfully reliable as a narrator, and who gave advice with intent, without me having to drag it out of the text and hope she maybe could’ve meant it somehow possibly in application to someone who could have resembled me–at any time.
Well, now felt like a good time.
Most of my lunchbreak was sent texting people quotes from the book. It’s like one big forgiveness check for all the things people don’t like about you. Bad at scary movies? Wish someone would beat up nasty cat callers (even if you feel guilty for wishing it because maybe it makes you seem weak) for you? Didn’t actually have a horrible childhood but fantasized ways you could have in a childish search for adventure? Read about terrible events–crashes, natural disasters, the gross misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time–as a way to attempt to inoculate yourself against it? Are neither as pristinely aloof or as raunchily friendly as seem to be your two options in a landscape of twentysomethings? Well, so was Amy Poehler, and she’s not shit, so there’s hope for you too.