Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tina Fey - My Fantasy Friend

Can I just say how much I love Tina Fey? She is smart, funny and clearly a democrat (no matter how many times she may insist that she isn't a political comic). Even when she sounds just a tad self-important as she did on Fresh Air with Terry Gross last week, I still love her. She has that certain approachable quality and charm that makes me want to not just watch her show, but actually be her friend. Like if we had been in the same class in college we would have totally hit it off, met in the dining hall for lunch, had smart conversations about the latest article in the New Yorker. I feel the same way about Dave Grohl and George Stephanopolis, strangely. What can I say? I have an active fantasy life.

Fey's new book, Bossypants, is out, and in case you have missed the publicity blitz, it is a memoir in the form of humorous essays. This excerpt titled "Prayer for a Daughter" not only is fabulous send up of touchy feely, pseudo-religious Hallmark "prayers," but it absolutely captures the seemingly universal fears that parents have about their blossoming daughters.

Since this excerpt has appeared in about 100 blogs and showed up on Facebook, I am going to assume that the copyright police will not come after me for reproducing it here. (Note to copyright enforcers: Go after the folks at Babble - much deeper pockets.)

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her...
When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels.
What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.

My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.


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