Saturday, 27 January 2018

IS EVERYONE HANGING OUT WITHOUT ME (AND OTHER CONCERNS) by Mindy Kaling


Mindy Kaling begins this book by answering a few questions: 
This sounds okay, but not as good as Tina Fey's book.  Why isn't this more like Tina Fey's book?
It's true.  Tina Fey's book is much better.  So is Amy Schumer's.  Amy Poehler's on the other hand is much worse.   Why have I read books by pretty much all the female American comedians?  I don't know.  I wouldn't have even thought I cared about them as a group.  It's a bit like when Netflix's algorithm identifies a theme in shows you might be interested in, like  "shows with strong female leads" and it's the revelation of hangups you didn't even know you had.


In any case, perhaps the quality is not especially important. Here is another question: 
I don't know.  I have a lot of books already.  I wanted to finish those GIRL WITH A DRAGON TATTOO books before the movies come out.This book will take you two days to read.  Did you even seen the cover?  It's mostly pink.  If you're reading this book every night for months, something is not right.
This is also true.  I had terrible jet lag, so I read it in a day.   It was fun and perky.  I was struck by her confidence.  Most of her professional issues seem to come from over-confidence, which is really unusual for a woman. 

The main thing however I will remember from this book is the description of one great truth which, in a lifetime of reading, I have never before seen described in writing.  This was the chapter entitled "Why Do Men Put On Their Shoes So Slowly?" A profound question.  Sample:

Why do all the men I know put their shoes on incredibly slowly? When I tie my shoelaces I can do it standing, and I’m out the door in about ten seconds. (Or, more often, I don’t even tie my shoelaces. I slip my feet into my sneakers and tighten the laces in the car.) But with men, if they are putting on any kind of shoe (sneaker, Vans, dress shoe), it will take twenty times as long as when a woman does it. It has come to the point where if I know I’m leaving a house with a man, I can factor in a bathroom visit or a phone call or both, and when I’m done, he’ll almost be done tying his shoes. 
There’s a certain meticulousness that I notice with all guys when they put their shoes on. First of all, they sit down. I mean, they need to sit down to do it. Right there, it signals, “I’m going to be here for a while. Let’s get settled in.” I can put on a pair of hiking boots that have not even been laced yet while talking on my cell phone, without even leaning on a wall.

This topic, of men taking forever to put their shoes on, is one I have wondered at many times myself, but I thought it was just me.  Now having read this, and then googled it (do this, there is an incredible number of hits on this topic), I am only amazed that men have time to run the patriarchy.  I really don't know how they squeeze it in.  Maybe this is why powerful men tend to wear loafers.

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