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Tina Fey Bossypants Excerpts: The Mother's Prayer for Its Daughter

by Anne Thompson
April 18, 2011 12:14 PM
1 Comment
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Thompson on Hollywood

In case you live under a rock, 30 Rock creator-star Tina Fey's new book, Bossypants, is getting good reviews like this one in the LAT:

But any concern that Fey, like so many before her, has been ruined by fame is quickly dispelled by "Bossypants," a book that reminds you why Fey has succeeded where so many have failed — because she is precise, professional and hilarious. At first, "Bossypants" appears to be just more of the same — there's Fey on the cover looking fabulous but not owning it (her airbrushed face is framed by two large and hairy male arms) and the back is filled with fake and self-deprecating quotes regarding her appearance and talent. Pay them no mind; inside lies a collection of autobiographical essays that should (but of course won't) prove once and for all that pretty is nowhere near as important as funny, and funny doesn't work without that rare balance of truth and heart.

And her "The Mother's Prayer for Its Daughter" is making the rounds. Yes, she's a smart writer as well as a mom:

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.

Here's a Guardian feature and one of many video interviews:

 

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More: Video, Books, TV, Interviews

1 Comment

  • Dixon Steele | April 19, 2011 11:42 AMReply

    The Barnes & Noble in Union Square gets many celeb authors doing in-store appearances touting their books. I've been there for several and Steve Martin's recent stop packed the seats.

    But nothing was like Fey's appearance last week. It was like a rock star showed up. Overflowing crowds and lines like I've never seen before.

    The book's not bad either...

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