I just finished reading Bossypants. Devoured, I should say; I have no idea what took me so long. Why, Tina Fey and I have a ton in common! We live in the same neighborhood, on the same street, we’re both moms in New York City, we both got our start in improv and sketch comedy, we both have worked hard to be perceived as “funny” (period) and not just “funny (for a chick).”
We both have dark hair that’s just ehh. Um, and I know her manager.
Sure, there are a half dozen Golden Globes and Emmys that we don’t have in common, but after reading her book I’m more certain than ever that we’d be best friends. If, that is, we only actually knew each other. I passed Tina and her daughter on the street a couple years ago (this was back when she still wore glasses all the time, but she wasn’t on the street. Only I saw through her Clark-Kent-in-reverse disguise.) It took every ounce of resolve I had not to turn and chase her and say “Here’s my number! We’re seriously EXACTLY ALIKE! Uh ha ha ha!” But deep down I know: She’s got plenty-a mom stalkers. She’d just not be that into me.
Right now one of my friends has an eleven-year-old daughter already learning the heartbreak of an unrequited female crush. “I watched her trailing up the block after these two girls,” my friend said (mad enough to spit nails), “these two little… JERKS… who have no time for my daughter, and it kills her. And I want to say, ‘You have terrible taste in friends! They don’t like you, and GREAT! Who cares!’ But since everything I say these days is suddenly wrong…” My friend’s voice trailed off here. She shook her head. The only way for her daughter to learn that lesson is the hard way.
Admittedly, Tina Fey’s cutting rejection of me is entirely in my head, but there is this one mom at my kids’ school that just… doesn’t like me. Actually, I think she might be sitting home making voodoo dolls of me, based on the looks she casts my way at dropoff. This particular mom is very attractive, very put together at all times, but she’s still always sizing everyone else up, making sure she’s the fairest 1st grade mom of all.
And I mean, she IS. All of us would readily cede the crown to her. Her hair is ironed; her JEANS are ironed. But there’s something about me she doesn’t like. I can tell. Why should I care? I’ve done nothing. Everyone knows she’s not the friendliest. But when I say “hi” and smile my warmest smile and she just looks back at me with her dead eyes, like I don’t make SENSE, like I’m a poster on the subway platform for a movie that came out eighteen months ago, it’s just- weird! It’s freaking weird. And it ruins many a walk home for me, I’m a little freaked out, and obsessed with WHY she’s just not that into me, and then obsessed by why I CARE so much about why she’s not that into me… you see how it goes.
So I wonder: in a hallway full of nice, upfront, friendly women, why is my attention magnetized to the single person who isn’t? Why do we, as women, give other women that power? Is there a woman like this in your life? How do you make yourself stop chasing the woman who’s just not that into you?
Also, if you know Tina Fey, tell her I totally said hi.