by Meredith O’Brien
The day that Emmy-winning writer, 30 Rock  producer/actress/writer and working mom Tina Fey’s memoir Bossypants  went on sale, I was right there in Barnes & Noble purchasing my copy.
I quickly devoured the 275-page quirky collection of personal essays and learned a lot about Fey, who, despite a New Yorker piece  last month in which she questioned what having a second child would do to her career, recently announced she’s pregnant with her second child. What did I learn about Fey from reading the book?
Tina Fey has to juggle too.
Fey wrote about one particularly insane week capped by a weekend where she taped scenes of 30 Rock with Oprah Winfrey, prepped to do her first Sarah Palin impersonation for Saturday Night Live and planning for her daughter’s third birthday party.
The Peter Pan themed birthday party, believe it or not, was stressing her out when she “could not find Peter Pan plates or cups. You can find Tinkerbell or Captain Hook, but no Peter Pan . . . I had less than a week! Captain Hook cups mixed with Tinkerbell plates would have to suffice.” And the birthday presents she ordered on Amazon, didn’t arrive until Friday, two days before the party, and she had to wrap them in her 30 Rock dressing room. How crazy was that jam-packed day before the party?
“Saturday, September 13, I got up at six a.m. and filmed my scenes with Oprah at Silvercup Studios in Queens . . . Between setups I sat with my daughter on my lap and watched Governor Palin on YouTube and tried to improve my accent. Oprah seemed genuinely concerned for me . . . ‘You’re going there [to Saturday Night Live] right after this?!’ . . . Around 5:30 p.m., Oprah and I wrapped and I went over to SNL, but not before stealing an untouched Edible Arrangements bouquet from Oprah’s dressing room to serve at the birthday party the next day.”
Tina Fey gets stressed out about the work-family situation and loses it sometimes.
Fey wrote that at times she has “fantasize[d] about quitting my job” but her because her work is “deeply satisfying and fun” she doesn’t. “Of course I’m not supposed to admit that there is tri-annual torrential sobbing in my office in my office, because it’s bad for the feminist cause,” she said. “It makes it harder for women to be taken seriously in the workplace. It makes it harder for other working moms to justify their choice. But I have friends who stay home with their kids and they also have a tri-annual sob, so I think we should call it even.”
Tina Fey thinks Amy Poehler provided best feminist moment of 2008 election.
“In my opinion, the most meaningful moment for women in the 2008 campaign was not Governor Palin’s convention speech or Hillary Clinton conceding her 1,896 delegates,” Fey wrote. “The moment most emblematic of how things have changed for women in America was nine-months-pregnant Amy Poehler rapping as Sarah Palin and tearing the roof off the place.”
I heartily agree. Re-watch Poehler’s “Palin Rap ” if you’re not sure.
Tina Fey wants us to let sexism roll off our backs (unless it’s getting in the way of our work).
Comedian Fey addressed the ludicrous notion, periodically floated by some idiots, that women are no good at comedy:
“. . . [M]y unsolicited advice to women in the workplace is this. When faced with sexism or ageism or lookism or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: ‘Is this person in between me and what I want to do?’ If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that way. Then, when you’re in charge, don’t hire the people who were jerky to you.”
Her armloads of Emmys for her achievement in comedy would say seem to indicate those fellas were wrong.
Tina Fey is no supermodel.
Not only is Fey’s book filled with self-deprecating comments about her own physical appearance, but she de-glamorizes what it’s like to be the subject of a magazine photo shoot:
“You’ll be introduced to the stylist and shown racks and racks of clothes. She has been given your sizes ahead of time and has chosen to ignore them. All the shoes will be too big and all the pants and skirts will be a 5T . . . You must not look in [the full-length mirror] at your doughy legs and flat feet, for today is about dreams and illusions, and unfiltered natural daylight is the enemy of dreams. When you inevitably can’t fit into a garment, the stylist’s assistant will be sent in to help you.”
Tina Fey knows just what to say to those mean-spirited, misogynistic commenters on the internet.
When one commented called her an “ugly, pear-shaped, b*^%y, overrated troll,” she replied wittily in her book: “To say I’m an overrated troll, when you have never even seen me guard a bridge, is patently unfair. I’ll leave it for others to say if I’m the best, but I am certainly one of the most dedicated trolls guarding bridges today. I always ask three questions, at least two of which are riddles.”
Tina Fey has penned the coolest “Mother’s Prayer” around.
“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.”
Now that I’ve finished Bossypants, I think I like Fey even more than I thought possible.