Mindy Kaling could be my twin separated by birth (except for that whole age and race difference. but whatever, It could still totally be plausible). Or maybe just the super awesome older & more successful sister I never had. In any case, I ADORE her & want to be BFFs with her (probably the highest compliment I could ever give you).
I stumbled upon her old blog Things I bought that I love a few years ago without knowing it was Kelly Kapoor from “The Office” (a longtime S-Dizzle favorite). I thought it was so funny and witty—when she stopped writing it, I was heartbroken.
Then, a few months ago, her new blog The Concerns of Mindy Kaling launched. I am in LOVE with it (seriously—go read it. But only after you’re finished here.) It’s basically her old format—she blogs about things that she loves (clothes, shows, makeup, people, etc.), but she has a way with words that makes you want to read more (even if it’s about faux ice cubes used to keep whiskey cold!). We write about a lot of the same topics (shoes, pop culture, dumb things that happen) and I’d like to think that our writing styles are similar (but that’s just wishful thinking on my part!).
When I found out she had written a book of essays (similar to the lovely Tina Fey’s Bossypants and the books of my other hero Jen Lancaster), I saved the date & made sure to get my copy on the first day.
Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me is the book I wish I had written.
It’s funny and charming and completely relatable. At one point Mindy writes about things that make her cry (umm, hello, the WORLD makes me cry) lists Paul Simon’s “Graceland” album as one of those things. She says that listening to that specific album reminds her of her parents & being a kid and taking family vacations together. She tries to explain that listening to “Graceland” reminds her of a time lost—things will never be that way again. And it makes her sad.
Substitute “Graceland” for Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever and that’s basically my life.
Sure, this album has the mega hit “Free Fallin”, but that’s not the reason I love it (or why it makes me cry). I love it because it makes me think of my dad (and my mom & siblings too). If you know me (and my family) you’d know that my dad is way more likely to listen to talk radio than music (of any kind). He’s a finance guy & would rather listen to the stock market than anything on FM radio. But he loved (loves) this album. Because it’s sort of rare for him to REALLY love an album, the fact he loves this one so much makes it special.
Every time I hear “Runnin’ Down a Dream” or “I Won’t Back Down”, I’m instantly six years old, hanging out with my mom & dad on a Saturday morning. “Zombie Zoo”? I’m eight, at a backyard BBQ and dancing with my sister and watching our parents socialize with friends. “Alright for Now”? Driving in the car with the whole fam to whatever vacation destination we decided on, singing loudly and laughing at my brother for falling asleep 20 minutes into the drive.
The point is that I have intense, personal memories attached to that particular album and I totally understand Mindy when she says Paul Simon makes her cry. Tom Petty makes ME cry, girlfriend! I get it!
Aside from listing things that make her cry, Mindy talks about growing up nerdy, her awesome relationship with her parents, choosing to go to a college where she could be a big fish in a small pond, and being able to relate to children via NSYNC (and having very serious conversations about which one she would marry). If you’ve known me for any amount of time, you’d note that I ALSO have experience with all of those things. As I’ve experienced every.single.one. (and for the record, the choice of marriage to an NSYNC member would obvs be JC. Or maybe Lance, if you don’t mind having a gay husband).
Reading her book is what I assume hanging out with Mindy Kaling would be: charming, witty, a little snarky and a WHOLE lot of fun.
It goes without saying that I’d urge you to read this book. Just do it. You’ll thank me later.
I’ll leave you with Lee the D’s favorite song (since I talked about it earlier).
Since Christmas is in a week, aforementioned Lee the D and I are braving the mall today. Wish us luck!