humor · nonfiction

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

why-not-meI read (and was very entertained by) Mindy Kaling’s first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and Other Concerns). Her second book Why Not Me? was a delightful and hilarious look at the developing woman that is Mindy. I really enjoyed that she recognized that we can continue to grow and change as people even after we leave college and get our first jobs if we are introspective and willing to work. Plus, some of that growing is hilarious.

I laughed (really really hard) at some of the essays especially the one highlighting her Hollywood grooming tips and tricks. To quote the fantastic Micah McCain, “I told you it was a wig!” Side note: have you seen his parody of Beauty and the Beast? Watch it here at Bonjour Girl.

And, of course, she created an immediate kinship between the two of us when she talked about some of her insomnia inducing concerns.  Don’t worry Mindy, absolutely no one knows how much natural gas actually costs.  You can attempt to use the Apples to Apples comparison chart but it will just raise more questions than it gives answers. In the end we all get overwhelmed and just pay the damn thing before they take our heat away.

Beyond being hilarious and willing to show her readers some snippets of her life, this book asks an important question, “Why not me?” When I first saw the cover I thought she was asking, “Why is everyone else getting a turn and not me?” And this might be because she is posed half way in the door like everyone’s sibling interrupting an activity. But what she really is asking is more like, “Why the hell not me you dumb lazy jerk?” while she closes the door to her office and gets back to work on one of her many jobs.

Her final essay bears the same title as the book and it is that piece that will probably stick with me forever.  I will forget about her faux pregnancy Spanx (Nope. I won’t. That was amazing.) and I might not remember which is her favorite McDonald’s value meal, but I will remember the importance of that question. When challenged to grow as a person and change something about your life we are encouraged to ask “Why not?” instead of “Why?” Mindy Kaling takes this question one step further. When a job needs to be done or an opportunity arises it is not “Why me?” but “Why not me?”

From now on, I think this will be my rally cry.

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