Check out my book review of Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling!
I love reading celebrity memoirs. Particularly ones of comedians. I’ve never watched The Mindy Project, and I really knew nothing about Mindy Kaling before picking up this book, other than the fact that she was funny. Apparently that was enough to get me interested.
Memorable quotes (Oops. Couldn’t pick just one):
— “You should know I disagree with a lot of traditional advice. For instance, they say the best revenge is living well. I say it’s acid in the face—who will love them now?”
— “It makes me cry because it means that fewer and fewer people are believing it’s cool to want what I want, which is to be married and have kids and love each other in a monogamous, long-lasting relationship.”
— “If I’m at a party where I’m not enjoying myself, I will put some cookies in my jacket pocket and leave without saying good-bye.”
— “One friend with whom you have a lot in common is better than three with whom you struggle to find things to talk about.”
Book Synopsis from Mindy’s Website
Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence, “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!
In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.
I was hooked from the first sentence. Like I said before, I knew nothing about Mindy Kaling other than her comedic background, but man, I just don’t know if I was prepared for the hilarity that was about to happen in this book. In a good way. First of all, I don’t know how she chose to layout the book in the way that she did, but it was perfect. It’s like every funny thing that has happened in her life can be categorized from multiple instances.
This book isn’t just a memoir; it’s also chockful of some great advice, i.e. don’t peak in high school (everyone who’s anyone was a loser in high school, and we all know it) and karaoke etiquette (I agree with her 100%. I hate when people get onstage and sing a song that they think they can sing well. Karaoke is all about being a temporary DJ. Pick a song that the audience will get into and sing along with you. Obvs). On the karaoke situash (talking about Mindy is making me want to shorten my words I guess), she also mentions to never, ever, ever sing “American Pie.” It may seem like a good idea, and yea the audience will get into for a little bit, but we don’t need you onstage for 9 minutes, especially if you can’t sing.
Why Mindy and I Could Be Best Friends (or sisters? Distant cousins?):
— When Mindy worked as a babysitter, she used boy bands as her “in” to bond with the little girl. If Mindy needs someone to talk to about boy bands all day, hellooooo here I am! She also agreed that JC was the guy she wanted to marry in *NSYNC. JC was my fave back in the day. Granted, I would change my answer to Justin Timberlake now, but for all intents and purposes, JC was the one to marry back in the 90’s.
— She has an outline for “Best Friends Rights and Responsibilities,” including “I Will Try to Like Your Boyfriend Five Times” and “I Will Hate and Re-Like People For You.” She just talks about the things that best friends are supposed to do, most of which are unwritten rules, but she puts them out there for everyone. I could definitely fulfill all of the best friends duties she included, aside from “I Can Borrow All of Your Clothes.” Our sizes are a little different. I know this from her “When You’re Not Skinny, This is What People Want You To Wear” section.
— She understands that “Hooking Up” is confusing. I never understood that term because everyone uses it so loosely. When someone tells me that they hooked up with someone, I always have to clarify what people mean by that. Mindy does the same thing, but to more extreme measures. Apparently she asks too many questions to the point where the person doesn’t even want to talk about it anymore. I’m too nosy to let such a thing happen.
— She’s nosy. She gets some of her ideas by going to coffee shops or bars or restaurants and just sitting next to people who she thinks will be talking about something interesting, and she just eavesdrops. I want to eavesdrop for a living. I think I could be really good at it.
— Weird things make her cry. I’m the same way. I cry in weird parts of movies or at things that have nothing to do with me. Mindy does the same thing.
— She does her best writing when she’s laying under the covers in bed, even though she has a pretty desk that she bought purely for writing purposes. Granted, I have a desktop now, so I like to hand-write things while I’m lying in bed and then transfer said writing onto the computer later.
I give this book a 4 out of 5. Mindy lived such a fascinating life, from her stint as Ben Affleck in her self-directed/written/produced (with her roomie, Brenda) play, Matt & Ben and her experience working for a TV psychic, there was never a part in this book where I was like, “Ugh, she’s so boring.” I love people who can make fun of themselves, and Mindy never stops doing that in this book.
There were some sections of the book that I could have done without like “My Favorite Eleven Moments in Comedy” (for selfish reasons because I didn’t recognize any of these moments due to the fact that I am younger than her and my comedy knowledge is obviously not as vast as hers), “In Defense of Chest Hair” (I am not a fan of chest hair; therefore, I do not want to defend it), and “Revenge Fantasies While Jogging” (I don’t know. I just didn’t enjoy this part.), but for the most part, this book definitely held my attention. There is literally something in this book for everyone! Mindy is a one-of-a-kind comedian, and now I shall go cyber stalk her and watch her in everything she’s ever acted in. The Mindy Project is first on my list.