A Fan Letter Never Mailed

Tina Fey

William Morris Entertainment

9601 Wilshire Blvd, 3rd floor

Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Dear Tina,

(I know my 3rd grade teacher Mrs. Nelms wouldn’t approve of that beginning salutation for a formal-type letter but since you and I are the same age and, after reading your book, I feel like we are best friends—or at least former college suitemates—and since Mrs. Nelms always made me so nervous that I ate those rubber grippy things you slide on pencils so that you won’t get calluses, I really think that it’s okay.)

I finished reading Bossy Pants and I wanted to let you know my one and only criticism: It was too short. I read it in the evenings while my husband read less scholarly tomes like biographies about Teddy Roosevelt or the History of Cancer. I would giggle and chuckle at the close of each of your anecdotes and observations and he eventually stopped asking me what was so funny. (Come to think of it, he never actually asked me what was so funny.)

Since your book has done so well, I’m assuming there’ll be a sequel (Bossy Pants II: Electric Boogaloo? Bossy Capris: Spring Edition? Bossy Elastic Waist Band Pants: Stories from My Forties?) Here are some ideas for your next book:

  1. Kids are so literal.

My 6 year-old son Knox saw the cover of your book and asked me why your arms looked like that. I told him that those aren’t your arms. He said, “Whose arms are they?” “I don’t know,” I said. “Does she know?” (meaning you) “I guess” and on and on.

  1. Skin tags.

I got those darn flappy things in the weirdest places when I was pregnant. It’s the scariest thing to snip them off with the fingernail clippers and see the little gray blob in the sink but it’s all a part of the great Circle of Life. If we don’t get rid of them they’ll slowly overtake us…

  1. Interfacial marriages

I always feel guilty when I see a couple that are physically-mismatched and I find myself thinking “Boy, she must be reeeeally nice.”

Love you!

See you at the college reunion!

Tooting my own horn

Saturday, I drove to a Hyatt in Brentwood to pitch my novel to a new publishing house. (I guess I should explain that I wrote a book a few years ago and I have had zero success getting anyone to publish it. I would actually settle for getting a literary professional to read it at this point.) I sat across a small table from three lovely ladies. I had my book proposal in hand and only my wits to keep me from shaking apart into tiny bite-sized pieces.

Here’s the unnerving part: I had to “sell” my story. “Who would want to read it? Why? What’s the marketing plan? (I totally gave up on that one.) What experience have you had?” I’d forgotten what it’s like to sit through an interview, seeing as how I have been unemployed for ten years. I’m unaccustomed to lauding my accomplishments and talents. Sure, I fantasize that the produce manager at Kroger will approach me after he’s seen how carefully I select my cantaloupes and compliment my expertise. But praise for stay-at-home moms is few and far between. If we get a “good supper, mom” we’re ecstatic!

I propose that we should begin an evaluation system similar to when I was teaching. Three or four times a year, I can sit down with Brent and the kids and they can tell me how I’m doing. Maybe they can fill out a sheet with specifics and numbers one to five. (I came across an old evaluation form from when I was teaching recently. I got fives–the highest number–on everything but grooming. What?! That must have been when I started casting off my apple-themed jumpers.)

Now that I think of it, I may be better off the way it is. Do I really want to know if Ella finds the scent of my fabric softener choice too strong? Will Lucy give me a poor grade for “frequency of vacuuming”? What would Knox say about my treat to vegetable ratio?

Never mind the evaluation. I take it back. If my family isn’t going to toot for me, I’ll have to just learn to do my own tooting. Hmm …poor word choice but you get the idea.