Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Source & Format: Paperback; bought from B&N
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.
This is a book that I have been meaning to check out for a long time. While I am not very big on memoirs, if something seems funny and it is talked about enough, I will most likely at some point need to read it. This is how a great number of books happen to be in my possession.
This doesn’t read like any memoir that I have ever read before, but I think that’s okay. It is a series of essays about many different things in Mindy’s life, and it is incredibly relatable. She writes in a very witty style that just makes it impossible not to fall in love with her. She also has a way of making even the most traumatizing moments of her life (a boy in school calling her a whale) seem like just a hilarious little anecdote.
I love when someone is able to be both serious and funny, and I think that even though this book was mostly the latter, Mindy managed to also give readers something to hold on to. You are left with wondering just WHY it’s so wrong to actually (GASP!) enjoy spending time with parents as a teenager, and why would anyone ever think that high school is actually the ‘thrill of living’? Listen, as someone who absolutely hated high school and thought that watching movies with my mom on a Friday evening was a good time (still does), this book made me feel less alone. Thanks Mindy!
“Teenage girls, please don’t worry about being super popular in high school, or being the best actress in high school, or the best athlete. Not only do people not care about any of that the second you graduate, but when you get older, if you reference your successes in high school too much, it actually makes you look kind of pitiful, like some babbling old Tennessee Williams character with nothing else going on in her current life. What I’ve noticed is that almost no one who was a big star in high school is also big star later in life. For us overlooked kids, it’s so wonderfully fair.”
“I’m the kind of person who would rather get my hopes up really high and watch them get dashed to pieces than wisely keep my expectations at bay and hope they are exceeded. This quality has made me a needy and theatrical friend, but has given me a spectacularly dramatic emotional life.”
“The chorus of “Jack and Diane” is: Oh yeah, life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone. Are you kidding me? The thrill of living was high school? Come on, Mr. Cougar Mellencamp. Get a life.”
Listen, this book is probably not for everybody. I doubt I am going to be telling everyone I know to read it, because lets face it, a lot of the people I know just wouldn’t get it. But, on that note, I do think it is worth reading if you are a person who thinks that laughing at yourself is really good medicine. There’s nothing wrong with a little self-deprecating humor every now and then. I mean, I finished this book in less than a day. It’s not hard to read and you don’t need to invest yourself for long. It’s just a good, fun read.