Hello Blogstalking Bookworms!
This book club is the brain child of the beautiful and talented Lauren of Filing Jointly…Finally (who Justin Timberlake may or may not have slapped with a restraining order…) Did you read along with us this month? Our selection was Rachel Dratch’s memoir, Girl Walks Into A Bar… Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle. I’ve pretty much decided that the world’s most amazing slumber party would include Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling. I want them to be my friends! (Lauren, you can totally come to our slumber party, JT won’t be there.)
So. Girl Walks into a Bar… starts out with Rachel’s post Saturday Night Live life. She was a cast member from 1999-2006. These were some of my prime SNL watching years. I really wanted to find a clip of this sketch, but I couldn’t, so I’m just going to describe it and do it no justice whatsoever. Okay? So. Rachel Dratch and Jimmy Fallon played these obnoxious Boston teenagers named Sully and Denise. They were always going to keggers, getting wasted, having loud fights, and making out in the middle of them. Good fun. The sketch that cracked me up was when Ben Affleck hosted. Affleck lost it in a big way and kept saying “Bro…. bro…Bro. Bro! Bro.” Everyone in the scene was cracking up, which somehow makes everything THAT MUCH FUNNIER when you’re watching SNL at home, alone, in your childhood bedroom. Anyway. It was hysterical. Do any of you have a favorite Rachel Dratch SNL story to share? Please tell me I’m not the only person who spent her formative Saturday nights at home alone watching television!
Dratch was on poised for what should have been a brilliant post SNL career. She was even cast as Jenna in the pilot for 30 Rock (her good pal Tina Fey’s brain child.) Only. Well. As Dratch puts it, in real life she’s a decent looking lady. Unfortunately, by Hollywood’s impossible standards, she’s…not. When they tested the pilot for 30 Rock she was replaced with Jane Krakowski (let’s not take anything away from Jane’s work though- her Jenna is fantastically psychotic.) Dratch was all “well, that sucks, but TV is like that. We’re cool, Tina. We’re cool, Jane. I’ll do some weird characters from time to time.” Sadly, it would not go quietly into that good night! The media picked up on the story and it was all “Scandal! Homely Dratch replaced by Bombshell!” To add insult to embarrassment, the only roles Dratch was being offered were for lesbian secretaries. What the what? Reading this portion of Dratch’s memoir made me sad. Then, because I’m terribly self involved, I started to worry about how ugly Hollywood would think I am. Anybody else experience this neurosis?
Dratch decides to tackle her life with sporadic work by meeting the NYC dating scene head-on. Before Dratch could date effectively, she had to break out of her comfort zone. She had TONS of social engagements… With her gal pals, comedy guys, and gay man friends. Oh Rachel Dratch! This is why I love you! I went to my junior prom with a gal pal (and we bought a couple’s ticket even though we got weird looks from the administration because DAMNIT, if we had to go to prom without dates, we were going to save $10.) I went to two homecoming dances and my senior prom with gay dudes (it wasn’t like a secret or anything, we all knew where we stood. We both got to dance and nobody got to make out with anybody. The parentals were actually quite pleased with this arrangement.) Even though it’s kind of off-topic, I’d love to hear your weird high school dance stories!
Whenever I read dating horror stories, I’m always shocked that somewhere all these nightmare people likely eventually find someone to put up with their weird crap. How’s about the drunken horse meat guy? He’s everything on paper- good job, speaks foreign language, hungers for equine flesh… Riiight. Eventually she does meet a nice guy. They live on opposite coasts, but that’s not important. They hang out! They drink wine! They eat delicious foods! And then Rachel gets pregnant! By accident! At 43! Oops! This part kind of cracked me up, actually. It’s funny because everyone always thinks unexpected pregnancies happen to under informed teenagers, but some of my favorite people were late in reproductive life woopsies. After Rachel had come to terms with the idea that she’d never have kids BAM! Left hook from a pee stick.
I was more touched by this book that I expected to be. I mean, I expected to laugh, which I did, but I didn’t expect it to be so deeply personal. I love that this ends with Dratch getting a happy ending she never expected. Sure, she’s still only being offered roles for lesbian secretaries, but she found joy in a life she did NOT see coming. I love the message this gives about life’s unpredictability. Sure, things may not go according to plan, but if you find the humor in life and keep your head high, you might end up at a magical slumber party with Rachel Dratch! How did everyone else like the book? Tell me about it!
Next month’s book club selection will be Matched by Ally Condie. It’s YA literature, but everybody’s reading it, so we must too! (Peer pressure. I’m susceptible.)