Dear Amy Poehler,
Unfortunately, I'm writing with some bad news. I'm breaking up with you.
I know some might consider it bad form to break up with you right before Valentine's Day, but I have too much respect for you to fake it. Plus, I promised at the beginning of our pretend relationship four days ago, that I would always keep it real. Everyone knows the cornerstone of keeping it real is honesty. And honesty dictates that I not go through the motions just to get through Valentine's Day, then turn around and dump your adorable arse on Monday. So, I'm doing it now. I'm a stand-up girl that way.
I feel I owe it to you to explain my sudden change of heart. After all, it was just a scant four days and forty pages ago* that I announced to everyone how crazy I was about you. When I opened your book Yes Please it was love at first sight. But I had no idea what you were going to do just a few chapters later.**
Sure, I've had flings with other memoirs and their authors before. Tina Fey's Bossypants was fun while it lasted. Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? made a fool out of me by prompting public outbursts of laughter when I was all by my lonesome.
But your book was different. From the first page of your preface, I connected with you in a very real way. You were hilarious, sure. But you also told some deep truths. You really "got" me. And more than that, you were good to all women, everywhere. ou encouraged us to be strong and confident -- to pay no mind to either outside forces that sought to keep us down or even the demons inside of our own heads. I loved your message!
Then, immediately after helping us to our feet and encouraging us to stand tall, you pulled the rug out from under us by ridiculing us with two full pages of haikus that ripped on everything from Botox and fillers to boob jobs, face lifts and cheek implants. In that moment, you stopped being a funny, cool and supportive girlfriend, and morphed into a scary girl who wasn't above throwing a glass of wine in our face.
In case you've forgotten your haiku hari-kari, here's a little refresher:
I have no idea
If you are angry or sad
Since you got fillers
And also this one:
Hey, shooting poison
In your face does not keep you
From turning fifty.
It's not just that these haikus seemed to contradict your earlier message, they weren't even that funny; they were just kind of mean.
Reading these haikus made me feel sad, angry and just plain tired, but you didn't pick up on any of this. You just kept going as if everything was still fine between us.***
A few pages later you were back in supportive mode when you launched into a discussion of pregnancy and childbirth. You opined that everyone has the right to decide what approach is right for her.
"That is the motto women should constantly repeat over and over again. Good for her! Not for me."
And on the topic of whether or not to have drugs for anything from childbirth to dental work, you again espoused a "to each her own" philosophy.
"This is what adults do. They demand or deny drugs on their own terms."
I was barely forty pages into your (mainly) hilarious and awesome book, and I had already watched you go from amazing to bitchy and then back to amazing again. I felt like I was in a relationship with a really funny and adorable version of Sybil.****
You're seven years younger than me, so I realize that your haiku rant may have been fueled by the hubris of youth. Honestly, it kind of reminds me of something I might have said back when I was your age. But, the truth is I've mellowed out over the years. I'm no longer down for that kind of wild ride.
So, I have no choice but to break up with you. But, before I sign off, there's something I'd like to say to you on behalf of women of all ages.*****
One person may eschew makeup and nail polish because these are artificial means of improving one's looks, while most other folks don't think twice about these things. Someone else may feel that applying chemicals to one's hair every six weeks to achieve a different color and/or to cover any gray may be fine, but Botox is creepy and wrong. Another person may think Botox and fillers are no big deal, but surgical procedures are the epitome of grotesque vanity. And, yet, others think all of the above is a-okay.
Here's my point: Unless you've never worn makeup, never colored your hair and never had braces, you don't have standing to criticize what other people do to feel good about their appearance. No, I take that back. Even if you've never done any of those things, you still don't have standing, because everyone gets to make up her own rules about what she's comfortable doing in the interest of looking and feeling her best.
I have rules of my own on this topic, but I won't share them here because I don't want to imply that I somehow think mine are right and everyone else's are wrong. I have lived long enough to realize that my views sometimes change over time.****** I've learned that it doesn't pay to go on the record with strong opinions: A. On topics that don't matter all that much, and, B. That are likely to evolve over time. I have to eat enough crow as it is.
So, Amy, this is where we say goodbye. I'll always cherish our time together******* even though the ending was a little rough. They say time heals all wounds; but speaking from personal experience, a microderm and a glycolic acid peel can really stimulate cell growth and speed along the process.
Happy Valentine's Day!
* I'm a slow reader, I know; but I have things to do, too, you know. I can't just hang on your every word all day long.
** So, it's all your fault, really. You singlehandedly ruined a really good thing. I hope you're proud of yourself.
*** In your defense, the Botox tune up I may or may not have gotten a few weeks ago could have thrown you off.
**** I'm already developing a sitcom based on this premise, so don't you and Tina Fey go getting any bright ideas.
***** And by "all ages" I mainly mean the ones over 50.
****** For example, I used to think pedicures were for the ridiculously rich and pampered. Then I came to believe pedicures were just fine for regular adults, but unless your goal was to raise another Paris Hilton, they were definitely not okay for kids. Now my daughter and I routinely enjoy getting pedicures together while she eats caviar snack packs, and I drink champagne laced with 24-karat gold. Live and learn.
******* Well, at least the first three and half days of it, anyway.