Bossypants: A winning combination of wit and wisdom

Although actress and comedian Tina Fey wrote her National Bestseller Bossypants in 2011, the book finally made its way to the top of my “to read pile” of texts. I had been interested in reading this book for some time, however reading for work and school always seemed to get in the way.

Needless to say I was thrilled when an assignment for completing my senior, creative writing capstone was to read Fey’s work and pay attention to the framework of her text and her incorporation of sarcasm and wisdom into the commentary on her life.

Fey’s commentary is a mixture of wit and insight, and I would be remiss if I did not count down my five favorite one-liners in Bossypants.

5. “For Jeanne Fey: Happy Mother’s Day. I made this out of macaroni for you.”
The preceding lines are the dedication of the text. As the dedication page is one of the first pages of the text, this line is representative of what the reader can look forward to: wit, wisdom and a relatable text. Fey’s macaroni text is a sarcastic but realistic look at life which any reader should consider a gift. In short, Fey’s text is as relatable as the childhood pastime we have experienced: making art with macaroni.

4. Again, don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions. Go ‘Over! Under! Through!’ and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they won’t. Who cares?”
Fey is discussing being in charge where occasional conflicts arise. These lines showcase the important idea: Not everyone has to like you when you are the boss. It is not your job to change or educate the opinions of others. Often it is just better to let ideas and opinions ebb and flow. Fey drives home the idea that at the end of the day your worth is not measured by the attitudes and opinions of others.

3. “To say I am an overrated troll, when you have never even seen me guard a bridge, is patently unfair.”
The line is included in the chapter, “Dear Internet.” Fey’s statement is a way to answer those internet posts attacking her. This line is Fey’s response to a comment on a website in which the user calls Fey an “overrated troll.” Fey should be commended for her willingness to dive into the world of internet criticism as well as applauded for reducing the anonymity of internet users who use screen names to hide their identity and personally attack others. All aspects considered, what makes her response a standout in the text is the quote showcases the wit audiences have come to expect and love.

2. “Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.”
I imagine everyone can relate to this idea. A reader either has this person in their life or sometimes a reader is that person to others: the one who is constantly pointing out the holes in a leaky boat instead of helping fix the problem. The easiest way to fix a problem is to be proactive. Working to be part of the solutions instead of contributing to the problems is life advice everyone can use and apply to their lives. This quote adds to the universal appeal of this work.

1. “I was a little excited but mostly blorft. “Blorft is an adjective I just made up that means completely overwhelmed but proceeding as if everything is fine and reacting to the stress with the torpor of a possum.”
This is my favorite quote in the book for the simple reason that I have mastered the blorft expression. My friends, family and even professors joke when others are overwhelmed they show it but I somehow manage to keep the same calm expression on my face no matter what is thrown in my direction. I normally joke that remaining calm on the outside, while silently freaking out on the inside, essentially being blorft, is going on the special skills section of my resume. I, without a doubt, wish I invented the word blorft. The quote is my preferred line to revisit.

As a reader comes to the final pages, it becomes clear that Fey works to blend wit and wisdom to create a life story which is not only worth telling but worth learning from. What Fey produces is a work which is universally appealing and relatable, while causing readers to irresistibly laugh out loud.