My older son once wrote on his Instagram profile, “I’m not real sure what goes here but Tina Fey, if you are reading this, I love you.” And I couldn’t agree with him more.
More than once, I’ve read and laughed my way through Bossy Pants, I’ve watched 30 Rock over and over, I quote Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on a daily basis. My favorite quote? “Last one to the bunker is the mother of whores!”
But here is something I can’t figure out. Why do I love Tina Fey so much? Sure, she played the modern TV character I most relate to. Liz Lemon speaks my language with her deep seated suspicion of human sexuality and her loving relationship with cheese. In Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, when Titus and his ex-wife had their wedding dance on the train platform, I cried. And, of course, when she did her segment on sheetcaking on SNL I nodded along like so many other people. Then went out and bought a cake.
But again, that shouldn’t be enough to engender the level of devotion I, and many people I know, feel toward her. And then something occurred to me.
In my opinion, she’s a person at once fully confident in her field and yet her confidence is based on her willingness to reveal how deeply uncomfortable she often feels in the life she lives. In Bossypants, there is a part when she talks about how she wants her young daughter to communicate with the babysitter about how close she clips her nails. I howled with laughter at the irony. Here is a person who was a highly effective head writer at SNL, AND wrote and starred in a successful, scripted weekly TV show, but couldn’t manage to give notes to the babysitter regarding nail length.
I love Tina Fey because I trust her to tell me the truth about her experience and in that truth, I see my own. My kids never had nannies but I understand how it feels to be faced with a situation I believe I should be able to handle, but just can’t. So I dump it on someone else and bolt.
It’s funny because it’s true.
And Tina Fey, if you’re reading this, I love you.