Friday, June 2, 2017

Yes Please

"It’s called Yes Please because it is the constant struggle and often the right answer. Can we figure out what we want, ask for it, and stop talking? Yes please. Is being vulnerable a power position? Yes please. Am I allowed to take up space? Yes please. Would you like to be left alone? Yes please." - Amy Poehler, Yes Please

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I am nosy by nature. I love to eavesdrop, lurk on social media, read on and on about other people's lives. I'm not a gossip, but I love to hear what's going on in the world. I'm one of those awful people that says that tabloids are heinous existences, yet still somehow always knows all of the celebrity happenings and drama. Because of my insatiable need to be nosy and know everything, I love memoirs, autobiographies, and books of personal essays. They might be one of my favorite kind of books to read. In fact, I think I've admitted multiple times that they are.

I don't know why or how it has taken me this long to read Amy Poehler's Yes Please, her memoir-ish book of essays, lists, anecdotes, and scattered stories about childhood, SNL, a little about her children, and very little about her then divorce. I mean, it came out in 2014, what the hell have I been waiting for?



Early on Amy admits that she shouldn't be writing a book, especially under the conditions she was in. I loved that. I don't normally enjoy when people low-ball themselves, but it felt like she was being honest to the readers from the get-go, using even the preface to create that real connection. Just as she is in real life, the book was charming. There was some bite and wit woven within the tales of her past. 

I don't know what to call this book, really. It wasn't a comedy book. It was funny because Amy Poehler is funny, but I don't think she set out to write a book of funny essays and stories about her life. It wasn't entirely like a diary, either.  Sometimes it felt like a stream of consciousnesses about her life that was then condensed and lightly edited down.

I loved that realness about the book. There's not a lot of sugar-coating, but nothing is too blunt either. She takes time out of her book to gush about her castmates in Parks and Recreation and our fave, Tina Fey. She tells tales of her childhood living in the suburbs of Massachusetts (though briefly), her days in improv, her time on SNL, but mainly just about life in general. 


I think this style worked for me because it was more deconstructed. I've seen people complain about the lack of humor, the lack of direction and occasional scatter-brained nature of the book. There's always going to be people that don't like something. I found it relatable. It's true, there wasn't a lot of organization. Things seemed to pop up at odd times, but that's how my brain works and I felt like I was right at home.

There was a quote in the book that made me stop to take a photo of it. It was fairly early on in the book and I was reading this book outside in the sunlight. It was fairly quiet and I was listening to very relaxing music at the time. I had already felt at peace, but this quote let me release a sigh of relief. 

"When the demon starts to slither my way and say bad shit about me I turn around and say, 'Hey. Cool it. Amy is my friend. Don't talk about her like that.' Sticking up for ourselves in the same way we would one of our friends is a hard but satisfying thing to do. Sometimes it works."

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