Tina Fey isn’t the only smart lady in comedy that I turn to in times of duress or when I’m in need of council. I also turn to who I truly believe is just me in a different body like a reincarnation in the same lifetime.
Mindy Kaling is the total package for your next imaginary best friend. Her wit is biting, making the perfect writing partner for either a play about Ben Affleck and Matt Damon or your own personal Burn Book. She would be brutally honest while shopping with you but also let you make important fashion faux pas for learning opportunities (she would talk me into 1960s baby bangs, I just know she would). She would order a larger size of fries because she knew that even though you said you didn’t want any, you really actually did. She would also gossip to your little heart’s desire about your frenemy’s enviable Instagram while grounding you back into reality. She’d be your family’s favorite +1, getting an invite to a family event before you did.
Here’s some advice I think Mindy Kaling, Imaginary Best Friend would dispense:
1. When you are in a tough spot and have maybe too many emotions, it’s best to be honest and communicate that you just can’t communicate. I recently got frustrated by something at home and made a big scene. My mom told me I was being dramatic and in a very dramatic fashion, I yelled “MOM YOU JUST HAVE TO LET ME HAVE MY REACTION. LET ME BE HEARD”. It was embarrassing and maybe too reminiscent of Tiny Furniture, but it needed to be expressed.
2. There are also several options for communication. Whether through a nasty side-eye or a well-placed finger, you deserve to get your point across.
3. Playing the victim is for only very specific periods in your life, like when you’re young and want attention or someone to help you file an insurance claim for an accident that was most likely your fault. But c’mon, let’s not overly play into the stereotype ladies.
4. Pick your own battles. Yes, you can do anything you set your mind to because you’re a strong, independent woman but also you can use your hard-earned dough to pay someone else to do that. Sure, I could’ve put air into my tires but making my brother do it for a few bucks felt like the better deal.
5. Embrace friendship. Female friendship is one of the best parts about being a woman; you can reach such depth and strong bonds with just a well-observed compliment. I think every one of my friendships started with something like “I like your shoes”. While everyone has a Grey’s Anatomy “person” or “soulmate” best friend, you should always keep a wide array of other best friends to fit the needs. I have the best friend that I would to go to a bar with, the best friend I would slash someone’s tires with, and the best friend I would drag along to a weird foreign movie festival. Keep these friends in rotation.
6. Make a scene when a scene is to be made. Feel out your emotions and the situation; it may just be that it’s time to express yourself in the most explosive way possible. Is it a passive-aggressive social media tweet? Is it showing up to a party you only got a soft invite to? Is it acknowledging when someone slights you? You be you, girl.
7. Live your life in a way that encourages backhanded compliments. Society has a certain balance to it. When you’re doing good, someone out there always will feel a need to bring you down. Media people always classify Mindy as “brave, plus-size comedian” like even though she’s successful, hilarious, and authentic, we always need to be reminded of her size as her identity. Screw that. Similarly, I get a lot of “you’re so funny, why are you single?” or “your little blog can be funny sometimes”. I feel kinship with you, Mindy.
8. Making a difference can sometimes begin begrudgingly. I more than once exasperatedly thought to myself “why can’t I just be ignorant of this issue like everyone else!” Service is something that is time and effort-consuming but vitally important to a fulfilling life. It’s important to note that it’s entirely opposite of our innately selfish, narcissistic human tendency, so no shame if you feel really challenged by jumping into volunteering or helping someone in need. The important part is just answering the call, no matter if that answer is “do I have to right now? Netflix is adding a movie that I might like….”.
9. Life will have periods of boring mundaneness and that’s okay. Sometimes the most exciting part of your week will be finding a ballin’ plaid from Goodwill or being bequeathed someone’s left-overs. Maybe you’re in between jobs or schools or relationships or in jobs/schools/relationships you’re just kinda ehh about. It’s okay to be frustrated but know that that’ll end. You miss the boring as soon as you’re in the hectic.
10. You are your own source of confidence. You’ve got a stupid amount of stuff going for you from your ability to recognize movie quotes, to always playing the right song to match the mood of the car ride, to your excellent taste in peplum shirts, to your ambitious degree, and your uniqueness. Society fears a woman who is proud of herself. Make them afraid.
11. Being healthy and being able to love yourself will forever be more important than having a thigh gap. At one point of time, I wanted to be the type of girl who was satisfied by snacking on 14 almonds or saying something like “seeing the sunrise on my morning run is the best part of my day!” but I quickly found that aspiration boring. Give me a good Richard Simmons Groovin’ in the House video and let’s have fun.
12. Create a life-giving, strength-inducing alias. I’m torn between Marguerite Bon Jovi and Ruth Bader Ginsburg-er and Fries.
*this is purely created by my own dumb mind so I should clarify that Mindy Kaling probably doesn’t endorse these things nor is she actually my best friend (but if she wants to be, I’ll dump my current best friend ((sorry Raegan, I’m seizing my opportunity)))
(Mindy also knows what thick-rimmed glasses are really for: pretending to be a secretary in a black-and-white film noir)