For Mindy Kaling: 5 Reasons Marriage Rocks

by Abby on January 9, 2012

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy KalingOne of the books I got for Christmas was Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), a collection of humor essays by the comedy writer and actress who plays Kelly Kapoor on The Office. While I am not as big a fan of The Office as my husband is, I AM a fan of female humor writers and funny women in general, so I was eager to check out this book. It’s similar to Tina Fey’s Bossypants, a fact which Kaling herself pokes fun at in her Introduction. See? Funny right off the bat.

Kaling quickly dispels the assumption that she is exactly like her character Kelly on The Office, a vapid, boy-crazy ditz who cares more about celebrity gossip and lipgloss than her career. In fact, Kaling is the Dartmouth-educated daughter of an Indian doctor and architect. While, as she herself points out, she has the voice of an 11yo Valley Girl, her book is quite smart and by turns funny, touching, inspiring, and silly.

One thing I loved about it is Kaling’s obvious affection for her long-married parents, and her un-ironic yearning for a husband and kids someday. It’s a refreshing change from the more-dysfunctional-and-therefore-cooler-than-thou attitude pervasive among so many successful actors and authors. In the chapter “Married People Need to Step it Up,” Kaling chafes at the moaning and groaning of her married friends who claim that it’s so much work. She writes:

I don’t want to hear about the endless struggles to keep sex exciting, or the work it takes to plan a date night. I want to hear that you guys watch every episode of The Bachelorette together in secret shame, or that one got the other hooked on Breaking Bad and if either watches it without the other, they’re dead meat. I want to see you guys high-five each other like teammates on a recreational softball team you both do for fun. I want to hear about it because I know it’s possible, and because I want it for myself.

OK, Mindy, here goes. From someone whose own parents and in-laws have been married for 40+ years, and who herself has been happily married for 8 years now, here are 5 Reasons Marriage Rocks:

1. After years of forcing yourself to go out on weekends out of fear you might miss something or hope you might meet the man of your dreams, you’ve found him, and you can stay home with him wearing sweats and eating pretzels on the couch while arguing over which movie to watch on Pay-Per-View. (At this rate, I may never see “I Don’t Know How She Does It.”)

2. While it’s nice to make an effort to look good for each other (or so the women’s magazines tell us), you don’t HAVE to; your husband thinks you look just as cute in a robe with bedhead and no make-up as you do in a cocktail dress.

3. You don’t have to worry that every fight or disagreement is The End. You can have arguments, and even go for a day or two without speaking, and know that the other person is stuck with you. You have more incentive to work it out. Especially if, like me, you fear that if you ever got divorced your father would make you reimburse him for the wedding. And calla lilies don’t come cheap.

4. When you have kids, you can talk about how hilarious and adorable and smart they are until you’re blue in the face, and know that the other person won’t ever get bored of the conversation because he is genetically responsible for 50% of those kids and loves them just as much as you do.

5. You have years of history together, which means that you both burst out laughing when you hear the Black Sheep song that goes, “Engine, engine, number nine, on the New York transit line…” because you’re thinking of the same thing. And also, that you can give each other a humor book or a spatula shaped like a guitar for Christmas and know that the other person isn’t disappointed because they were secretly hoping for diamonds.

But I’m not gonna lie to you: planning a night out, especially once you have kids, IS a lot of work. For reference, see your colleagues’ Steve Carrell and Tina Fey’s very funny film, “Date Night.” That’s one movie both the hubs and I agreed on.

P.S. I love Amy Poehler, too. And her hubby, Will Arnett, on Up All Night.

LINK O’ THE DAY: Yesterday’s Parade magazine had an interesting article by Jeffrey Zaslow, a writer who spent a year interviewing brides and their families for a book: “Lessons in Love from a Bridal Shop.”

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Lou Mello January 9, 2012 at 7:55 am

Marriage should be fun and satisfying nearly all the time. You know each other so well and enjoy similar things. It should not have to be rocket science and if you drive yourself crazy trying to figure it all out, you’ll just make it hard on yourself.

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Frume Sarah January 9, 2012 at 9:57 am

Comfortable. It should be a relationship so comfortable that each partner can shed the facades and really be themselves…and be loved for that.

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Ali January 9, 2012 at 10:29 am

I’m a little misty-eyed. Thank you for reminding me about what marriage should be.

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Libby January 9, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Love, love, love this post! Thank you! And I 120% agree! 🙂

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Adrienne January 9, 2012 at 4:50 pm

I just finished this book too and loved it! Mindy Kaling is hilarious.

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Angie Mizzell January 10, 2012 at 11:27 am

Shawn and I stayed up last night watching Bad Teacher. I love how “bad” tv and movies still make us laugh. I’ll never forget how when we were living in Portland we rushed out to get a pizza and beer to get home in time to watch the series finale of Dawson’s Creek. And the time I voted for Ruben Studdard twice to cancel out his vote for Clay Aiken.

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jetts31 January 11, 2012 at 1:01 am

Don’t forget how awesome it is when your significant other lets you sleep in on a Sunday morning, coralling the kids and keeping them quiet until 9:30.

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Abby January 11, 2012 at 9:55 am

Wait. “Keeping them quiet” is part of the deal? Unheard of in our house!! 😉

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Pam @ You Are Kidding Me! January 18, 2012 at 10:08 am

My husband got me her book, too, for Christmas, at my request! Totally agree with why marriage rocks and I would like Mindy to know that Hubby and I reserve Friday nights for our DVR’d shows which always include The Office, Parks & Rec, and yes, I’m not ashamed to say it, Jersey Shore. And when I yell out Jersey Shore catch phrases in the house, I know he would expect nothing else. And he loves me for it.

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