Tag Archives: Mindy Kaling

About that Time I Met Mindy Kaling

Did I wake up that morning thinking I’d meet her? No, I did not, but there was a chill in the air from the North and I was having a good hair day, so you could say there were some signs.

If you haven't watched clips of this play yet while then I actually don't want to hear from you...

If you haven’t watched clips of this play yet while then I actually don’t want to hear from you…

And of course I had imagined it the way I still imagine sitting front row at the off, off Broadway production of Matt and Ben (curse my high school self’s sense of social importance for preventing me from seeing this work of gold!.) I’d walk up to her majesty and pretend like we had met before. I could see it all now. I’d call her red jumper “bold” and she’d tell me she liked my new Zara coat — “classic yet current,” she’d say. Soon enough we’d be chatting about her time playing Ben Affleck, the writer’s room at The Office, and the struggle of being a woman in comedy.

Somebody would snap a picture of us assuming I was also a celebrity because of the comfortable and candid nature of our interaction. The picture would get retweeted endlessly by the like twelve followers I have till it inevitably ends up on Perez with the caption “Mindy and her new bestie, Aly, a writer currently living in Austin” and then he’d say something cheeky like, “watch out Mindy, that new bestie has some serious styleZz” or “this girl gives writers a GOOD-LOOKING name.” Seriously, I could be like Karlie Kloss to Taylor Swift, except for the whole me not being a supermodel thing.

Chic, right? Right?!?!

Chic, right? Right?!?!

The day it happened as I said, I was wearing my new Zara coat because I recently decided Zara was super chic and also so it wasn’t obvious that I was not in possession of a festival badge. (SXSW Hierarchy breakdown: badges get you in to everything, wristbands get you into almost everything, having neither gets you in a line for three hours to see some random indie band from fifty yards away.)

So as I approached the Austin Convention center with Matti, badgeless save for the press badge I consistently imagine myself wearing, I readied myself. Sure, even existing in the same building as Mindy Kaling was enough to brag about for days but I needed to actually see her, breathe in her full-bodied, female talent or whatever. When we entered the building it was clear that security was ready for me — every possible entrance to upstairs, (or heaven as I came to see it) was guarded by some volunteer who’s only job was to shame people without badges into not asking if they could go upstairs. I eyed my target by the elevator, an innocent looking young man who reminded me of the skinny Conor Oberst fans I used to make fall in love with me in middle school — so, I had this in the bag.

“How do I get upstairs?” I asked the the fifteen-year old guarding the elevator.

“Probably by using that elevator.” Well, that was easy.

I liked his style, direct, to the point. As I hopped on to the elevator, Matti was caught by the Connor Obersty looking temple guard as he exclaimed, “Badges, only, people, badges only!” Apparently, the boy had turned in to an angry Newsie after I entered the elevator.

I felt unjustifiably avenged as I rode the elevator to my ultimate destiny while Matti was left behind in the figurative dust. “Female comics unite!” I repeated over and over under my breath like my own personal Captain Planet mantra.

The older, badge-holding woman standing next to me in the elevator chimed in, “he’s not going to get up here without a badge.” and then as the statement left her lips lined with a magenta pencil, she started to look me up and down, “wait do you even have a badge?”

“YOU WILL NOT RUIN THIS FOR ME,” I loud whispered at her as we exited the elevator.

The closest I got to Perez Hilton stardom was a mini photo shoot Matti took of me posing with a signed picture of Mindy. Things could be worse..

The closest I got to Perez Hilton stardom was a mini photo shoot Matti took of me posing with a signed picture of Mindy. Things could be worse..

And then I saw her. Doves flew from under the table she was signing at and I could have sworn I heard Beyonce live-singing “Who run the world? Girls!!!” in the background like I was slow-motion-walking into my future or some shit.

After waiting in line for about 30 minutes the devil dressed in a “Volunteer SXSW” t-shirt came up to me and the others in line, put his hand straight out in front of me and said, “this is where the cut off will be to meet Mindy, but you’re welcome to stay and see if she has more time!”

I immediately hated him and all of the decisions that led him to this exact moment, denying me access to the my idol, my future writing partner and best friend. Of course I stayed and waited. And as we inched closer and closer in line she was right there in front of me. Her teeth were more imperfect than I had imagined which only made our bond stronger as I like to brag that my teeth “have character” that way people are less inclined to poke fun at my snaggle tooth, you know, because I choose to like it.

True to the devil’s word, the lucky rotund seventeen-year old with a badger her daddy probably bought for her (or I just have to imagine this to make myself feel better) was the last person in line to have a converstaion and picture taken with Mindy.

He's even sassy in black and white!

He’s even sassy in black and white!

“Not so fast!” I said to myself, apparently audibly. I ran out in front of the table where Mindy was signing and started to bow. For some reason, bowing was the one thing that came to my mind to do. Do I regret it? No. I regret nothing. (Except for that time a couple of days ago when I saw Daniel Esquivel from Project Runway at the local food co-op and I didn’t tell him how much I loved his purse).

“Mindy…I just… wanted to…”

“INTERACT WITH HER!?” Some blockhead yelled from behind me, as if this were her moment with the queen (of course, her instinctual completion of my sentence was completely accurate but that’s beside the point).

“Hi!” Mindy mused, like an angel, “well it was a really good interaction.”

And then I bowed again because apparently that’s my thing when faced with overly exciting, fabulous situations. I just bow it out.

I was not lying about the jumpsuit...

I was not lying about the jumpsuit…

I then convinced Mindy to sign her remaining head shots to give out to the rest of us mere mortals. She thought it was “the best idea!” so you could say we’re friends now. I may still be waiting for that whole Perez Hilton story thing but at least I came away with an almost friend in Mindy and a new found confidence in wearing loud jumpsuits. So, win-win.

 

 

 

P.S. – I also met Stephanie Beatriz and Melissa Fumero from Brooklyn 99 after. They told me “they liked my whole outfit I had going on.” Despite not really knowing if that was a compliment I’m pretty sure they’re going to look me up when they’re back in town. brooklynn99

We can’t ALL Be Ugly Kids

I keep getting nervous that I won’t ever be able to become famous because I was WAY too cute as a kid. I mean, it is virtually impossible to pick up a book from a funny female writer that’s not accompanied by an awkward picture from the seventies of a too skinny or chubby girl with an Annie Hall coat and a pair of oversized bifocals. I am right and you know it. But I did have that too chubby, too skinny thing. And what sucks is they were never ACTUALLY ugly, they were just perceived that way because of the oversized glasses and awkwardness (until they inevitably grow up, get cuter glasses and become comedic sensations).

There was also a time where I was unsure if, as a little girl, I could wear cut-off muscle tanks. Apparently, they were not appropriate. There was also that time when I wore my Tweety Bird to school in the middle of February because we had just gotten back from Disney World and I just HAD to wear it. Of course, my teacher ended up calling my mom to find out why I was let out of the house wearing such a weather inappropriate shirt. Apparently, she hadn’t met a mother who opted out of dressing her children for the chance to sleep in. But I didn’t develop my near-sightedness until seventh grade, and by that time contacts were invented. So, unfortunately, I was never able to adorn such wide framed grandma glasses.

I do, however, have some amazing moments of when I was THAT girl. You know what I mean:

In 7th grade, Ms. Chase allowed me to where sunglasses during her class because my conjunctivitis was acting up. I was the girl who constantly had conjunctivitis.

In 8th grade, a lovable douchebag who would later go on to credit card girls during gym class came up to me sneezing and asked, “may I have a tissue.” (I developed earlier than most girls)

In 8th grade, Mr. Crispo was adamant that I had something on my eyelid, for like a week. I never had the heart to tell him I get skin tags that sometimes show up on my face. I know, I was SO SPECIAL — I just couldn’t let the world know.

In 5th grade computer class we read vocabulary words out loud. I got floppy discs. It’s still hard not to see LaToya laughing at me as floppy dicks came stumbling out of my mouth. (More on this story)

Have you ever noticed on those shows like The Voice, the contestant always says something like, “If I could just make money doing what I love and be able to take care of my family; I’ll be happy” as if it’s a super original thought and feeling. And it’s like, well doesn’t everyone secretly wish that? Most likely. We’re just not all so lucky(?) to be on The Voice. The most we can all do is have our own secret show just about us and it definitely does not have to be a reality show. I would be a mix of the ultimate Thursday night of comedy lineup (which is obviously: Community, The Office, Parks and Rec, and 30 Rock in ANY order) because I love edgy comedic productions of high budget drama series as well as subtle, brilliant one liners that go over most peoples’ heads (Mostly because it makes me feel smarter). Also, basically in all those shows the leading lady proves my ugly kid theory– I’m looking at you, Tina and Mindy (Remember: not ACTUALLY ugly).

tina-fey-as-a-kid mindy-kaling-childhood-puppet

What I really hope to happen is to have some random elementary school friend come and really give it to me straight–tell me I was the most awkward buck toothed half curly/half straight haired weirdo she ever hung around with. First, I’d have the best of both worlds: the stories of an awkward childhood without the visceral feeling of being the awkward uncool kid! Of course, that never happened. I was just painfully normal; just SO average.

Sure, in sixth grade a boy named Dan did sneeze AT me, reaching his hand out as if for me to give him a tissue from my protruding bossom. I did not, however, have a tissue at that point but I did have the pleasure of developing breasts at an early age for my school. Till that time, Brianna S was the only girl with any womanhood to show off and I was glad. It all went downhill after you got the boobs, as they say. More than anything, the sneeze incident made me feel totally IN and a part of the whole hormone cool kid thing. By the end of seventh grade I was in Mrs. Denino’s office explaining why the tape on our hotel door in Nantucket had been ripped in the morning.

“Well, I really wanted to talk with Steve about what the plan for the next day would be. I don’t have a cell phone like forty percent of kids my age so I could not reach him that way.” PEOPLE: it was seventh grade which meant I was MOSTLY into watching Gilmore Girls on my couch with a bowl of popcorn and melted raisenettes so Mrs. Denino had no reason to worry about what went down when we snuck into their room.

I was put into peer counseling after that which was SUPER edgy and cool. I wore super thick eyeliner from then on and Eric Safner told me he liked the two single strands of hair I kept down when I pulled my hair back in a pony tale (It was the ULTIMATE 90s girls do).

So I guess, I was an edgy awkward–in that way where my boyfriend’s mom NEVER liked me no matter how hard I didn’t try. Can I become famous now?