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I really loved listening to Mindy Kaling’s book, Is everyone hanging out without me (and other concerns). It was light and frothy and very funny, but with some great insights and moments of poignancy too. I especially liked this part when she was talking about peoples’ marriages she admired, specifically her parents’. She likes the fact that they are pals – “note: they are pals, not best friends.” She also mentions Amy Poehler and Will Arnett’s marriage as one she admires, which is a little sad as they have since separated. But anyway.

I like Kaling’s take on it all:

I guess I think happiness can come in a bunch of forms and maybe a marriage with tons of work makes people feel happy. But a part of me still thinks, is it really so hard to make it work? What happened to being pals? I’m not complaining about romance being dead; I’ve just described a happy marriage as based on talking about plants and a cancelled Ray Romano show and drinking milkshakes. Not exactly rose petals and gazing into each others’ eyes at the top of the Empire State Building or whatever. I’m pretty sure my parents have gazed into each others’ eyes maybe once, and that was so my mom could put some eyedrops into my dad’s eyes. And I’m not saying that marriage should always be easy, but we seem to get so gloomily worked up about it these days. 

In Shakespearean comedies, the wedding is the end and there isn’t much indication of what happily ever after will look like day to day. In real life, shouldn’t a wedding be an awesome party you throw with your great pal in the presence of a bunch of your other friends? A great day, for sure, but not the beginning and certainly not the end of your friendship with the person you can’t wait to talk about gardening with for the next 40 years. Maybe the point is that any marriage is work, but you may as well pick work that you like.

Is everyone hanging out without me (and other concerns), Mindy Kaling, Chapter 50 (audiobook)

Does it mean you’re getting older if you think that a life of hanging out with your pal sounds preferable to torrid romance? Actually no, I don’t think so…I don’t think I’ve ever wanted torrid romance. At least not long-term. Sure, romantic gestures are wonderful and make you feel special and all that. But I’d much rather have 40 years of loving companionship with a sprinkling of romance than a roller coaster of passion but not much comfort. Who has the energy for that? Wouldn’t you rather have someone who would look after you when you’re feeling crappy, than someone who you had to “keep the mystery alive” for?

I know it’s completely unoriginal, but I reckon just hanging out with Mindy Kaling and Amy Poehler would be so great. I wonder what it says about me that I don’t fantasise about getting together with male celebrities, I imagine how great it would be to be BFFs with the chicks. Hmm.