The Concerns of Kaitlin Olson

Note: I wrote, but never pressed “publish” on this about a year ago. With the return of The Mindy Project this Tuesday, now seemed like an appropriate time for this post.

Now that I work in publishing, I watch a lot of television. That may seem like an oxymoron to most of you, but I assure you, it is indeed a paradox (yes, I am being snobby with my literary terms). I spend all day either reading, writing, thinking about, or discussing books. As a result, when I get back to my apartment, I usually have little interest in reading. To get my evening narrative fill, I watch television instead.

I used be a television snob. To be fair, I am or have been a snob about many things (which I’m sure surprises absolutely no one). My original Facebook, back in the days when Timeline didn’t exist and your interests/books/movies/activities/sports didn’t translate into automatic “likes,” listed “none” under television. Or it might have said “I don’t watch TV.” In any case, it was snobby, passive aggressive, and unnecessary. I apologize for my youthful indiscretion.

Recently, I’ve been watching a lot of The Mindy Project. And by “recently,” I mean “since it premiered two years ago.” Since I began watching The Mindy Project, I’ve read Mindy Kaling’s book, watched all nine seasons of The Office, and spent hours scrolling through her now-defunct blog. So I guess you could say that I like Mindy Kaling.

I seem to have come to the misinformed conclusion that I am just like Mindy Kaling. This appears to be a frequent phenomenon as my perusal of many-an-article, Instagram comments, and Twitter replies has revealed. Everyone thinks that Mindy– or at least her on-screen and Twitter persona– is (or could be) her BFF. I’ve taken this one step further: I could be Mindy Kaling.

Of course, I am wrong. For one, I am not funny. I don’t mean that in the fishing-for-compliments way. My attempts at hilarity are often met with silence. In fact, I’ve been told by many close friends that I’m only funny when I’m trying not to be. I try not to take it personally.

Mindy Kaling’s now-defunct blog(s), Things I Bought That I Love and The Concerns of Mindy Kaling, are everything I think, do, and want to write about but never do. Chandeliers, designing but not purchasing fancy stationery, and intense consumerism, what’s not to love? Every post is funny and well written and full of great one liners. Also, she name drops Doris Kearns Goodwin in a post about her new earrings— seriously, who does that? I can only aspire to that level of fabulous.

On the plane to New York in last August, I read the EW issue that features Mindy on the cover. In the feature article, Steve Carrell said something about Mindy that stuck with me.

“Mindy is exceptionally smart, but is not afraid to talk about nail polish. And yet, her love of nail polish does not take away from her smartness. In a perfect world, she would take my SATs for me, and then we would go to the mall together.”

I like to consider myself smart;  I also love to talk about my manicures. If you’ve spent any time as my friend, you’ve probably heard about my manicures. You have heard me complain about my cuticles, debate pink versus silver, and wax poetic about paraffin treatments. I enjoy living in a world where that doesn’t diminish my intelligence.

Mindy Kaling has this fabulous, funny persona, but from what I’ve read and followed on Twitter, she’s mostly a lot like me, an intelligent workaholic who doesn’t like standing still for too long (even though we both detest treadmills). Yes, I like Mindy Kaling because she’s funny and seems fun; but I like her more for not being tremendously cool. Cool people intimidate me. And cool people are like trends; they change or fade away.

Here’s to Season 3 of The Mindy Project.

2 Responses to “The Concerns of Kaitlin Olson”
  1. Jean Reisman says:

    Kaitlin, Interesting—–but have never watched The Mindy Project or read the book. Am still trying to catch up on life! Jean

  2. kaitlin, j’ai lu ton dernier post sur Mindy. Tu ecris de mieux en mieux, continue, tes ecritures seront publiees dans le future.

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