Monday, April 25, 2011

Tina Fey's Prayer for Her Daughter

Below I've excerpted one of my favorite chapters of Bossypants.  There is a little cursing and inappropriateness; be forewarned.
First, Lord: No tattoos.
May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.


Guide her, protect her
When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from
Acting but not all the way to Finance.
Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes
And not have to wear high heels.

What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.


And when she one day turns on me and calls me a
Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.

“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.

I started out laughing, and now I'm crying.  It's just silly and funny and really beautiful all in about 3 minutes, and I think we can go ahead and categorize that as "really good writing."


  1. That is so funny! Until I realize that in a few years MY daughters will be old enough to use mall restrooms, and ride roller coasters. Then I stop laughing!

  2. Oh my. I hear you. I've got maybe a few more years than that, but it's coming! Scary.

  3. Not a mom, but an inordinately enthusiastic Tina Fey fan. Loved this part of the book!

  4. She is pretty awesome indeed. Have you seen this? It makes me happy when I can't focus anymore at work: