Monday, January 12, 2009

What Tina Fey Can Teach Sarah Palin

I have found that one of the benefits of being over forty is that I do indeed know a few things. For instance, since turning forty almost two years ago I have finally figured out that if I am having a bad day, or two or three strung together, I just need to wait it out and chances are, I’ll feel better tomorrow or the next day.

Now, I realize this sounds obvious. I’m not talking about understanding this concept in general terms. I’m talking about understanding it in the middle of a really bad day. You know those days when both children exit the SUV with a pissed-off door slam? Those days you’re late for work and are so frazzled you accidentally shred an important document that you don’t possess in electronic form? Those days you think your work load is your biggest problem only to then receive a phone call from the school nurse that not one, but two, of your children are in her clinic puking? I’m talking about understanding and accepting this concept in the smack-dab middle of those kind of days. I’m not perfect with this yet, but I’m getting a whole lot better.

Which brings me to last week. Last week sucked. I really don’t know how to put any other label on it. It sucked. It sucked hard and it sucked long. After being off from school and work for almost two weeks, the kids and I had a really hard time getting back in our groove. Add to this my mother expressing her irritation over a ridiculously insignificant peanut butter sandwich and I was not at a good place. And then who, for the love of all things sacred, is back on my television? Yep. Sarah Palin.

Palin has recently given an interview to John Zeigler for his upcoming documentary entitled How Obama Got Elected. Apparently, Zeigler needs an entire documentary to understand how a widely appealing, gifted leader who ran an almost flawless campaign got elected President. I can see how this could be confusing to the Right Wing of the Republican Party after they got Bush elected twice, but seriously, with the state that the world is in right now, you need a documentary to understand the concept that we’ve realized we made a mistake with Bush?

Anyway, I digress. In the excerpts that I saw of the Zeigler interview, Palin quips that perhaps Katie Couric is not the center of the universe. Where I come from, we call that the pot calling the kettle black. Palin also takes credit for giving Tina Fey job security. What? Did I miss something? Was Fey unemployed prior to Palin’s arrival on the planet? No, I’m pretty sure Fey had already left SNL for 30 Rock before anyone in the lower forty-eight ever heard of Sarah Palin. Palin then proceeds to slam “anonymous internet bloggers” for all they have written about her. Now, I take personal offense at this. I am neither anonymous nor a blogger. I am a writer and I do so under my real name. Yes, I use the internet. I’m not sure why this is an issue for Palin. If I wrote for a newspaper or a magazine, she apparently would have zero chance of ever reading it. Oh yeah, right. She was just being “flippant” when she didn’t (couldn’t) answer the trick question about what newspapers or magazines she read to keep herself informed.

By Friday, I knew enough time had passed that surely things were about to look up. And then last night, right on schedule, bingo ... Tina Fey. Jaw dropped, I stood in the middle of my living room floor marveling at the brilliance of Fey’s acceptance speech at the Golden Globes. Fey called Palin out and dressed her down without ever using her name. And therein lies the lesson for Palin. You don’t have to be happy if your critics are loud and unyielding, but if you don’t want to be perceived as bitter, you have to learn to embrace it, laugh about it, and use it. Fey understand this and we’ll be hearing from her for a long time. Palin doesn’t and she’s looking like less and less of a player in 2012 every time she opens her mouth.

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