Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

This is my first week after leaving work. Since my lineup of speech path volunteering gigs and fall quarter classes won’t start till September,  I found myself with some good ole fashion time off. What have I been up to? Errands, socializing, the apartment hunt, and lighthearted reading. In other words, here’s a half-hearted attempt at justifying my post-work existence.

Weekend. We met up with an old friend for Chronicle Nights (ayo waves) and some new friends for a Monty Python viewing, ventured out for Stan’s and stumbled upon a library book sale, went to church, and searched for a new apartment. It was a lovely weekend, but I felt rather nervous that I made a mistake by not working right up till September, when my spreadsheet of activities will kick in. Mark not only reassured me but also ensured I felt celebrated at every opportunity.

Monday. I had the day to myself for errands and a bit of pampering. I stopped by the Post Office (I love the Post Office) and I washed all the dishes, simultaneously feeling productive and softening my nails for a trim. Inspired by this Buzzfeed post that I saw a few weeks ago, I actually painted my nails, which very seldom happens. I scheduled apartment viewings and peeked at my work email to make sure everything was wrapping up. I tried a ballet conditioning workout and it was rough. In the evening, we had dinner with Cousin Greg and his girlfriend.

Tuesday. I spent the day walking around like a baby giraffe since my quads were so sore. Otherwise, I started whitening strips, did laundry, and met a new friend for lunch. We ended up browsing shops for three hours! Then I rushed to pick up Mark to check out an apartment. We applied for the place and spent the evening at home reading together. Mark started The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up so he’s excited to discard this weekend and I finished Alice Waters and Chez Panisse so I could move on to my new book!

Wednesday. I woke up early and began Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling, which I’ve found laugh-out-loud-even-by-myself funny. After taking Mark to Caltrain, I hit Target and had a Kaiser appointment. The big highlight of the day – we secured an apartment! Mark encouraged me to celebrate with some champagne and a nap. We had crock pot chicken tikka masala for dinner. And we read some more.

Thursday. I helped set up a kindergarten classroom at School of Imagination, where I’ve been volunteering. It was the first time in my life anyone (teachers to boot!) praised my handwriting. They had me label everything! Then I made a huge mess of my kitchen making mac and cheese for a friend. We interned together years ago and recently realized we live minutes apart! She was diagnosed with cancer last year, so it was great to finally catch up and provide a meal.

Friday. This day hasn’t actually happened yet, but we’re planning on signing our Palo Alto lease tomorrow morning and picking up our keys! We’re so grateful we could secure an apartment in downtown quickly. If I have time, I’ll look into movers and address changes. Then I’ll head to Berkeley for errands, lunch with my mentor, and a farewell event. Between the new keys and the goodbye on campus, I anticipate some definitive closure.

Thank you, Bee, for being so welcoming after we’ve been out of touch for so long. You’re inspirational.

Update as of August 27, 2015. A few days ago I had a spike in Canadian viewers. Mark suggested it was because they were looking for a proper book review and that I disappointed them. Canada, I’m sorry. Here are stray thoughts on Mindy’s book, if you’ve stuck around.

  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? is my first venture into written comedy. I’m now hooked and trying to coordinate with friends and family to borrow Amy and Tina. Other must-read suggestions are welcome!
  • I really did laugh out loud by myself at least once every other chapter while reading. When I wasn’t alone I made my husband listen to passages that I found particularly funny.
  • For those who have read it, I don’t just want a song “Nguyen & Ari.” I want a full length feature film, please.
  • I love how Mindy (a) believes kids should treat their parents and (b) views marriage. It might have been the first time I thought about how my grandparents, mom, and aunts functioned as a family after immigrating to the US. As for marriage, Mark and I qualify as “pals” who split vanilla milkshakes. Yum, vanilla.
  • Mark has more than the two pairs of black shoes Mindy prescribes. What can I say? He looks terrific in brown dress shoes and tan Sperry’s! Plus he occasionally plays tennis and/or runs.
  • Mindy has a second book coming out next month! I’d like to read it, especially if she discusses losing her mom. As someone who’s lost a parent, I think it would be healthy for me to hear about someone else’s experience.

Is that better, Canada?