Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

Bought from Target. 
Publisher: Crown Archetype 
Published: November 2011
Amazon - Goodreads

Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”

Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!

In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka. 

I seriously love Mindy Kaling's sense of humor. I've loved her work on The Office and The Mindy Project so I definitely knew I needed to read this. After I saw Juju from Tales of Whimsy's review, I was even more excited to read Kaling's book. 

I loved getting a glimpse into Mindy's life, both past and present. She talks about her childhood, college, working on The Office and fun things like guys, movies and other randomly clever things too. 

A problem I have with a lot of memoirs is how slow moving they can be, but this book was fast paced and honestly difficult to put down. Some chapters have fun lists like 'My Favorite Eleven Moments in Comedy' and musings like 'Why Do Men Put on Their Shoes So Slowly? which really help with the quick pace of the book.

Mindy Kaling's memoir, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) is full of her quick wit, sarcasm and one-of-a-kind 'Mindy-ness'. So many times while reading I couldn't help but bust out laughing. This book wasn't only funny, it was easy to relate to too. If you're looking for a fast-paced, light and funny memoir then I definitely recommend this book.
I totally need to check out the audiobook version too; I'd love to hear Mindy narrate it!

Shut Up and Listen

So, you don’t leave the house. 
How do you have a job? 
Can you even go to the grocery store?

You’re really missing out…

I think there’s a certain level of fighting that everyone is willing to do for themselves. 
A level that someone is willing to hit in order to defend themselves in attempts to make another understand their world a bit better. But, I think everyone has their limits and uncertainties about when to push back against being misunderstood, about being unheard. 

It’s frustrating when people push you over those set limits and make you question if you’re fighting enough for yourself.

It’s so defeating to hope that someone is going to understand; or even to wish that someone wants to understand. Especially when some people honestly just don’t care. And you know, that’s fine. Whatever. People don’t have to understand everything about you or even one thing, but when someone else’s ignorance is preventing you from completing your goals, that’s when there’s a problem. 

How do you get them to listen when instead of two ears on the side of their head they have two extra mouths which seem to be taking up crucial listening (and brain) space?

It’s like if someone says ‘I’m trying to understand” or “wait, you just said… isn’t that contradicting to this…” it makes their ignorance excusable. 

But hey, life is full of contradictions and quite possibly my head even more so. So when I’m trying to explain something that doesn’t seem to make sense, I know it doesn’t. Hell, if it  made sense, I might have actually understood it myself by now. 
I’m not lying. I’m not trying to get attention and I’m certainly not enjoying having to fight twice as hard as everyone else to be treated the same way. 
I just want fairness, understanding and in the words of Lilly Moscovitz, sometimes I just want people to “Shut up and listen.”

I got a phone call today. Leaving me quite a wreck and my closet organization project to take a backseat. Old clothes clutter my floor and a pile of mismatched socks cover half of my desk where I sit typing. 

I feel like that’s when struggles always hit you, when it’s seriously the last moment you’d think they’d come. When you’re just trying to find some normalcy after a difficult couple of days. When you’re chill, listening to country music on the radio and suddenly the phone rings. Suddenly your world is brought in for close inspection from someone you’ve never even met. When that person on the other end doesn’t even have the ears to listen, doesn’t have the heart to even attempt to understand. 

It’s not that I hate all the questions, I understand it’s difficult to wrap the mind around. 
What I do hate is when I’m explaining it to someone and they refuse to listen. 
When they already have their mind made up before they even come to me with the questions. 
When they refuse to leave their world for just a second in order to get a better glimpse into mine. 
I don’t care how illogical it sounds or how much you just “don’t understand it.” It’s my life. It’s how I need to go about living, go about surviving. And for someone to diminish my journey is just totally unnecessary and really, really pathetic.

Do you ever get tired of fighting for yourself? For trying, so hard, to prove that you know you best and that you deserve to be trusted with the decisions you make for yourself.