Book Review: ‘Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?’

Book Review: ‘Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?’

I have been seeing a lot of people rave about Mindy Kaling book, ‘Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns)’, and being that I love The Office (US), and I enjoyed watching her in ‘The Mindy Project’, I thought I’d buy the book a give it a read.

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To be honest, for the first handful of chapters I wasn’t particularly impressed, I cracked the occasional smile, but people made it seem like I would be laughing out loud throughout the whole book – well not so much for me. I was beginning to struggle continuing to read it but I’m glad I did, as once she reached adulthood I did find myself laughing out loud and nodding along to the events she described herself getting into.

I think I didn’t respond as well to the younger years simply because they weren’t relatable to me. That’s not to say I can only find things funny if I can relate, but that is a main point in finding something funny, seeing yourself in that situation, relating to it because you’ve done it in the past etc. For instance, I love Lee Evans and Michael McIntyre as comedians, and in many ways they are similar regarding what they talk and produce humour from, and most of the time I am laughing because I completely understand what they are joking about, I relate. Verse “comedians” like Frankie Boyle who I cannot stand, although to be fair, I don’t think that’s a good example, because not only do I not find anything he says humorous, I also quite violently despise him… the point I am attempting (poorly) to make is that people have a difference sense of humour based, a lot of the time, on what they can relate to. Someone might listen to McIntyre joke about his children and his wife, and just not find it funny – because they do not currently have children and wives and so they understand it is humour, but it doesn’t touch them the same way it would other people.

Anyways, once Mindy started telling the tales around her adult years I did find myself laughing more. It is not a profound book, you are not going to come away from it questioning life but it is a fun, observational type of humour presented in a conversational style read. As it is a quick read I’d say it’s perfect for commutes and trips; reading it as a passengers in the car (how can you read in a car?!?!), trains or planes. And I still very much love Mindy Kaling.

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Extract

Someone Explain One-Night Stands to Me

I have never had a one-night stand. According to every women’s magazine and television program ever made, this is super-unforgivably lame, and it behooves me to go reclaim my groove on an all-girls party trip to an unincorporated island territory of the United States. Every romantic comedy I watch depicts our adorable heroine walking sheepishly back from a stranger’s place in the morning, with bedhead and her eyeliner all sexy and smudged. She might not yet have found Mr. Right (this is only the beginning of the movie), but she’s having fun looking!

I just don’t understand any of that at all. Here’s why:

In my mind, the sexiest thing in the world is the feeling that you’re wanted. The slightly nervous asking of your phone number. The text message asking you for dinner. The simple overture of wanting me can satisfy my ego for a good long time. The sexual situation that could come of it? Well, that’s just less appealing to me. I don’t mean to say I don’t enjoy sex; I’m a properly functioning mammal and everything. I just think, like, who is this guy? Don’t you need to know some more about a guy than an evening’s worth of conversation at a bar to make sex appealing?

Also: fear is a pretty big turn-off. I’m talking about safety here. I don’t even mean sexual health safety, like STDs. I mean like good old-fashioned life-and-death safety. Here’s what I can’t wrap my brain around. I barely talk to strangers (a habit I started as a child which has served me well through my adulthood). So the idea of going to a stranger’s house at night, or having that stranger over to my house, sounds insanely dangerous. These fears have made it so that when my female friends talk tome about one-night stands, I’m an incredibly irritating listener.

EXCITED SEXUALLY-LIBERATED FRIEND: So, then it was like 2 a.m. that same night, and he knocked on my apartment door. I was in my robe and nothing else-

ME: No underwear?

EXCITED SEXUALLY-LIBERATED FRIEND: No. I said “nothing else”.

ME (skeptical): I feel like you were wearing underwear. That’s how you are in, like, repose?

EXCITED SEXUALLY-LIBERATED FRIEND: Yes.

ME: You really like not wearing underwear? Am I the only one who finds that totally uncomfortable? (lowered voice) Don’t you ever sometimes … excrete?

EXCITED SEXUALLY-LIBERATED FRIEND: Gross. Stop it.

ME: Okay. But let’s remember to come back to this no-underwear conversation later.

EXCITED SEXUALLY-LIBERATED FRIEND: So he knocked at the door-

ME: Wait! Sorry. I’m just realizing, your doorman let him up without ever seeing him before? Doesn’t that disturb you, that your doorman would just let any old person off the street up to your apartment? I would give my doorman a book of photos of accepted guests that he could reference, like a reference book-

EXCITED SEXUALLY-LIBERATED FRIEND: I’m doing fine with my doorman.

ME: I would have established a different procedure.

EXCITED SEXUALLY-LIBERATED FRIEND: Great, Mindy. Anyway, then I showed him around the place-

ME: The doorman? (off ESL Friend’s annoyed look) The guy! The guy! Yes.

EXCITED SEXUALLY-LIBERATED FRIEND: He was into the way I decorated it. Really taking it in.

ME: He was casing the joint!

EXCITED SEXUALLY-LIBERATED FRIEND: No! He was not casing the joint! He was being sexy and sweet and making cute little jokes about family photos. And then he asked if he could see my bedroom-

ME: Your bedroom, so he could rape and murder you!

Eventually, my constant interruptions make her so irritated, she stops telling her sexy story. I guess nothing puts a damper on a one-night stand as much as your friend pointing out all the opportunities where you might have been killed.

Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing about it. Look, I don’t want to come off as prim or that I won’t go see a R-rated movie or something. In fact, I would feel sad if I didn’t have my sexually-liberated friend there to tell me fun, frank tales of desires fulfilled. I just don’t think I could ever do it myself. 

So, this is what I’m like: If you come over to my house, I need to know your first and last name. I need to have your phone number and a person who we both know so you can’t disappear forever in case you murder me. Ultimately, it comes down to this: How embarrassing would it be for me to be talking to a detective at a precinct after you tried to rape and murder me in my home, and not be able to tell them your name or any information about you because we were having a one-night stand? I’ve seen Law & Order: SVU, I know how it works.

Plus, basically the whole chapters of:

  • Married People Need To Step It Up
  • Revenge Fantasies While Jogging

Have you read this book? Did you experience it differently to me? Are you a Kaling fan too?

8 Comments

  1. September 17, 2017 / 12:04 pm

    That extract is very funny and I totally agree with everything she’s said 🙂 xx

    • September 17, 2017 / 12:15 pm

      It was one of my favourites too 😊 xx

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