This past weekend was one of the best I’ve ever had. Joel and I trekked to NYC to celebrate my 25th birthday in style with an incredible viewing of The Book of Mormon on Broadway. Having both gone into the show with no knowledge of the plot or any of the songs, we were absolutely blown away by the sheer brilliance of Trey Parker and Matt Stone. I was blown away by the incredible experience Joel had given me to celebrate my birthday.
Seeing as I always take the weekend of my birthday off work (because it’s my favorite holiday), we made the decision to act like real adults and rent a hotel room for the night – and in yet another display of maturity, we stayed right in the center of the financial district (or as I like to call it, “nothing but banks”). We indulged in cured meats and gourmet cheeses at dinner and walked over 50 blocks so that we could hum the 30 Rock theme song at Rockefeller Plaza. We spent the majority of the trip planning our future move to the big city to pursue our comedy dreams – though much of the conversation was punctuated by exasperated sighs as we discussed the reality of living expenses in NYC.
I decided to let myself fantasize about the future possibilities. Every birthday I set aside time to clear my head and try to set a course for the next year – I figured rearranging my fictional apartment in Chelsea was a good way to get the ball rolling on my 25th existential crisis. And while it was a fun exercise at first, I was left weirdly dissatisfied when I realized that my beautiful Chelsea apartment with two shower heads wasn’t exactly a viable goal. As fun as it is to think about getting scouted at the Del Close Marathon and cast on Broad City, it isn’t the most solid life plan.
So today, as I sat at home after one of the worst days at work I have ever experienced (hooray for the first day back from vacation!), I was open and ready for any sort of sign to help me set the tone for the next year. Considering the fact that 25 is basically the epitome of the quarter-life crisis (it’s totally a thing), I’m ripe for some major changes under the guidance of some powerful female figures.
But who could be that guiding light? How could they show me the way? Am I trapped by my own naivete thinking that some magical mentors are going to appear to set me on the right path?
Well it happened. Two of my favorite female comedic forces have combined their power via an ironic lip lock. In a display that mocked every soul-sucking kiss Madonna has planted on spunky pop stars, Tina Fey and Amy Schumer made out last night – in the name of successful rape jokes, chicks taking over Comedy Central and unapologetic feminism.
At the Peabody awards, Tina Fey was tasked with introducing Amy Schumer, who she called “the biggest deal in comedy right now.” In a speech that honored Amy’s commitment to female-centric comedy and her fearless efforts to tackle rape in an acerbic yet serious way, Tina joked that she wanted to “maybe suck her soul out in a maybe very awkward staged lesbian kiss.”
Seeing Tina Fey honor Amy Schumer was a validation for every dream I’ve called lofty. After a weekend trip that seemed like a dream, prancing out front of the NBC Rainbow Room as Joel shook his fist in front of the marquee for The Tonight Show, I couldn’t help but feel that I was being silly about the whole thing. New York is so expensive it’s oppressive and the chances of succeeding are slim to none. Maybe I need to calm down about all of this and start settling into my real adult life. 25 is when people start getting serious about their lives – it’s that obnoxious time where all your friends start getting married, having kids and turning Republican. Maybe it’s time for me to buckle down and get boring too.
But seeing Tina speak about Amy, about her commitment to feminist comedy and her incredible ability to tackle serious topics with wit, reminded me that every ounce of effort I’ve put into my dreams is absolutely worth it. Sometimes I forget that there is a lot of power in being silly – humor is often the only tool to tackle tough topics and take people down a peg.
In my effort to search for a direction for the next year of my life, I had forgotten that I already had a path. It’s pretty easy to feel like you’re not taking your life seriously when your main drive is laughter. But fuck that noise.
You don’t end up macking on Tina Fey by being serious.
Molly Regan is an improviser and writer in Baltimore. She likes chicken pot pie, Adam Scott’s butt and riot grrl.