Dear Tina Fey,
I have only written two fan letters in my life. The first one I wrote when I was ten years old to the great Garrison Keillor to ask if he would consider taping one of his shows in my small hometown, Sheridan, Wyoming. I was delighted when he replied to me with a hand-written note about his newborn daughter and an autographed photo. He told me he had put my request through to one of his tour managers. I was sure I would be hearing from them within weeks and on my way to living the glamorous life of a radio star!
The other fan letter that I may or may not have written was to Leonardo DiCaprio a few years later during my accidentally Goth, but trying-to-be-preppy phase. He so did not write me back.
Just like everyone, I am a recent college graduate of a small liberal arts school in upstate New York now living in Chicago. Recently, I read Take the Cannoli by Sarah Vowell and your book in quick succession. I reveled in both of your descriptions of your time in Chicago and imagined all of the things that could become of me, trying to use your stories as a guide. Did you know Ira Glass taught Sarah Vowell how to drive? Lucky!
After eight months working as a teacher’s assistant in a drama classroom for five to eight-year olds, I have figured out some things that I care a lot about. I really like eating tortilla chips while watching television (on the internet) and sometimes I like to read and write. I have so much direction!
Anyway, enough about me, this is my fan letter to YOU. The biggest and truest thing I can think to say to you is that reading your book made me proud to be a person—specifically an American person. In an early draft of this letter, I might have said “woman” instead of “person,” but I think that would have proven that I wasn’t paying attention to what you are saying in your book. Doing what you want to do and enjoying yourself has less to do with being male or female and more to do with being open and making jokes even when you are bored or stressed.
I just asked the internet for your fan mail address and since I’m not sure you will ever read this or respond, you should know that I am going to post it on my blog so that my friends (my mom) can comment on it to make this feel a little less like a diary entry or a Dear Abby letter.
Tina Fey, you are very smart and funny while still being nerdy, weird and thoughtful. I hope that I can grow up to be like you.
PS Here is a picture that I took of my roommate with our cat once.