Is that really a cross in the background?
What an annoying book. It sat at Barnes and Nobles on a shelf of bestselling annoying books. I had come to read it for free, so as not to have to lien in. No, it was not Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook, a huge volume with more recipes than she could have possibly made in her 40 some odd years with two children a film career and strict workout schedule. No, it was not Dr. Phil’s new how to LIVE your life book. He has intervened in too many lives, ( I was home sick and saw the little screaming teenager being hauled off to rehab and thought, wow he probably didn’t want to include that scene but had to because it showed the depth of the issue.) No, it wasn’t David Sedaris’s new book “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls” which I actually bought so I could savor it after I finish writing this.
It was as you might have ambitiously guessed Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, a book about cooking without body fat or anything much to say. No, It’s a fine example of a book about marketing oneself. The book, like similar volumes written by Madonna has various tie ins, platitudes and a simple upbeat message that will make you want to power up your inner Android. Warning you may need a support group, to take over the world but she’s got that all mapped out for you. All proceeds from your purchase today go to charity so you and she can feel nice about your ambitions. I, on the other hand will go on feeling badly because I really am not nice and can not even pretend to be.
I won’t be Leaning In anytime soon. I don’t need permission to be successful. I need to learn how to write better and so does she. I wish I had brought a calculator to total the cliches in the first few chapters. I know it’s not a rigorous study of power just a sincere marketing scam but I was expecting something maybe on the level of Vogue. She does include over 50 pages of footnotes and stuff in the back which, if you count them, makes the book longer than a single issue of Vogue. ( I would have to check about a double issue.)
I was drawn to the book after hearing her speak on 60 Minutes. My ambitions in life are so similar to hers. I want love, power, prestige. I have the will to lead. I can get people to follow me over a cliff but that doesn’t make it right. She and Mark Zuckerberg will have their domain and I will have mine. Mine does not require the same set of instructions. The primary technique I embrace is called “winging it.” I will probably make more brownies than both of them and Gwyneth Paltrow. We will all die and turn into dust. I probably think more about this than all of them as well.
My motto in life, which you can get for free right now on this blog and none of the money will go to charity is – chill and enjoy. I’ve spent too much of my life trying hard, attending support groups, sitting at the table, standing on the table, working, networking. Now it’s time to watch TV.
Sheryl reminds me that I have a responsibility to claim my seat at the table of power. Other women are depending on me. Are there really people out there who like managing people or managing funds? I never understood the lure of Magic Cards either, you had to buy all these packs in order to beat other people but someone else made all the money. I will be making ice cream and fun. I will be sabotaging myself using my wardrobe and my lack of emotional control. Isn’t there a cute picture of The Dalai Lama going around Facebook right now saying the world doesn’t need any more successful people? He’s really going to hate me because I am damn successful at so many things. None of them make much money but don’t get in f*” ing way while I’m doin’ them.
I am obviously not the demographic Sheryl is speaking to. She is speaking to you gals who were number one in your class, who have kids and have a career and all the people who wanted to. I just want to start reading my David Sedaris. He is one crazy cat and I hang on his every word. Lean in a bit and listen to what the outsiders have to say and then you might learn something but watch out, we bite.