So write yourself a permission slip to see the funny part first. Misery is patient, and will wait.
Permission Slips by Sherri Shepherd is so FUN. I know Sherri as a co-host on The View and Tracy’s wife on 30 Rock, but I didn’t know she’s a comedian, and I didn’t know that she is funny. SHE IS FUNNY. I spent a lot of this book cracking up at how ridiculous she is–in the best possible way.
The book combines memoir with self-help (my two favorites!). The framework for the book is that Sherri gives advice on how to handle all the crazy life throws at you, and she does that by sharing her own experiences. She talks about her relationships with her friends, family, God, religion, and her co-workers. She also, of course, addresses that time she made her infamous “the world is not round” flub on The View. Nothing is off limits, which is part of the book’s charm.
The funniest bits have to do with her struggle with food/diabetes and her dating exploits. Part of what makes the book fun is that Sherri recognizes her own flaws and is willing to share how complicit she was in her own crazy. One of my favorite anecdotes is the one she tells about a dude who she was in the process of dumping (in the most passive aggressive of ways) (i.e., she had started dating someone else and ignoring this dude whenever he called) who came and essentially kidnapped her from the hairdresser, and she was so elated that she made this man crazy that she stayed with him even longer than she should have–but that’s because she had a hard time saying no to people. Completely nuts, but she recognizes how nuts she was, so that makes it okay to laugh. Plus, she’s telling the reader not to be as crazy as she was.
While I enjoyed the funny bits a lot, she also included a lot of sad/poignant parts, especially when talking about the birth of her son who was in the NICU and that she and her ex-husband considered removing from life support.
I mean, I almost cried when I got to this bit:
Later, Jeff told me that when he prayed, he told God that he’d take whatever he could get. “Lord, if You just bless my baby to stay alive, whatever package he comes in, I’ll accept and be as happy as I could be. If he’s in a wheelchair, I’ll take him in a wheelchair to the football game. I don’t care how he comes wrapped. I accept the package.”
COME ON. I am not made of stone.
Ultimately, though, Sherri’s memoir/self-help book gives a lot of insight into how she broke into the business, how she keeps her head on straight, and why making mistakes is okay.
For me, this was a surprisingly fun read. I just saw it on the shelf at the library and picked it up. I didn’t even think I would like it. But I did. And I can recommend it to anyone who wants to read something fun.