We dropped by the opening reading for comedian/actress/writer Amy Schumer’s book launch in Union Square last night. She was interviewed by Abbi Jacobson of Comedy Central and discussed her collection of essays which will make you laugh, but also reveals stories of introversion, date rape, and dysfunction.
As an aside, I enjoyed her interview and the book, but what I didn’t enjoy was the NYC crowd of fans and crazy fans. Security guards were called in during the signing to escort of group of protesters out of the bookstore. I won’t even give them the publicity (or the baths) that the desperately desire. Of course, I got to stand next to a crazed fan who was on some sort of drug that slowed her speech to a crawl, who was so visibly disappointed that Schumer did not personalize her book that I think she planned to injure herself that evening.
EIGHTEEN THINGS I LEARNED FROM HER INTERVIEW AND THE BOOK
SOME SITES, LIKE PEOPLE magazine, GIVE YOU FIVE or SIX THINGS FROM THE BOOK.
JEWLICIOUS GIVES YOUR EIGHTEEN.
1. The book opens with a letter to her vagina. She apologizes for yeast infections and letting some men mistreat it, but adds that there were some fun times also. Right? High Five.
2. Life on the road might be considered glamorous, but it isn’t. She only had one one night stand hookup, with a British redheaded military man that she sat next to on a flight to Tampa. It was so great that she purposely never met him again, since it could only ruin the memory or be a letdown.
3. Her Jewish father started a business that imported European, luxury, baby furniture and cribs in New York. Called Louis of London, to give it that certain panache, it allowed the family to have a great Long Island house and Porsche, and Amy had a birthday party with live chicks and farm animals. This faded away by the time Amy became a preteen, and the family lost the car, downsized, and downsized more and fell into financial difficulty…. a perfect foundation to comedy. Her father also became ill with MS.
4. The book title, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, plays off the title of the best selling The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
5. Schumer’s lower back tattoo, visible from the book’s back cover photo, was an example of Schumer “trying to be hard.” But she is more vulnerable than hard in real life.
6. Schumer is an introvert. She needs her alone time. Visiting the family of a boyfriend, she would happily just stay in his room or take a walk alone. Other people sap her of energy. She is great when you are in the field of entertainment, where you need to interact with lots of people. This was evident, as a fellow INTJ, during the book signing, where Schumer was happier just signing and moving the line along quickly, than having to speak to any of the fans.
7. Amy hates small talk, especially in elevators. This is why when I had my book signed by her, I didn’t say a word other than “Thanks” and quickly moved down the line. If I had red hair and served in the army, maybe she would have high-fived me.
8. One of the 28 men she “slept with,” was abusive. She remained in the abusive relationship, even though she knew she should escape. She would leave the apartment and go to Starbucks, lock herself in the bathroom, and sit on the floor and cry. She hoped she would not make him so mad. But when she realized it could end in her death, after being chased by him with a knife in his hand, she left. She shares this story since it shows her fans that even a strong woman can be abused and think that no one else will ever love her as much as the abuser.
9. As a teen, Amy was arrested (with her sister) for shoplifting at Bloomingdale’s. She and her sister stole Seven (brand) jeans, a fedora, a bejeweled tank top, and a onesie with a leopard print.
10. She was tattooed at age 20. This has nothing to do with her fear at age nine that she would be churned into butter or that tapeworms would eat her from the inside out.
11. One day, Amy came home and found her mother upset. Her mother, a teacher of deaf students, treated Amy like her therapist and explained that she was in love with the father of Amy’s best friend and planned to leave Amy’s father. But she signed a lot of it in ASDL, signing ‘I am leaving your father.” Her parents divorced. Amy can still sign.
12. Amy lost her virginity to a boyfriend who thought she was asleep… as in she lost it without her consent.
13. Never get drunk and run into your mother’s bed and get naked without paying the cab driver, since he will come to the door and demand payment from your half naked mother. (Reminds me of, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” Speaking of a mouse, Amy maintains a collection of stuffed animals and is devoted to them. One is named Mouser, and has been with Amy since age 10 (Amy’s age was ten, not the stuffed animal))
14. Amy is currently dating a man that she met on an online dating app for creative people (even money is that it was Raya). She only had her profile up for 48 hours. He is Ben Hanisch who makes furniture in Chicago (but not baby cribs, like her father sold, more like furniture like Aidan in Sex And The City). On the app, Schumer put a hiking picture of herself, as well as a pic of Sophia from ‘The Golden Girls’ and Claire Danes making her cry face on ‘Homeland. She matched to Ben in under an hour. Ben, a Utah grad, is Hanisch but not Hamisch. On his profile, his song was ‘LSD’ by ASAP Rocky, which was Amy’s favorite song on that album. Amy writes, “He wasn’t an actor or photographer by trade like all the other guys — and he didn’t live in L.A. or New York. He was a Chicago guy. We sent each other very simple hellos and short, funny messages…. he had heard of my name but had not seen… “Trainwreck,” my stand-up act or … “Inside Amy Schumer.”
They met at her pad in NYC a few weeks later. Amy writes, “The night I first met Ben in person … it was raining. I’d just had acupuncture, so there was oil in my hair and there were deep red lines on my cheeks from being face down on the table, but I put on jeans instead of sweatpants and walked downstairs to meet him outside. I got out into the rain, and Ben was standing there, no umbrella or hood, with a soggy paper bag with a bottle of wine in it. We smiled at each other and in that moment, everything felt right.”
15. To this date, drunk men who smell of scotch remind her of her father…. and she cuddles closer.
16. Amy is New Money (Rock a Fella) and not Old Money (Rockefeller), and blows money on things, like filling the dressing room of friends with lots of bouquets of flowers. She rented a Ferrari just to drive it around (but see, she is frugal enough to just rent it for an hour and not buy one); and rented a boat because it was sunny out. She sent a clown to her shy agent’s office to make balloon animals for him during a meeting. But she always remembers that she used to sell her clothes to a second hand shop to get enough to pay for an open mic slot; or how one big tip as a waitress could change her whole day or week.
17. A pet peeve. #12 on Page 186. Also she doesn’t like The Big Bang Theory (The TV show, not the theory).
17.5 Her mother and father have been married three times each. Amy writes that she had UTI’s that lasted longer than some marriages. Plus there were countless brief boyfriends and girlfriends, like the cokehead or crackhead who Amy’s mother dated for a while. Amy’s mother’s third husband was Moshe, a Persian Jew from Israel who owned an auto body shop in Queens, NY. Unfortunately they divorced and after 9/11, Moshe went back to Israel and wasn’t able to return to the USA. Amy;s mother… well here is an example. His girlfriend worshiped him. She visited his penthouse with her parents, but in the lobby, in front of the parents, Amy’s father seduced a stranger and took her up to his apartment for BDSM sex. That is what you call screwed up.
18. In the Chapter titled “Officially A Woman,” Amy recalls her Bat Mitzvah, and the horror of Hebrew School where she was sent to the principal for asking Mr. Fischer the meaning of a Hebrew passage she had just read (she just wanted to know, and was not being provocative or rude). She became a woman on the day of her Bat Mitzvah, not due to her chanting of the Torah portion, but because she cracked her voice on her last note and brought the solemn congregation down in laughter. There at 13 she discovered that she would be a comedian. (She mentions you also become a woman the first time you fart in front of a BF, and the first time you get fitted for a bra and discover you have been wearing the wrong size prior to that, and the first time a friend dies, or the first time you break someone’s heart) After the reception, she took her friends to Medieval Times in New Jersey, “Just as God and Golda Meir intended.”