My Completely Imaginary Conversation with Mindy Kaling
by Brianna Knoppow
Me: Mindy! It’s so great to see you!
Mindy: Brianna! You too.
Me: Wait, you’re a superstar. I’m just…me. How do you know my name?
Mindy: You still have a name-tag on. You must have just come from a Meetup.
Me: Oh. Yeah. True. I was at the Young Professional’s Meetup, in DuPont…Mindy – I’m so excited you’re in D.C.!
Mindy: Excited to be here, Brianna
Me: But…the tickets to see you speak about your new book – they sold out.
Mindy: I know! Isn’t that great!?
Me: Well, they sold out before I could get one. Like, they went on sale at noon on Thursday and I tried to get a ticket at noon on Thursday and POOF – they were gone.
Mindy: Sorry! Kind of.
Me: Your first book meant a lot to me. I was living in a ho-dunk town in Ohio, starting to get depressed. When I read, “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?” I laughed out loud and remembered there are still good – and funny – things in the world outside of Ohio, of course.
Mindy: I understand. I’m a New York girl myself.
Me: Since your book meant so much to me – maybe –
Mindy: Sold out!
Me: I had to try. Hey, remember that time you played Kelly in The Office, and it was Diwali Day?
Mindy: How could I forget?
Me: Loved that episode! I actually attended a Diwali celebration soon after seeing that episode. But it was nothing like on the show. Instead of tons of food and dance, we started sitting on the ground and praying. It was kind of awkward.
Mindy: Yeah – you’re not Hindu, are you?
Me: What made you guess?
Mindy: Either your Jewish star necklace or your very pale skin. You wear lots of sunscreen, right?
Me: Only SPF 50! At least I got to learn a little about Hindu culture.
Mindy: Do you get all of your religious information from sitcoms?
Me: No! I also read “Religion for Dummies.” Well, at least the first chapter. Then it got kind of boring.
Mindy: Haven’t read it myself.
Mindy: I’ve come so far, both for myself, and for Indian women everywhere.
Me: Yes. However, I did notice that you’re charging for both your show and your book. Most writers visiting D.C. allow attendees to purchase the book separately if they want.
Mindy: And yet I was able to sell out instantaneously.
Me: How much were your tickets – $42.50? If the entire ticket sales went straight to you, that would be $34,000! In only ONE evening!
Mindy: I know! And I’m not even a doctor or pharmacist!
Me: I was thinking the same thing! But I didn’t want to say it out loud or you might think I was stereotyping.
Mindy: It’s OK. I stereotype myself sometimes too.
Me: Anyway, women make 77 cents per dollar that men make, so way to rake in the money! Mindy: Actually, that’s just white women making 77 cents.
Mindy: Well, black women earn 64 cents and Latina women 56 cents, per white dude dollar.
Me: Oh…wow. White dude dollars are worth a lot.
Mindy: But you knew that right? I mean, you’re college educated.
Me: Umm…well what about Indian women?
Mindy: No idea. We’re not included in studies.
Mindy: Wage studies, cancer research – you name it.
Me: Cancer research? No idea what you’re referring to here, woman.
Mindy: This is D.C. I bet you have a Master of Science.
Me: Not medical science, Mindy!
Mindy: The rates of minority participation in medical research are very low.
Me: How peculiar. I always see tons of black women in those pink ribbon posters advertising runs for ‘the cure.’
Mindy: Yeah, they’re fundraising for research even though only a small proportion of clinical trial participants come from minority backgrounds.
Me: Well that’s very kind of them to fund-raise for research regarding treatments and medications that are mostly only tested on white people…like myself.
Mindy: Yes, very kind indeed.
Me: Mindy, you’re so smart. I was hoping after I saw your show that we would become BFFs. It’s been a fantasy of mine. My other fantasies all involve Matt Damon.
Mindy: Love Matt!
Me: I mean, I just know we’d be great friends! Don’t tell my actual BFF though – even though we watch The Mindy Project together, so she’d probably understand.
Mindy: Yeah, my friend list is kind of full right now.
Me: Just like your show in Chinatown, at Sixth & I!
Me: Do you have a friend wait-list?
Mindy: A wait-list?
Me: Yes, like how my local community garden has a wait list for spots. I’m number 231.
Mindy: Good luck with that. I bet you could build a nice penthouse where that garden is.
Mindy: Or at least I could…Anyway, on my way to the gig. Later, girl!
Brianna Knoppow works in the environmental field in D.C. and enjoys biking, watching musical theater, and foraging for wild mushrooms. She has an M.S. in Environmental Science & Policy.
#equalpay #minorityissues #popularculture #professionalwomen