Funny Business


When I was about 9 or 10, I fell in love with feminist movies. “Silkwood,” “Norma Rae,” “The Color Purple.” Basically, if you were a woman who fought against adversity, I wanted to be you.

I vividly remember nearly going to fisticuffs with a third-grade boy over how “Nine to Five” was way better than “Caddyshack”—with or without a dancing gopher. “Don’t you get the subversive humor?” I probably said, while pretending to pull out blond strands from my Dorothy Hamill ’do.

So you can imagine my joy when interviewing Lily Tomlin (page 84), who’s coming to town on May 7, the night before her new Netflix series (co-starring Jane Fonda) premieres. Lily and I gabbed for almost an hour—and bonded as fellow movie cryers. In fact, she told me a cute story about how her mom took her to see “Imitation of Life”—a 1959 tearjerker with racial undertones—starring Susan Kohner, whose son Paul Weitz just directed Tomlin in the new Sundance flick “Grandma” due out in August.

“Before the movie started, my mom opened up her purse to show me she’d brought three washcloths [to use as tissues],” said Tomlin with a laugh. “I CRINGED, but they came in handy. I’ve been waiting my whole life to tell someone that story.”
You may need a washcloth after reading about 13-year-old Mekhi Ferguson, a brave and funny kid who’s received amazing care at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital (see “Modern Miracles,” page 64). He should become a professional happiness guru. I’m also a big fan of Changa Bell, who revives tired souls at Sunlight & Yoga (page 46).

Is being constantly connected to your boss (and everyone else on the planet) stressing you out? Be sure to read “Driven to Distraction” (page 68), where tech writer Andrew Zaleski goes “off the grid” for 48 hours. Well, almost 48 hours. Plus, we pick 12 smartphone apps—ironically enough—to help you chillax.

I suffer from tech perfectionism. I put off sending emails/texts because I want to craft a Pulitzer-worthy missive that makes the other person feel like they just won the lottery. Unfortunately, sometimes that means I don’t write back at all. (I’m working on it, promise.) That’s why I love getting out of the office to scout for stories like “She’s Gotta Have It” (page 72). It’s fun to see friends at all the local boutiques—such as Hannah and Martha from JG Sassy (a preppy-chic wonderland in Ruxton), who came back to unlock the shop at 9 p.m. after I left my keys on the counter. (Thank you, ladies!) After all, spring trends may come and go, but kindness is always in fashion.

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