Amy Schumer is, of course, hilarious. When she announced last year that she’d be writing a book of essays, fans and non-fans alike patiently awaited the release. She’s known for her no holds barred brand of comedy—covering everything from UTIs and unfortunate sexual encounters to her family. So we’d expect nothing less than debauchery from her book The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo.
As much as she never thought it could happen, and after all the obstacles and hard work it took her to get here, this Long Island native is now a movie and TV star. This puts her on an exclusive pedestal far above us normals. Naturally, it was refreshing to discover that Amy Schumer was and still is just like us.
1. She’s had her fair share of shitty jobs to make ends meet. She’s basically the Long Island version of “Jenny from the Block.”
“Anyone who comes out of the rags to riches experience and isn’t cool about money is a douchebag. I try to remember where I came from. I remember when a 30 percent tip changed my day, or sometimes even my week. I remember when I had to sell my clothes to secondhand stores so I could do an open mic. I remember when I almost donated my eggs because I didn’t know what else to do to make a buck (and besides, I’m Jewish and my eggs go for double the price!).”
2. She acknowledges that everyone wants to be popular and well-liked.
“I wanted to be popular with the three coolest girls on the team, so I called them over and told them how I’d learned to steal. They were really impressed with how easy I made it sound.”
3. She acknowledges that everyone encounters the stigma surrounding mental health, but that we have to rise above it and move on.
“I’m going to see a psychologist this Thursday. I don’t want to, but I know its necessary. I still say this exact same thing every week.”
4. She knows first-hand what it’s like to do seemingly altruistic things for selfish reasons.
“People volunteer there [Camp Anchor, a camp for people with special needs] because you can help those in need, it’s good for your soul, and it enriches your life. I did it because the boys were doing it, and I wanted to have a soccer player’s tongue in my mouth before I died.”
5. She’s experienced body insecurities and size shaming.
“Right before college, I was running my high school…It was this sweet spot in life when I didn’t spend a lot of time questioning my worth. I owned what I had and didn’t sweat the rest. Then I got to college, where the class of freshman girls at my school, Towson University in Maryland, had just been voted Playboy magazine’s ‘Number One Hottest in the Nation.’ And not because of me. All of a sudden being witty and charismatic didn’t mean shit.”
6. She knows what’s it’s like being poor in your twenties. It isn’t always glamorous, but we make do and are creative to get by.
“After paying rent, I could barely afford to eat. Fortunately, we lived in Chinatown, where food can be very cheap. There was a dumpling factory right around the corner from us, and for five dollars you could get a huge bag of them—enough to eat for a week. I ate a record-breaking number of dumplings that year. No nutrition, but delicious. My face would swell and lips would blister from the salt. Because the only way to consume them is by drowning them in high-sodium soy sauce.”
7. She recognizes that young love is confusing. It’s why so many young people find themselves in relationships they often don’t want to be in any longer or aren’t sure how to say goodbye to.
“I knew I should go back to the East Coast, but I thought no one would ever love me as much as he did. I believed he was just as passionate about me as I was about him, and that if I did a better job of not making him mad, we’d be fine. I really felt he loved me. And I really loved him. I think somewhere in the course of our relationship, I started to confuse his anger and aggression as passion and love. I actually started to think that real love was supposed to look like that. The more you yelled at each other, the more you loved each other. The more physical and demeaning it got, the more you were really getting through to each other…Wrong.”
8. She realizes that parents are just as flawed as we are because they’re also human.
“I was one of those kids who grew up thinking my mom was a saint. An actual goddess walking the Earth. I worshipped her. But one day, I learned my mom wasn’t perfect. The day I learned this also happened to be the day my childhood best friend, Mia, and I fell out forever. It wasn’t a wacky coincidence. My mother was having an affair with Mia’s father…Now, after some years of reflection, I understand her a little better. Like all of us, she’s a product of her own fucked up childhood. ”
9. She knows what it’s like to have one of those graceless drunken moments where you are a complete monster and total inconvenience to everyone involved.
“According to Ben, shortly after praying to the holy trinity of Ambien, wine and weed, I began dipping crackers into butter as if it were guacamole. While he watched me in this feeding frenzy, I kept accusing him of judging me…then I sat down on the couch to watch television and continue eating my buttermole. I turned on Keeping Up with the Kardashians (his least-favorite show) and wouldn’t shut up about Khloe and how she’s changed…I ended up heating up two frozen pizzas, one of which I burned before he finally convinced me to go to bed.”
Based on her essays, simply calling Amy Schumer a “sex comic” is a tad reductive. Yes, she covers sex and dating, but she also tackles gun violence, rape and inequality of the sexes. Moreover, her personal stories just have a lot of heart, which is what makes them so relatable and easy to connect with. Buy the book here!