Happy Accidents by Jane Lynch
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Certainly not the first thing I look for in the celebrity memoir, but by happy coincidence, I now feel I know Jane Lynch. Nothing creepy. I am a fan to the extent that I have always enjoyed her work, from her days as a journeyman sitcom actor, through her hilarious Christopher Guest turns, straight on to Glee. (I will always have a soft spot for Party Down's Constance Carmell.) She's made Glee for me. I must admit though, I stopped watching after Season Three, as everything would seem to have run its course -- everything but Sue Sylvester, who is eternal, bless her. Why I'm pretty sure I know Jane Lynch as well as I now do is because I have known so many of her down the years as to be able to predict pretty accurately the arc of her autobiography. No lie, having at one point been considerably more involved in community events in both San Francisco and then West Hollywood, I know this woman. Reading the rest of Jane Lynch's book, after the first third dealing with her childhood and adolescence, became something like playing the sideshow gypsy, "I see the letters AA, and a lovely dark woman in a custody dispute..."
I don't mean to suggest that Jane Lynch is not a brilliant and unique performer, or that her personal history is so familiar as to be uninteresting, quite the opposite. For me, if no one else, reading this book felt like old home week. I loved all the Jane Lynchs in my life. If none of them was the amazing comedic actress the real Jane Lynch is, they were all of them sharp, funny women of equally prickly and generous personality; great company, hard working and all the better for the hard knocks they'd had.
They were also, to a woman, on a path that led them invariably through astrology and yoga and alcohol and intimacy issues to successful later-in-life sobriety, community and long-term commitments. Like Lynch, by the time I knew them in their middle age or more, they usually were just as happily married to remarkably attractive women, raising, some of 'em, amazing kids.
There's nearly nothing I've had in common with these women in terms of taste: reading, writing or sexual, chemicals, depression, careers or kids, nevertheless I've always found them enormously attractive as individuals and the single most powerful force in making the GLBTQ community into a working political and social movement. I've come to appreciate just how much more they've done for us than I have ever done or am likely to do to make the world a better place. And then, there's just the delightful sangfroid with which they embrace both their neurosis and their spiritual growth. Gotta love that. Lesson there.
Seeing such an admirable, funny woman succeed at what she was born to do was a pure pleasure and the familiarity of the rest of the story of Jane Lynch only endeared her to me the more.
Well done and, though I cringe to even type the word, "namaste," sister.
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