Cool, Calm & Contentious

Before there was Tina Fey, there was Merrill Markoe.

I first came to know Markoe through her work as a writer on David Letterman’s late night show way back when … he was on NBC. And even though I was closer to my elementary school years then than I am to my high school prom now, I recognized funny and thought it was extremely cool that it was a girl doing it. In fact, I’d go so far as to say she was one of the first people that made me realize you could write and make a living.

Markoe’s latest collection of essays does not disappoint. Full of humor without being silly, she shines a flashlight on some of the insecurities (and wisdom) that come along with middle age—that our parents really do have an impact on the people we grow to become, that relationships are always a work in progress and that yes, assholes exist and are easy to spot once you learn the signs.

The biggest laughs for me came from her description of coming home drunk for the first time—not too far off from my own experience, having been to Greektown with my camp counselor buddies (“Mom! The cheese! The cheese! And then there was more cheese! And we said, “Oopa!” And then there was more cheese! OK, so … I’m going to bed now. See ya in the morning! Good night!”) … and from her description as a keynote speaker at a conference geared toward young women. Suffice it say, Merrill, had I been in the audience, I would have been way more interested in you than the gift basket raffle.

Read it now and join me in professional asshole spotting. It’s fun!

Cool, Calm & Contentious
Merrill Markoe

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