Saturday, October 27, 2012

Being Leslie Knope

borrowed from TV Fanatic

A long time ago before I'd ever watched a second of Parks and Rec, my friend Seth told me I reminded him of the show's main character Leslie Knope. That's the nicest thing anyone's ever said! I remind them of a lead character with her own show? Yes.

Dear world, think of me as this Leslie Knope, powerful woman of city government.
This means I'm cute like Amy Poehler.
I'm probably very funny.
I hang out with Aziz Ansari, a guy who talks about bacon and Jim's old girlfriend from The Office.
This is basically a mirror image of who I am in real life!
Anyone would be so lucky to be likened to Leslie.

Then I started watching Parks and Rec.
I was maybe two seasons in when I called Seth back.
I don't want to be Leslie Knope!
She's nerdy.
She doesn't realize Pawnee, Indiana is a dead end.
The guys she likes like everyone BUT her.
She only wears pant suits.
She's a super spaz and crazy embarrassing in serious, important situations.
She loves things that no one else cares about and doesn't realize it.
Leslie Knope sucks!

Seriously. It kind of hurt my feeling.
I told Seth that being Leslie Knope made me kind of want to die.
He said it shouldn't. That I should keep watching because everyone loves Leslie.

Good. Everyone loves the lovable idiot.

But I did keep watching all the way to the most current episode.
In that time...

  • Leslie covered when her employee Tom Haverford accidentally shot her boss Ron Swanson on a camping trip. 
  • She worked it out with the local Native American tribe when a curse threatened to ruin the Pawnee Harvest Fest, a revived town tradition and her pet project.
  • She wouldn't leave the police station until they released Tom Haverford when he was wrongly arrested for lurking.
  • She threw a Sweet 16 birthday party for employee Jerry who was born on a leap year (then she forgot to invite him to it) and threw a fundraiser for Jerry's medical bills when he was put in the hospital for a heart attack (that she caused by scaring him as he came out of the restroom).
  • She was elected to City Council with the help of her staff who all willingly sacrificed to help run her campaign.
  • There were plenty more instances of Leslie saving Tom's life.

She is fiercely loyal to her best friend Ann Perkins.
She goes out of her way to give her friends and coworkers awesome gifts and surprises like doors that close via remote control and steak dinners in their office from their favorite steakhouse.
Leslie does that because, on top of all the other things she loves (Pawnee, Margaret Thatcher, the idea of one day being the President), Leslie loves her friends. She likes making them feel special and she never complains about the lengths she has to go. In fact, her actions tell you that everyone deserves to feel special at least on their birthdays or Christmas or when they get put into the hospital.

Honestly, I could fill this blog with stories of all the awesome things Leslie Knope's done that I've never even thought of doing.
She's thoughtful and brazen and dedicated even when she's incapacitated by nerves or the flu.
She's resilient. She is honest.
She absolutely cannot stand injustice and will fight it to the point of embarrassing herself.
The real testament- the things her friends are willing to do and endure because they love Leslie.
Yes, she is a little nerdy and she does wear pantsuits, but after 4.5 seasons of Parks and Rec, I think I'd be very lucky if I was anything like Leslie Knope.

Spoiler alert. In the last episode, her most darling boyfriend Ben came home and surprised her by proposing. It could all hit the fan in the very next episode, but for now, Leslie Knope has a good life with a good job she loves and good friends and a good boyfriend.

I'll take it. I'll be Leslie Knope every day of the week.

PS- Ben, I want to marry you too. Every day of the week.

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