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Amy Poehler's Adorable Essay On Her First Summer Job Will Give You Nostalgia Pangs

By Joanna Robinson | Miscellaneous | October 8, 2013 | Comments ()


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Amy Poehler wrote a sweet, slow burn of an essay in the most recent issue of The New Yorker all about a job she had as a teenager slinging ice cream. She writes:

I got [a job], scooping ice cream at Chadwick’s, a local parlor that specialized in sundaes and giant steak fries. Summer jobs are often romantic; the time frame creates a perfect parenthesis. Chadwick’s was not. Hard and physical, the job consisted of stacking and wiping and scooping and lifting. At the end of my shift, every removable piece of the restaurant would be carted off and washed. Vinyl booths were searched and scrubbed. This routine seemed Sisyphean at first, but I soon learned the satisfaction of working at a place that truly closed. I took great joy in watching people stroll in after hours, thinking they could grab a late-night sundae. I would point to the dimmed lights and stacked chairs as proof that we were shut. It was deliciously obvious and final.

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The essay goes on to describe Poehler’s other favorite aspects of the job which included commanding a room in order to sing Happy Birthday to customers and how this first brush with performing, silly as it may be, awoke something in her.

…when I stood in the dining room and demanded attention I was reminded of things I already secretly knew about myself. I wasn’t shy, I liked to be looked at, and making people laugh released a certain kind of hot lava into my body that made me feel like a queen.
Sure Poehler’s piece is short and contains no shocking revelations or piercing insights. In fact, it reads like one of the most sweetly written college admissions essays you’ll ever find. But what it does perfectly is recall that summery, first job feeling. When everything was simpler and the world was as large and as hopeful as you wanted to make it. I suggest you read the whole thing and the next time you go get an ice cream cone, pay attention to who’s doing the scooping and think about what the world looks like from their side of the glass.

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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • BWeaves

    The only thing I took away from that essay was that Chadwick's was CLEAN. Super clean.

  • Ruthie O

    Amy Poehler is publishing essays? That means that Amy Poehler is writing a book! Ah yes, the Internet confirms she is working on her first book.

    The world has gone too long without an Amy Poehler book. Good things are coming, my friends. Good things indeed.

  • Ben

    My local baskin and robins is run by like a legit friendly old ice cream man and lady. They are seriously the nicest people I've ever encounterd behind a counter and they're half the reason I go back there. (The other half is because I'm a fatty boombaladie who needs his mother fuckin' cookie dough ice cream)

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Fun fact: If you want to piss off your ice cream server, only order ice made from oranges cream (if they have it). Allegedly, it is the hardest to scoop.

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  • PerpetualIntern

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    You're welcome.

  • TenaciousJP

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  • emmalita

    My dating strategy is about to take a turn.

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    I'm afraid to click. Do they all have beards?

  • emmalita

    No, but 90% of them do. I'm amused by how many of them have as their profile pic the morning after their three-day bender. And the guy who looks the most likely to fall off his boat in a drunken stupor is looking for a woman to dominate him 24/7. Too much work.

  • PerpetualIntern

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  • emmalita

    It is hypnotic. My current favorite is the one who isn't sure he is typing in the right box.

  • AgLexington

    Nikki -- but why can't the women be described as "rich, successful" and the men described as "educated, attractive". You disappoint me with your sexist attitude Nikki... you really let me down.

  • I call bullshit. Don't try and confuse us with your fancy Sisypheans and your adorableness, Poehler. We all know the ice cream gig was just a front for slinging weed in NYC with Ben Kingsley.

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