From comedian and journalist Faith Salie, of NPR's Wait Wait…Don't Tell Me! and CBS News Sunday Morning, a collection of humorous essays chronicling the author's adventures during her lifelong quest for approval.
Faith Salie has done it all in the name of validation. Whether it’s trying to impress her parents with a perfect GPA, embarking on a spiritual retreat in the hopes of saving her toxic marriage, or maintaining the BMI of “a flapper with a touch of dysentery,” Salie is the ultimate approval seeker—an “approval junkie,” if you will.
In “Miss Aphrodite,” she recounts her strategy for winning the high school beauty pageant (“Not to brag or anything, but no one stood a chance against my emaciated, spastic resolve”), in “My Summer Fling With Bill O’Reilly,” Salie attempts to win over Bill O’Reilly during their interview (“Papa Bear probably didn’t think he could love a girl like me, but I was going to prove him wrong in front of a bunch of white people who like guns.”) “What I Wore to My Divorce” describes Salie’s struggle to pick the perfect outfit to wear to the courthouse to divorce her “wasband” (“I envisioned a look that said, ‘Yo, THIS is what you’ll be missing…even though you’ve introduced your new girlfriend to our mutual friends, and she’s a decade younger than I am and is also a fit model”) and in “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me About Batman’s Nipples” she reveals the secret to her hilarious jokes on Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! (“I study for this show like Tracy Flick on Adderall”).
With thoughtful irreverence, Salie reflects on why it is she tries so hard to please others, and especially herself, highlighting a phenomenon that many people--especially women-- experience at home and in the work place. Equal parts laugh-out loud funny and poignant, Approval Junkie is one woman’s journey to the realization that seeking approval from others is more than just getting them to like you-- it's challenging yourself to achieve, and survive, more than you ever thought you could.