Sleb Safari: Shonda Rhimes says yes and you should too

Shonda Rhimes is the woman behind Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder so when she tells you to say yes to things you don't say no

WHEN you need someone sensible in slebdom to call a spade a spade look no further than TV writer Shonda Rhimes.

Shonda is the woman behind hits shows Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder and she's written a book that's part memoir, part self-help manual, called Year Of Yes that details her 12 months of saying yes to things that made her feel uncomfortable and even frightened.

And yes Sleb Safari would like to receive a copy in its stocking this Christmas.

Shonda has a theory about the danger of saying no.

“Losing yourself does not happen all at once,” she writes. “Losing yourself happens one no at a time. No to going out tonight. No to catching up with that old college roommate. No to attending that party. No to going on a vacation. No to making a new friend. Losing yourself happens one pound at a time. The more I worked, the more stressed I was. The more stressed I was, the more I ate.”

And so she started saying yes. Yes to speeches, yes to interviews, yes to playing with her children, yes to difficult conversations at work, yes to putting an auto-reply on her emails that reads "I will not answer your work email after 7pm and if you work for me, may I suggest you put down your phone?"

Shonda spoke to Vulture about her book and one thing that tickled Sleb Safari was her revelation that Cristina Yang from Grey's Anatomy is the woman she aspired to be.

Sleb Safari also liked what Shonda told NPR about how differently she has been treated when she's had a plus one.

"I have never gotten so much approval and accolades and warmth and congratulations as when I had a guy on my arm that people thought I was going to marry. It was amazing," she said.

"I mean nobody congratulated me that hard when I had my three children. Nobody congratulated me that hard when I won a Golden Globe or a Peabody or my 14 NAACP Image Awards. But when I had a guy on my arm that people thought I was going to marry, people lost their minds like Oprah was giving away cars.

"It was unbelievable... I was fascinated by it because I thought, like, I am not Dr Frankenstein, I didn't make this guy – he just is there. Everything else I actually had something to do with."

Don't panic if you're tempted to follow Shonda's example but feel overwhelmed by the thought of saying yes to everything for a year – you can say no too apparently because "You realise once you start saying it you're saying 'no' to them but 'yes' to yourself".

Now go forth and say yes to everything: it's a win-win situation.


Parents Are For Life Not Just For Christmas

Sleb Safari tips its hat to Aziz Ansari for his timely reminder that we should appreciate our parents.

Aziz, who starred in Parks and Recreation and is a comic in his own right, is getting great reviews for his new show Master of None.

He wrote this on Facebook after he and his father appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: "My dad took off most of his vacation time for the year to act in Master of None. So I'm really relieved this all worked out.

"Tonight after we did Colbert together he said: 'This is all fun and I liked acting in the show, but I really just did it so I could spend more time with you.'

"I almost instantly collapsed into tears at the thought of how much this person cares about me and took care of me and gave me everything to give me the amazing life I have.

"I felt like a total piece of garbage for all the times I haven't visited my parents and told them I wanted to stay in New York cause I'd get bored in SC... Not to beat a dead horse here and sorry if this is cheesy or too sentimental but if your parents are good to you too, just go do something nice for them."

Word. Now call your parents.


High Five Joan Collins

THIS week's recipient of the sassy lady award is Joan Collins for her attitude to ageing. The previous recipient was Pamela Anderson who was aghast that someone would think that, at age 48, she might not want to pose naked for a magazine.

Joan (82) isn't considering a career in 'glamour' but she does display the same sass when asked by The Times if she agrees with Bette Davis that old age isn't for sissies.

"I don't know, I haven't got there yet," she replied, then laughed and added: "Ha, that stopped you in your tracks".

Joan Collins, your award is in the post.


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