Sarah Colonna Talks About Her Career And Relationships, While Revealing Exciting Tidbits About Her Upcoming Book, ‘Has Anyone Seen My Pants?’
For almost a decade, the hilarious and candidly honest Sarah Colonna has been headlining comedy shows all across the country. In addition to being a roundtable panelist on Chelsea Lately and exchanging jokes with rambunctious personalities like Liz Carey, Ross Mathews and Chelsea Handler herself, the Arkansas native was also a full-time writer for the show. But that isn’t all that Colonna wrote during those years. Taking pen to paper, she described her hometown experiences in Farmington, AR and what it was like to move to Hollywood in her first-time book, Life as I Blow It. The New York Times Bestseller included jaw-dropping stories that have since helped young adults everywhere feel confident in who they are, regardless of the choices they’ve made concerning their relationships and careers.
“People will basically say, ‘I’m so glad you didn’t have your shit together at 25; you’re letting me know that’s OK,’” Colonna told GALO during a phone call from Los Angeles in February.
Now three years later, the comedy legend starts off her second book, Has Anyone Seen My Pants?, discussing what it’s like to live in her Los Angeles bedroom with only her ghost of a cat, better known as Mischief, to keep her company, going in so far as dedicating an entire chapter to him. And believe it or not, that’s only the beginning of a series of unbelievably fun, exhilarating and crazy stories. Throughout the book, she presents readers with horrid online dating tales (one of which involved a man who called her, but couldn’t hold a conversation — talk about an awkward silence!), trips to Maui with her girlfriends, and, of course, how she got engaged to current fiancé, Seattle Seahawks punter, Jon Ryan.
Before her engagement though, like most women today, Colonna had a hard time navigating her 30s. Her new book reassures young women everywhere that although balancing a professional life and personal life is hard, the best is yet to come. And it doesn’t hurt that she adds some humor and sound advice to it, too.
“I wanted this book to be very relatable; I want it to feel like I’m talking to a friend. I try to be really honest in it, too, so I think that helps,” she says.
Reading this book will in fact make you feel like you’ve gained a friend. You’ll accompany Colonna through her awkward dates and laugh with her when they go wrong. You’ll cheer her on when she meets her fiancé and sit on the edge of your seat as she describes their first night together. With candid honesty, Colonna takes you through it all — the ups and downs of her career, her friendships and her relationships.
The excited bride-to-be began the interview with GALO by discussing how breaking up with her longtime ex-boyfriend was actually one of the best decisions she could have made for herself and her career, all while revealing the fantastic tidbits that make up her soon-to-be second bestseller.
GALO: Your first book, Life as I Blow It: Tales of Love, Life and Sex…Not Necessarily in That Order, debuted at number five on the New York Times Bestseller list, and focused on your move from a small town in Arkansas to the big city of Hollywood, all while trying to find love. Has Anyone Seen My Pants? seems to pick up where you left off, but this time, thematically speaking, it centers more on your attempts to have a relationship. What did you learn from the men that you were with when you were writing those two books, and how did you know when to move on from them?
Sarah Colonna: The new book is more focused on finding a relationship, and being more balanced in my personal life and professional life — I feel like I struggle with that. I travel a lot, but I think anyone can relate [to the struggle of] finding the balance in your personal life when you’re really career-focused but also [when] your personal life is like, “Hey, I’m over here!” [Laughter]
When the book starts, I [had] just ended a five-year relationship, and went on a rebound relationship. And from that chapter, I learned going backward is definitely not the answer. You know, every once in a while, I think people can reconnect because you’ve both grown and you both want the same things. In this case, [though], he was not grown. He was unmotivated, whereas I had been more career-motivated than I’d ever been. However, because I don’t want to diminish the whole relationship, I did find that he was the complete opposite of my ex. I just went to someone who was fun. He was too much fun and he obviously had like no goals, but in the beginning, I was like, “This is awesome. He isn’t awful like my ex who was a pain in the ass was.” A couple months later, I was like, “This guy is not the answer.” But it was super fun to just sort of get me through the breakup.
GALO: Have you had any regrets with any of the men you’ve dated?
SC: I don’t think so. Although, there were times in my life when I thought I regretted something. When I was 25, there was someone who I was with and nothing really significant happened that ended that relationship, but we just weren’t a good fit. Then I thought that I regretted trying to not figure that relationship out, but as I grew up and got more into my 30s, I realized [that] everyone you meet, not to sound too cheesy, but they do kind of serve a purpose. They get something from you, you get something from them, and it’s probably for a really good reason. I find that I don’t really have any regrets anymore. I think there were times when I thought I did. Now, I’m glad that person came into my life for this reason. I’m sure during the relationship, there were things that I probably could have done better (or acted better). But at the end of the day, I’m sure they’re all supposed to phase out the way they’re supposed to, you know?
GALO: Definitely! It sounds like you got to where you are because of all those relationships.
SC: Absolutely! In the book, I discuss meeting Jon [Ryan] — who I end up with at the end of the book and who I met while writing it — and I was like, “I guess I’m going to end up talking about this relationship.” And it was kind of weird for me to wonder if he would be comfortable with it, but he is — and now we’re engaged! We got engaged in December.
GALO: Congratulations! That’s great!
SC: Thank you! He and I have both laughed at it in that same manner. We’ve both dated people that we really wished we hadn’t, but I know I don’t regret any of it because, at the end of the day, we’re more prepared for each other because of it.
GALO: Before you met Jon, you received criticism from strangers for being single and discussed those incidents in your “Table for Uno” chapter. Why do you think there’s a stigma associated with being single, and how can women become more comfortable with being in a relationship with themselves?
SC: You know, it’s so funny, because in that book I go to Mexico, and I do find that specifically in Mexico, I feel like I get more crap for it. And I do understand that in that culture it is more [about] marrying young and having kids and they’re a lot more family focused, so I completely understand why their mind goes to, “Where’s your husband?” But at that time, it was totally offensive — and it happens a lot when I travel. I’m not saying it happens just in Mexico, but I don’t know what it is. For me, it’s so every day that I travel by myself, and I enjoy my alone time.
In that chapter, a couple times, I was like, “Uno!” — screaming it at the top of my lungs. I do find that now especially, it’s easier to just own it. Now I will just say, “I’m alone now,” if it’s safe to say that. [Laughs] I won’t say that in a dark alley. But I think you have to be comfortable with it. I think at that point, I wasn’t so comfortable with myself — I started to question why I was alone. But later in the book, you see me going out alone, and I’m like, “Uno, this is great!” So, I think it’s more [about] you being reconciling, like you being comfortable with it. So that way, when someone asks you that question, you’re not offended — you’re comfortable with it. You’re just like, “Yeah, why?” You almost think it’s funny. When you’re really comfortable being alone somewhere and being single, I think other people’s comments annoy you a little less. It can still be annoying because, I mean, its 2015 — why can’t I just go to dinner alone? I’m engaged and I still go out to dinner alone sometimes. If you’re really comfortable with it, then I don’t think people’s comments can affect you nearly as much than if you’re not comfortable with it.
GALO: And why was it so important for you to not settle when it came to finding a relationship?
SC: I’d seen people settle. When I was with my ex-boyfriend, we lived together for five years. When we broke up, I realized [that] even though there were great things about him and our relationship, and we were really good friends for a really long period, it wasn’t a right fit at all. So I don’t know why I spent so much time working on it. It kind of seems cliché to say this, but it shouldn’t be that much work. Obviously, it’s going to take work — you’re dealing with two different personalities in a relationship. No matter what, you’re going to have conflict. You’re going to have to work [at it]. But with him, it was just constant everyday work. When I got out of that, I thought, ‘that wasn’t fun.’ And I decided I was never going to settle just to shut people up, just to have a boyfriend again, because it didn’t serve either of us well.
GALO: At the end of your book, you describe how even though you’ve enjoyed living alone, you’re excited to live with Jon. What has the adjustment been like for you in terms of having to share your life with someone else now?
SC: It was interesting, because there was actually only one other person I have lived with before and it was terrible. And I’m so good at living on my own that I was really worried about what it [would be] like to share my space. But with Jon, he played football [and] he was in another state, so we haven’t really — we lived with each other a couple months last summer, and he just got here this week to live here for the next three months while he’s off. Of course, I’m going to spend more time in Seattle when the season starts, and be there for longer periods of time instead of just a couple days as I was last year. I think because he’s also so used to living alone, we’re both so cautious of it, and we’re both so considerate of each other and each other’s space that it’s almost like the perfect fit. I stayed with him a couple weeks in December, and now he’s here again. It’s just, it’s pretty easy. And I’m pretty excited about it because it is easy; it doesn’t feel like work, it feels exciting. We get to live together, we get to wake up together — there’s just a different level of excitement to it than there was for me in the past, which was more like, “we have to move in together because that’s what people do.” That’s what it felt like before, and now, it feels like this genuine, organic, “I can’t wait to share my space with you because I like you” [kind of] thing [laughter].
GALO: What was it like finally finding “the one,” and how did your friends and family react?
SC: When we started dating, everybody said everything seemed so right and that [we] just seemed to fit together, especially when they met him. It’s been so crazy, though — because it’s one of those things where I feel it is so close to a Lifetime movie or romantic comedy with it being like, “I found the one and this actually happened.” But it definitely did. I think the best part about it was that it happened when I wasn’t looking, and I wasn’t beating it every day into my head if I didn’t find someone.
I let my friend take over my dating life and do an online profile for me, because I was like, “Sure, I’ll be open to meeting people.” I wasn’t actively concerned with finding someone. I thought that eventually I would and it would be fine. Or maybe I wouldn’t. Maybe I’d be an old lady living alone and it’s wouldn’t be so bad. I’ve lived a decent life; I can have some fun [laughter].
It feels weird, so natural. We get along very well; we support each other. He supports me so much and that’s such an important thing, because I don’t think it’s necessarily easy to support someone who is a comedian and gets on stage, talks about her life, and writes a book about it. I’m sure he didn’t love reading every chapter of this book, but he’s proud of it and it’s very good — and he knows all that stuff kind of comes along with it and he’s supportive of it. It’s been pretty cool, I have to say. All of a sudden, he’s a major part of my life. And last year — right around this same time — I was literally going on Match.com dates [laughter]. Every once in a while, I’m like, “where’d you come from?” But it’s been great. I think it speaks volumes for everyone — be patient, it doesn’t have to be when you’re 25; I got engaged the day before I turned 40.
GALO: You mentioned one of your good friends tried to set up an online profile for you on Match.com. What was the whole online dating experience like for you — did anything surprise you? Or was it not all that different from meeting someone at the bar?
SC: It was exactly what I expected. My friend was doing all the work; she set up my profile, and it was really funny. She enjoyed doing it. I had a conversation with someone on the phone that couldn’t even speak, and I couldn’t even go meet this person. He just sat on the phone and didn’t talk — and he called me! And I was just like, “this is the worst conversation ever.” Then I went on a blind date with a guy who said he basically only did Match.com for years and he just think it’s great, and I was like, “I don’t think this is working if you’re still going on Match.com dates after being on this Web site for six years.” [Laughter] That doesn’t seem very effective, but to each their own.
It was a little bit annoying, but it made me get up and like go out on a date with someone. It made me just do it instead of just going home or meeting up with friends and saying, “Hey, I can’t meet people.” It served its purpose, I’m sure, but the whole thing was pretty daunting and time-consuming.
GALO: Speaking of online dating, you actually met Jon via Twitter. What advice would you give to anyone who wants to try meeting someone via social media?
SC: In the past, I would have made fun of anyone for reaching out via Twitter or social media, but now I’m the biggest advocate. [Laughter] Ultimately, that’s how I met my fiancé. Go for it.
Social media is obviously changing so many ways on how we communicate. You know, you can go online and maybe George Clooney will tweet you back about something, and you’ll be like, “OMG!” [Laughter] I don’t know about a date, but it’s definitely changing the way we all communicate. I think it starts with social networking, but it all ends up being a way to meet someone — and it could spark a relationship. You kind of never know.