EXCERPT: 'Permission Slips: Every Woman's Guide to Giving Herself a Break'

Instead of feeling guilty, let's make it okay. Let's give ourselves permission to make ripples in our ponds, even if we get a few people wet. In fact, I recently bought a boxful of pink permission slips, just like we all used to get at school if we had to come in late or leave early.

Remember how free you'd feel? Leaving the principal's offi ce, running down the hallways with that signed slip . . . it was like having diplomatic immunity (or better yet, Survivor immunity). No one could say that you were doing something wrong. Well, I decided to see if they feel as liberating now, with me simply running around my apartment.

And guess what? They do. If I'm about to cause a ripple, I pull out my pad and write myself a slip.

"Sherri, you have permission to see a movie with your girlfriend, even though it means you won't have time to read so-andso's book before she comes on The View."

Then I stick it in a shoe box. If anyone asks what the heck I was doing last night, I have my slip. The truth is, I'm not even perfect with the slips--in fact, the first one I wrote to myself gave me permission to skip writing a permission slip whenever I wanted.

That way, I'm always covered.

Do you need a slip?

If so, you'd better give yourself one. Immediately. So many facets of our lives conspire to make us feel like crap. If you don't give yourself a break, do you think your kids will? Your husband? Your boss? They want you to keep producing, keep giving. I think you'll see in this book that I've inadvertently made every mistake a woman can possibly make.

But I'm not living in a cave, and I haven't quit show business. Instead, I give myself permission to be flawed, and you know what? It's working out okay.

Sherri Shepherd: 'Permission Slips'


When I look back at my life, I can honestly state that every bout of near insanity can be directly attributed to a man. After I die, I would like to have a sit-down with God, in His family room. The two of us will curl up on a comfy couch, with hot chocolate andM&M's (I'll be able to eat that stuff in Heaven). God will turn on the TV and show me that, lo and behold, my entire life has been saved to a DVR. Then He'll hand me the remote and say, "Sherri,ask me anything." I will immediately fast-forward to all my baddates. And each time a man's about to do something stupid, I will put my life on pause, turn to God, and say, "Lord, what the heck is that man thinking?"

Because I need answers.

I admit it, I have a tendency to generalize about men. And that's okay--what are the odds that a man is reading this book?

Listen, I'm speaking from my experience, and what I say about men is true for about 80 percent of men in general, and 100 percent of the men I've dated.

Men lead charmed lives. We women always feel like we're not doing enough for the people in our lives. Men are exactly the opposite. The less they do, the happier they are. We are yin, they are yang, and if you ask me, being yang looks like a lot more fun.

When men forget to do something, they don't feel bad for inconveniencing you, they feel bad because they got caught. Have you ever gotten your wires crossed when arranging who's picking up the kids from school? So badly that your kid spent an extra hour outside the building?

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