What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding

What Kristin Newman was doing while I was breeding

by Jill Effron

Ever wonder what your single friends are doing while you’re off getting married and having babies? If you’re sitcom writer Kristin Newman, then you document your travels through singlehood in a hilarious and sexy book actually called What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding.

In her debut memoir she chronicles in detail her various boyfriends, her exciting trips around the world and her vacationships. (Vacationships: a relationship you have on a vacation. Genius.) The book is peppered with so many laugh-out-loud moments, “will they or won’t they” moments and even a moment of “she did what?!” If I didn’t know Kristin, and hadn’t actually sat on the sideline and watched a couple of her relationships play out, I wouldn’t believe this was non-fiction. Her stories are just so fascinating, mainly because she’s the opposite of me, to the point that one might think, “Nah, this seems too great, this wouldn’t happen in real life.” But it does. And it did!

Kristin and JillI first met Kristin many years ago when she was a writers’ assistant and I was a production assistant on That ‘70s Show. Kristin trained me to take her spot as a writers’ assistant as she was moving up to staff writer the following year. For the past decade I have followed (not to be confused with stalked) Kristin’s sitcom career and it has been quite impressive, from writing on How I Met Your Mother, Chuck, and The Neighbors, to selling her own pilot. I’m thankful Facebook was invented because it allowed me to see pictures and hear snippets, in the form of status updates about her worldly travels and adventures, which are now in print for you to see as well.

Jill and Kristin

Jill and Kristin in Catalina / Photos courtesy of Jill Effron

I am honored to have had the opportunity to travel with Kristin once upon a time. However, our trip to Catalina was tame compared to the traveler Kristin-adjacent becomes in her book. (Kristin-adjacent: Not exactly being yourself when you’re not on your home turf. Genius. Again.) But it was obvious from our Catalina trip that she was a fearless traveler, who was looking for an adventure in any form.

In fact every time she got on an airplane (in her book), I couldn’t believe she didn’t do any OCD rituals… like I do… because I just assumed everyone is a nutjob when they get on a plane. Nope, not Kristin. A show would go on hiatus and she just hopped on a plane and sought out her next adventure and her next vacationship, while the rest of us stayed home, picking out china patterns and interviewing pediatricians. That is all juxtaposed by her two besties settling down during Kristin’s adventures. She makes sure to show both sides of the grass. And both sides of the grass are green and even smell like fertilizer at times, which is actually refreshing. Well, the actual smell isn’t refreshing, just the fact that they both smell is.

While on Catalina, we went out to some local dance club where she met some boys, which is one of the themes in her book. I, on the other hand, felt most comfortable against the wall. Watching. And that’s why I couldn’t put her book down. Her writing is so vivid and entertaining and filled with energy that you actually feel like a fly on a wall, with her tales unfolding in front of you. As she states in the book, she was never watching from afar, she lived like a local, renting apartments, staying in hostels and avoiding touristy locations, all while finding love in exotic locations.

While reading her book, on a recent vacation, I learned a lot about myself as a traveler — and a lot about Kristin that wasn’t always played out on Facebook. I am proud to say I knew her when and that I traveled with her, even if it was just a short boat ride to a tiny island off the coast of California.

What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding by Kristin Newman is a must read book this summer. Or for any season. Just read it! You won’t be sorry.

Jill Effron

About Jill Effron

Jill Effron is a writer and mom of two darling kiddies. Prior to the mom gig, she spent ten plus years working in every genre of television. Outside of the TV world, Effron wrote, directed and produced plays and award-winning short films. 

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