Parks and Recreation returns January 9th and thank goodness, because I was starting to go through withdrawals. To cope, I’ve been watching re-runs, obviously eating waffles, scrolling through any and all Parks and Rec blogs and chat forums I could find and I even went so far as to having an early Galentine’s Day, which consisted of talking about Parks and Rec and eating… waffles. I hate to admit it, but I even miss Jerry (I know). But the show is almost back and to celebrate, I wanted to honor the one and only Leslie Knope, the woman who keeps us going and basically runs the world, by listing all the reasons why we all love her so!
1. Leslie stands by her beliefs.
Leslie Knope is not one to surrender to bullies or give up on her ideas, even if they are unpopular. For example, Leslie tries to warn the citizens of Pawnee that the Sweetums “nutrition bar” is actually chocolate coated crack. To reduce diabetes, Leslie proposes a soda tax, so that fewer people drink sugary sodas and Pawnee responds by threatening to recall her position on city council. But does she give up on Pawnee? Never.
2. Leslie is a really good friend.
Leslie’s loyalty to Ann Perkins and Ron Swanson is one of a kind. Leslie not only knows when everyone’s birthday is, but she takes on the responsibility of throwing customized parties and buying the perfect gifts. Leslie’s friends come first before anything. Except maybe waffles.
3. Leslie cares about her townspeople, even though some of them are terrible.
Although they may not realize, Leslie truly cares about the people of Pawnee. Once, Leslie spent her entire morning getting rid of a bunch of snails in an old lady’s front lawn. And we all know Leslie can throw one hell of a Harvest Festival (RIP Lil’ Sebastian!)
4. Leslie isn’t afraid to chow down.
Leslie has no problem giving into her sugar and waffle addiction, even if she knows it may not be the healthiest thing ever.
5. Leslie is dedicated.
In high school, young Leslie Knope served as Co-Vice President of the student body and was a member of the Model United Nations, Debate Club, Mock Trial, Young Republicans, Young Democrats, and Young Independents (which she founded). As the Deputy Parks Director of Pawnee and member of city council, Leslie serves on several committees like the Equal Opportunity Committee, the Fun in the Sun Committee, the Clean Restroom Task Force, the Handicapped Restroom Task Force, and the Task Force to Reduce the Number of Public Restrooms. In season four, Leslie ran for city council and won against Bobby Newport even though his dad ran the world, practically. Leslie’s next step is to become the first female president and if she weren’t a fictional character, I would vote for her all the way. Knope We Can ’16!
6. Leslie is the best wife, ever.
Even though Leslie has proven herself to be an amazing employee, friend, boss, mentor, and leader, she is also an amazing wife to Ben Wyatt. Ben is the cutest, but he finds himself unemployed a lot because he’s too talented for mainstream jobs. Leslie does a good job making Ben feel important but also letting him know that his home-made wizard board game is unacceptably geeky. This power couple support each other one hundred percent and are a great example of what marriage should be like. You go, guys.
7. Leslie is very upfront.
Leslie is extremely honest and when she doesn’t like you, you’ll know. Also, if you’re old and man and a misogynist, Leslie will not hesitate to call you out on your frail hip.
8. Leslie is an adorable control freak and workaholic.
This woman is a type A personality for sure. Leslie normally only gets 3 ½ hours of sleep per night and Ron practically had to beg her to work part-time when she was running for city council. Leslie cannot bear to not be in control and working at all times.
9. Leslie knows how to have a good time.
A girl’s gotta unwind with a drink (or two, or three) sometimes. Drunk Leslie will sing Lady Gaga at The Bulge, get into a fight with her best friend, start a drinking match with Ron’s mom, and drunkenly flirt with Louis C.K. (AKA Officer Dave). Drunk Leslie is the best.
10. Even if Leslie doesn’t always do the right thing, she always fixes her mistakes.
Remember when Leslie was going to let Eagleton go bankrupt because she hates Eagleton’s guts and thinks they’re all piles of poop? By the end of the episode, Leslie realizes she needs to be the bigger person, so she agrees to merge with Pawnee’s arch nemesis town.
11. Leslie is an incredibly strong woman.
Leslie is my role model and not just because she’s amazing, but because she tries really, really hard at everything she does. Also, her outfits are always so on point. There is nothing Leslie will not do to reach her goals. She will humiliate herself, put others before her, stay up all night, and work until she’s gotten what she wanted. This lady is unstoppable. Sure, sometimes Leslie can be a bit boastful and she’s definitely stubborn, but in the end, Leslie always makes the right choice. Always. When I grow up, I want to be Leslie Knope.