I Really Was … a Secretary

So, I read Julie and Julia.

The truth is, I'd heard of this book ages ago but I had no real interest in it until I saw the trailers featuring Meryl Streep as Julia Child.  I started thinking that Julie Powell was pretty awesome.  I mean, she has an idea – albeit a somewhat insane one, but a good, focused idea nonetheless - she starts a blog, gets a book deal and then her book is made into a movie.  I decided that, if for no other reason, this book should be read for research purposes.

While my laundry was in last Saturday, I wandered over to the bookstore in the Village where I was confronted with two editions of the book, each bearing a style of cover I find most offensive: The Chick Lit Cover and The Movie Tie-In Cover.  I finally settled on the god-awful Chick Lit Cover (replete with the usual fake handwriting font, illustrated symbols of domesticity and a martini-glass on a pastel background), because, I reasoned, the only thing worse than getting caught reading a chick lit-looking book in public was getting caught looking like the bandwagon jumper I clearly am.  Well, I learned a little something about myself – next time I'd rather look like a bandwagon jumper, as it nearly killed me to be seen reading that chick lit-looking book on the subway.

On the 14th page of my chick lit-looking edition of 'Julie and Julia', Julie Powell wrote:

Oh God.  It really was true, wasn't it?  I really was a secretary.

Ouch.  This annoying lump balled up in my throat.  I wondered if she'd had to refrain from writing, "just a secretary" the way I often have to try very hard not to slip it in.   

I realized that deep down, she goes on, I'd been resigned to being a secretary for months – maybe even years.

Yeah, I know it.  From that moment on I was Julie Powell's fast friend.  The day following the reading of the 14th page, The Egyptian had been trying to get out of me why exactly I was doing this night school class and what did I plan to achieve with it and why exactly did I want out of my job when to be perfectly honest, it's pretty effing cushy.  I started getting a bit hysterical, to be honest, and the best response I had to give was a (hysterical), "I DON'T KNOW, I JUST DON'T WANT TO BE A SECRETARY ANYMORE." 

And that's all there is to it really. 

That was the bad news.  The good news was that the buzzing in my head and queasy but somehow exhilarating squeeze deep in my belly were reminding me that I might still, after all, be something else.

… Maybe …

3 thoughts on “I Really Was … a Secretary

  1. I’m reading that book right now. I got the movie tie-in cover.
    All I can say is “I KNOW, RIGHT?”
    I’m still waiting for my brilliant idea, complete with buzzing and queasiness.

  2. I hear you in so many ways, sister.
    And book covers are a great thing. Cover it yourself in pretty fabric, or just buy one. Either way, you could be reading Ramona Quimby if you like, and no one will ever know.

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