I’m walking down a hallway.
I know her name, her title, what car she drives. I know she has kids, a husband, maybe an old dog. I know she prefers blazers over cardigans. Tea to coffee. Silver to gold. I know she favors orders to questions, demands to requests and slams to knocks. I know these things because I’m observant, I’m watchful and honestly, it’s pretty easy to pick up on a few personality idiosyncrasies after several months of just paying a little attention. I could be anyone. I am anyone.
We’ve met. Once during a 10-second elevator ride regarding the weather and once, because I bravely said hello. She nodded and half-smiled. She has absolutely no idea who I am.
I am invisible. I am minuscule. I am Jack’s perfectly camouflaged office attire set to a quintessentially unoffending background of a sea of file cabinets and a yellow fluorescent lighted sky. I am a thousand girls before me and every one who will come after. I am a continuous giggle playback of top 40 hits and an endless Vogue reel of cheap trendy patterned cotton.
I could be anyone. I am no one.
Green is the color of 2013. Green laces and green tights and green carpet. I’ve gotten good at looking at my shoes when there’s no where else to look. And my finger nails. I don’t paint them as much anymore. Chipped fingernails are almost as bad as wearing out of season shoes. It’s a Glamour don’t. I do my best.
A plush corner office is all relative in a dying business. What’s plush anymore? What’s it like to be so shiny that you’re six inches taller than everyone who’s ever worked for you? Being so tall, it’s easy to kick instead of walk. This office is a soccer field. It’s full of balls. We’re all just balls.
“…The more powerful you get, the more you’ll be judged and scrutinized, on display. You’ll miss things– vacations, sunsets, moments with your family. Some people in your life will never accept your priorities. Not everyone can withstand the pressure.”
We graduated. We all graduated and we get to be interns and assistants and get coffee and get good at smiling and saying yes. Some of us are good at it. Some of us learn something. Some of us get Lucky. Some of us don’t.
We’re told we can be anything we want if we go to college. We’re told that and then we graduate and get criticized when we think we’re too good to do anything less than our dreams of being anything we want to be! But you know what? We finally got it. We get in the back of the line. We bite our tongues. We squint back tears. We make new coffee. We do it right this time.
“…So now you know you can have my life. You can do what I do. Because you can sacrifice the things that need to be sacrificed.”
You did what you had to do to get where you are. You yelled. You stomped. You cursed. You hung up the phone. You got ahead. You did it. You are someone. YOU ARE SOMEONE.
And I guess we all want to be shiny. We all want to be noticed and nonchalant about our own perfection. To dance around our own reputable timeless importance. Like look at me! Look at me! Look at what I did.
“….But what if I can’t do that? I mean, what if that’s not what I want?”
Look at you.
You are Jack’s ultimately inevitable karma. You are Jack’s sad bitter end.
You could be anyone.
“…Oh, don’t be ridiculous. Andrea. Everybody wants this. Everybody wants to be us.”…..–Miranda Priestly, The Devil Wears Prada
I’m never going to be you.
Van·i·ty Fair: n. a vain and frivolous lifestyle especially in large cities