Saturday, February 13, 2010
The View from the Brown Couch
All I could think as I walked into Modelinia’s office was “God, I am glad that I got my hair cut last week.” I didn’t meet one person in that office who wasn’t well put together from his or her hair cut right down to his or her shoes. It makes a statement. In fact, the whole office makes a statement as everything from the office doors to the green and white mix of paint on the walls shouted beauty. There was no appearance of clutter either, which of course whispered, “We are classy in every aspect.”
I felt as though I had just walked out of the real world and into the movie, The Devil Wears Prada; only here, people were greeting me with smiling faces and offers to grab me a Vitamin Water from the back…My complexion must have been begging for vitamins.
However, even sitting there in the entrance of the office, I didn't feel completely out of place—my haircut, my choice to sport my most non-casual black boots, twill pants, and a purple top definitely had something to do with that.
I was picking up tapes so that our station could air footage from New York City's much loved Fashion Week. The woman I was meeting to pick up the tapes from offered to invite me back, but then explained that space was tight and it was hot and there were many people. I understood, so I took a seat on the most perfect couch and waited patiently for the tapes. As I looked to my left, I saw the most perfect pillows and a light that looked like it had just walked down the runway itself. I looked to my right, and I saw the secretary's desk, and in front of me, I stared into the glass doors that offered a reflection of only myself in this office. I almost felt better looking, just sitting in an office that had Model in the title, even though everything around me was threatening me with insults. My skin was pale and my face was bare of any make-up, but I didn’t let it affect me as I sat and waited. The industry treats you well if you keep a smile on your face and take the delays with a grain of salt. The truth was I wasn’t going to make it to our studio by the 7:45 deadline, and we knew that from the moment I walked in the door, so I made my phone calls, sat back, and waited, all while thinking…”Thank God that I had gotten a haircut.”
As the time inched closer to deadline, I reached for my phone to see how much time I had. Then I was handed the tapes, and the races were on. The train felt extra slow while I mentally prepared myself for a run I didn’t know my legs would make. The distance wasn’t the issue. It was my choice to wear boots on the ice filled streets something I had never been met with before in any of my training for sports—an obstacle course, fantastic. I jumped off the subway, took a peek at the map, so I wouldn’t be disoriented coming out of the underground, I took off for the studio, rang the bell, and handed off the tapes. The show was out of my hands now. When 10:00 came around the episode would roll. As I turned away from the studio, I reached for my hood and threw it over my head. Then I could only think to do one thing…call my mother and thank her for my gym membership. Suddenly my haircut mattered a little less than something else.
My second trip to Modelinia was short and sweet. As I rode up the elevator, I knew this would be much simpler than my first trip—I just had to trade 1 tape for another. Bada bing bada boom. It would be another 7 hours until I’d have to return and race the clock again. This time I sported black pants, a red shirt, and a new suit jacket that I had bought on sale at Urban Outfitters—tagged at 80, I bought it for 20! I felt good—I felt snazzy. That is how you know it will be a good day—you feel snazzy.
I used to feel snazzy in my field hockey jersey on games days in high school, but this was a different snazzy—a work world snazzy.
As I returned to Modelinia for my third visit in two days, I wondered if I would look snazzy to these people. I had picked up a few compliments at work, but when I arrived there was no time to feel snazzy or anything else. The editors were hard at work to make sure I would get everything to our studio on time, or close to the time that I had gotten there the night before.
They looked at me and apologized for the delay. With a smile, I said it was okay, and walked back out to the brown couch that I had made myself so comfortable on the day before. This couch was something you dream about having in your living room—or what I dream about having in my living room. I remember my mother once offered to buy things from her favorite hotel in Rhode Island. I was ready to make an offer in this office.
I continued my waiting, by again analyzing the office. In addition, I talked with one of the employees, an HR representative, and we just talked about how great the NYC life is and other little things. She left and soon I just sat back to admire some more. And I thought to myself “I still feel snazzy—it’s still a good day”
As I sat on the brown couch I remembered how my friend interned at Vogue last year, and I thought, she must have felt what I am feeling now, every day, only in piles and piles of shoes! The office was a bit more dead than it had been the night before, but this was somewhat calming—I could take in all my surroundings, watch people as they walked by (maybe thinking, wow she looks snazzy in that jacket) and listen to the silence of the office. As I eventually stood up to retrieve the tapes—this time only one tape—I began my dash, and quickly thought, “I wish this snazzy jacket was a cape which I could use to fly…” And again, I was off, on the subway train, out of the underground, and at the backdoor of our studio. When 10:00 came around, the new episode would air—and I would sleep—feeling thankful for my haircut, my gym membership, and my snazzy coat…and I would dream sweetly of that brown couch--at least until next week's adventures.