When I Grow Up


You’ve Got Mail is my comfort movie. It’s the movie I watch when everything in my life seems to be closing in and the only remedy, really, is to dive under my covers and watch something that assures me, for approximately two hours, that everything will be all right.

And so, thinking about this today, and about a few things that are going badly right now, I’ve decided: I want to be Kathleen Kelly when I grow up.

She’s not perfect, of course. She’s the Elizabeth Bennet of 1990s New York City, one might say. She’s prejudiced, smug, and even cruel at times. But she’s also well read, wears neutral sweater sets and turtlenecks better than we ever thought possible, strides through the city with self-assurance, lives in the loveliest apartment, and has a close — and quirky — circle of friends. In the words of Patricia, “she has flawless taste. She’s famous for it.”

Most importantly, though, Kathleen Kelly flounders:

Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life – well, valuable, but small – and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn’t it be the other way around? I don’t really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So good night, dear void. 

This, this is what I truly want to be when I grow up: able to flounder, if not with grace, then with honesty and unshakeable hope.

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