Sunday, November 17, 2013

Working in The Big City

I just rewatched 13 Going on 30 for the first time in a while. That used to be one of my favorite movies when I was in high school, and, watching it again as "an adult" (wait, am I still young enough to put that in quotes?) was weird. I never realized until now how much I had based my perception of my future life on that movie. In other words, yes, I want to be thirty, flirty and thriving.

Image via Head over Feels

What could be a better life than one where you could go to work wearing a negligee and pitch fluff headlines at a board meeting with your best frenemy? All I've ever wanted was a high-powered career in The Big City, toting a briefcase and some sort of snooty coffee every morning. 

Ah, The Big City. At the time, I meant New York City, which is where 13 Going on 30 takes place. But then I visited the Big Apple last fall and realized there were a few million too many people there for my liking. And most of them were tourists who blocked the sidewalk. Where were all the businessmen with Wall Street Journals tucked under their arms?

Since I live in Wisconsin, I realized that working in NYC would be difficult anyway, logistically. But there was always Milwaukee. Sure, it's not the same caliber as New York, but we have the Bronze Fonze! And we'll always have Laverne & Shirley.


So I actually did get a job downtown--not to reach my goal of working in The Big City, but it was definitely a consideration. And let me tell you, it's not all it was cracked up to be. First of all, how come movies and TV shows that show businesswomen hustling and bustling to work never seem to take place in inclement weather? In 13 Going on 30, Jennifer Garner traipses around town in colorful sundresses and, yes, a negligee, eating ice cream cones and chuckling jovially when a dog steals it out of her hand. Oh, Jennifer Garner. If only I could be so carefree about my frozen snacks as you are. 

Instead, every day on my walk to work from my car I pass a frozen yogurt shop and shiver as I pull my coat closer around my neck and wonder who the hell would eat frozen yogurt in this weather? And I don't traipse around in colorful sundresses and heels because I wouldn't make it to work alive. I wore a sensible pair of heeled boots the other day and practically had to have orthopedic surgery by the time I got to my desk. Every outfit I own is too cold--even my pants somehow aren't cutting it in the brutal Milwaukee weather. I have seriously considered wearing snow pants to work just to protect my legs from frost bite. I figure I can make it business appropriate by donning a ski jacket and puffy vest on top, three-piece suit style.

Image via L.L. Bean
This model looks fresh to death in her stylish, high-waisted snow pants with suspenders. I could totally pull these off.
Another thing movies neglect to mention--how come no one has to drive to work in the city? I have to fight to the death with rush hour traffic twice a day, then swerve around rogue bikers on ever corner once I enter the city. I have to pay for parking and then walk several miles in the snow, uphill both ways, to get from my car to the office. There's no stopping to smell the roses on my way in to work. There's no spontaneous visit to a coffee cart to buy a cup of joe. In fact, there are no roses or coffee carts because it's winter and I work in Milwaukee. 

Have you ever noticed that people in movies just leave the office at random times throughout the day to have fun experiences? They'll have a meeting on the other end of the city, or they'll stop for lunch for the third time that day, or they'll take a quick break to go shopping, where they'll run into the man they're having an affair with, etc. My day consists of: fighting traffic, walking uphill to work, sitting at my desk, walking uphill to the car, fighting traffic, and then doing dishes all night until it's time for bed. Why don't television shows feature characters like me?? Just once I'd like to see a character I can relate to. Is that too much to ask?


  1. Have you erver watched Rosanne?

  2. Haha so true. Every time I watch a movie based in NYC, I scream "FALSE!" We're all drag assing across the city in long puffy coats and UGG boots, with our heels under our desk. And cursing the subway the whole way. Ugh, adultness.

  3. Yep. When I was younger my parents would take us on vacations to The Big City and I always was so envious of everyone living there! Then I grew up, actually got a job in The Big City and realized it's a complete nightmare. I agree, where is a TV show about that?!


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