Have you ever come across an old email, or letter, or story and thought, "Wow, I wrote that?" We all walk around with the vague impression that we're competent and maybe mildly intelligent (well, at least I do), but every once in awhile we're forced to sit up, look in the mirror, grin slyly and think, "Damn, you're fierce."
This happened to me today as I was going through my emails from last summer. I was trying to find the cute little tree do-hicky that Hearst Corp. puts on the end of their emails that say, like, don't print this email or the Earth will perish, or something to that effect. I ran across my application to become a style writer for my absolute favorite website, Jezebel. I was just a young buck then. 22-years old, interning with the uber-fab Translation and looking for a full-time editorial gig. My cover letter (which is excerpted below) scored me an interview with the company, the opportunity to do an edit test, but no cigar. Still, I think it was pretty hot. I wrote:
The writing bug hit me around 2nd grade (with no warning and quite rudely) and my dream since then was to work for a glossy, women's magazine. Through the years I regularly sated my fixation by devouring Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, Vogue, and Marie Claire and the like before I came to the realization that the magazines, collectively, kind of suck (this category, of course, excludes Jane. May she rest in peace). Besides lacking in substance and ignoring real issues that real women deal with, they exist on the presumed platform that women are wack and need to improve. Get Thinner Thighs! Shiny Hair is Yours Now! Make Him Want You!
Where is the voice that gives a big, jovial high-five to women as they are? The presence that says you and your beer belly are fine the way that they are and, more importantly, the ice caps are melting, public schools are failing, our economy is in the tubes and John McCain is actually serious about becoming president—these are of equal importance. So, though I love to write about women and what's relevant to us, I'd rather do it at place that includes all that we are, not just weight-loss and/or sex tips. Enter Jezebel, Stage Right.
Amazingly, I still feel that way. Of course I looked at the letter and immediately spotted some punctuation errors that I wish I could go back and correct, but c'est la vie.