Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Confessions of a Shopgirl

That's right folks! Out of the apron, into the lab coat - the lab coat of a makeup counter salesperson, that is. Or will be, possibly starting on Sunday. I took the job, on the grounds that it's better to have a sure thing than to keep looking around in the hope that something I actually want comes up (so much for risking my talent, eh?).

Yes, there may have been some angry words, and tears, and a lot of grappling with that nagging voice that keeps suggesting I'll never succeed at anything -- but there's also the peace of mind in knowing that at least I'll have a job, that I won't be pulling down our finances, that I won't be taking advantage of anyone's generosity while I continue to search for my "real job."

Which brings me to Claire Danes. Or more specifically, Claire Danes' character in 'Shopgirl.' Yes, I'm comparing myself to Mirabelle, although thankfully I don't have the headache of a love triangle that she deals with over the course of the film. There are the easy comparisons: She's an artist! I'm an artist! She works in a department store! I'll be working in a department store! There are also the more subtle things, like how I can use her difficulty choosing Mr. Right as a metaphor for my internal debate regarding the question of my career(s). But the most important lesson for me to take away from the film actually relates to the secondary story arc. Along with getting a job in her field and becoming self-actualized in her relationships, Maribelle finally gets a solo show. Yes, this is an American romance - she gets the boy, the show, and the great job. But there is more for me to strive for in this end than cinematic cynicism. What if I can be Maribelle? I have the boy, now I need the show and the job. Surely this can't only be a Hollywood fairytale.

With this, Mrs. (hopefully) ends her series of posts on unemployment, job hunting, and the sturm und drang associated with the post-collegiate doldrums. On Friday, look for a new post describing whatever wacky and wonderful thing strikes her fancy at the time -- possibly, it will involve makeup.

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