Today, I finished a super great excellent wonderful book: The Collection. It’s a novel about a seamstress working for Chanel in 1919. There’s intrigue and where-is-my-life-going confusion and clothes and parties … but all told from the point of view of a woman who doesn’t buy into it all. She’s in love with the art of her craft. She is a seamstress.
In the novel, the main character works freakish hours, even sleeping in the workroom at times. And that, my friends, is something I can relate to at the moment. I worked from home today and just put my computer away about 20 minutes ago – a few minutes after 9. I didn’t even get as much done as I had hoped, but I gave a valiant effort.
Like the seamstress, I’m in love with my craft. I love editing. I love the patterns the words make, and the cadence of well-constructed text. I take pride in my ability to see when one of my editors has used a zero instead of a capital O. I believe perfection is possible.
But like the Chanel portrayed in The Collection, I have moments of … well, blind rage. In the novel, Chanel runs her mouth off and pretty much makes everyone around her upset at one point or another. At Corporate Behemoth, I strive to be supportive and help my editors learn. I keep the rage inside.
But, umm? At about 8:30 tonight, into my 12th hour of editing today? At my third look in 24 hours of the same document from an editor who just isn’t quite getting it? I became deliriously happy at the thought of channeling my inner Chanel.
So, courtesy of the lovely author Gioia Diliberto, here are some of Chanel’s quotes from The Collection. And, courtesy of my own sick and twisted mind, here are the corresponding things I would say if I had no filter, was really, really drunk all the time and didn’t mind having no friends.
Chanel, blowing off a dancer friend: You don’t know what you’re talking about. You’ve being doing too many headstands.
Cha Cha, blowing off editorial suggestions from non-editors who may or may not speak English as a second language: You don’t know what you’re talking about. You’ve been writing too much html.
Chanel, chastising an employee for her side millinery business: Since you like hats so much, you can stay with them until you die!
Cha Cha, chastising an employee for her repeated use of passive voice: You’ve been fired.
Chanel, plain old being mean: You’re an imbecile … I can’t believe I hired someone so stupid.
Cha Cha: Actually, this one works for both of us. I can’t really improve on this. After all, Chanel had style.
Chanel, screaming at a seamstress: What kind of work do you call this? … At your age, I would have got this skirt right with my eyes closed!
Cha Cha, screaming at an editor: What kind of work do you call this? I haven’t taken grammar since eighth grade and even I recognize that “days is” just might be grammatically incorrect! Do you really need to review it a fourth time to catch that? Seriously? And while you’re at it, put a space between those sentences. Strangely enough, that’s considered standard in written English. Or so I’ve been told. But don’t mind me – and I know you don’t, since you skip about every third direction I provide.
Ahh. And that would be my inner monologue, the one that never, ever, ever passes my lips or runs through my fingertips … until now. Don’t tell.
I feel so much better. And like any good afterglow, I think I need a cigarette.