I still, to this day, have never been as nervous in my life as I was on my first day working at Cosmo. Here I was, a midwestern girl with no fashion sense, working at one of the biggest magazines in the world. I don't know what I expected, really. I think I blacked out for the elevator ride up, so anxious I could die. I clutched my fake Prada bag (from a purse party, what what!) close to my side, suddenly realizing I was in the company of ladies who could sniff out my imposter. There was no time to fret, though, as the elevator doors opened to the front desk of the Cosmopolitan office.
It was like a fashion paradise. Girls in five-inch heels and designer summer dresses flitted through the lobby toting racks full of clothes I had only seen in, well, magazines. Hair perfectly done, bodies perfectly toned, I suddenly wondered what I was doing here.
I swallowed my fear and approached the girl behind the desk, telling her I was here to meet with Annie, it was my first day as an intern. She smiled pityingly and directed me to where Annie's cubicle was. She was a short, pretty Asian girl with perfect hair and an even more perfect wardrobe. She gave me the once over and began barking directions. I suddenly realized where the confusion from me even getting the job in the first place stemmed from; Annie was a ball of energy, all over the place, all the time. She pointed out the cubicle I would be sharing with my fellow interns, Jackie and Lindsey. I was thrilled to discover that despite my preconceived (and completely erroneous) imaginings about these girls, that they were INCREDIBLY sweet and very helpful. I couldn't believe my luck in being put to work with them, they made my summer SO much better.
A few hours into the day, we heard a loud CRASH then a blood curdling scream coming from near the water cooler. A girl dashed out of the room, Gucci shoes in hand, looking like she had just been through a tsunami. The water cooler lay tipped over on the ground, tears ran down her face, and girls gathered in a circle around her. "Oh my gosh! Are you okay??" Annie asked the clearly distraught girl. "Yes, I THINK so, but my vintage Guccis got all wet!" Gasps were audible through the crowd, as bystanders approached to assess the damage. I stood near the back, and a chuckle escaped my lips. A few heads turned toward me, laser beams shooting out of their eyes. I immediately pinched my lips together and forced a concerned expression, realizing quickly that the girl was not, in fact, kidding about being upset over the shoes. And in that instant, I also realized that my whole sarcastic world would be turned upside down in this strange reality that was Cosmo.
It's a strange feeling, when your dreams become reality. Like everything you ever wanted is being handed to you. It's like growing up all of your life with pictures of what the Disney Castle looks like, and then standing as a small girl staring up at it in wonderment. You realize that anything is possible, and that (some of) your expectations were far off from what you actually begin to experience, as the people around you are humanized. These girls were real, this job was real, and the people behind putting this larger-than-life publication together... were real.