My dearest darlingest fellow ticketing clerks,
“Oh my GOD, she’s Ana Steele! You’re Anastasia Steele!” you squealed at the beginning of a disagreeable office-wide phase that lasted for weeks.
My response to this sort of nonsense, prompted only by the apparent misstep of drinking hot Twinings English Breakfast in the morning instead of the Tim Horton’s IceCapp that somehow remained de rigeur in the ticketing office all summer, was usually to smile at you with a look of murder in my eyes or protest with minimal effort. There was simply no arguing with you. Yes, I know. I’m an English major with light brown hair who likes tea. The resemblance is striking.
Now, though, since I am a badass, I will respond with that most daring of counter-arguments: a (mostly) flippant illustrated list of the ways in which I am nothing like Anastasia Steele.
5. I own more than one skirt and at least attempt not to look like I just rolled out of bed most days
This point is superficial but touchy. I know plenty of people who don’t feel comfortable in skirts for one reason or another. I also realize that not everyone gets as excited by clothes as I do. But Anastasia Steele struggles to look “semi-presentable” for an interview with a billionaire.
She criticizes her own appearance constantly, yet it never occurs to her to try mascara or mousse or mess around with clothes. My preferred method of self-soothing is imagining that Coco Chanel is my guardian angel. In this respect as in others, Ana and I are not kindred spirits.
4. “Oh, you know. The usual. The classics. British literature, mainly”
Compare this to my time in England, the arguable highlights of which were seeing the first place Nancy Mitford was wonderfully mean and meeting real live hedgehogs. That last might be a bit twee and idealized. But who doesn’t love Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle?
2. I understand what my sex drive is, and I do not anthropomorphize it
When I first read Fifty Shades of Grey, this was the first funny bit I brought to Ariel and Matthew’s attention. One’s sex drive or sense of self-worth is not a little goddess.
At least, mine is not. I can’t really speak for anyone else.
If you persist in comparing me to a twit who insists her sex drive and her id are a goddess, I will choose an inner goddess. She will be Eris. And you will be sorry. This is not a goddess, though it is mostly inner:
1. I make a valiant effort not to be a doormat and comparing me to one is both insulting and problematic
All right, this isn’t the flippancy I promised, and since you, coworker, have seen me in customer service mode, you may think I am, in fact, meek, subservient, and malleable. Nope. When I’m being ridiculously sweet it’s because it’s my job. If someone came into our office and asked to buy natural filament rope and masking tape all while insinuating that he wanted to use them on me, I would not react especially calmly. Also, it would be strange since we sold tickets.
Ditto telling me what to eat. Or what to wear. Or pressuring me into sexual acts I’d told him made me uncomfortable. Fundamentally, this is not okay. Thank God for Chaucer. Should you feel the urge to compare me to a literary character, I recommend following the example of my new favorite professor and telling me how much I remind you of Alisoun, the Wife of Bath, who, like Coco Chanel, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, Nancy Mitford, and I, refused to put up with any nonsense.