I was younger, in my second year of college, on the cusp of unemployment. At the moment, I was in the lobby waiting for my name to be called. Actually, it wasn't just for my name to be called, it was to go into a competition for a very wanted (and needed) job. My office job at the time wasn't paying enough, and I was so nervous. I did everything I could to try to be as calm as possible. I wore extra deodorant. I used my overdrawn credit card to get my hair professionally blow dried. I wore a fierce red lip. I wore my black fitted, structured dress suit with 3" heels. I looked like I was made for the job, and I felt it. I even brought a book with me to read to while waiting- one of Meg Cabot's Princess series. It was easy, fun, and took my mind off the fact I had two month's late rent bills in my purse.
I killed the interview. There was no competition, and this job couldn't have been more perfect for me. As I confidently shook the hand of my future boss, I knew I was hired. When I walked out the interview room, I heard my soon to be employer tell the receptionist to start filling out my paperwork--I was "perfect" for the job. However, my confident stride went from tall to small in seconds. All I heard was, "She's reading a cheesy teen book...*scoffs*" and as I slowly walked out, so did my job. The receptioniost had no idea who I was, but based on the book I was reading, ruined my chance of getting what could have been a great job. I was judged and it felt so ugly. She didn't know my normal book at home was Howard Zinn's P.H.O.T.U.S. She didn't know I desperately needed this job to pay my tuition. She didn't know my love for academia. All the receptionist knew was that I was reading a cheesy teen book her little sister probably read in a day, and not a repulsive Cosmo magazine like the other women waiting with me. Thinking back now, I don't think I'd want to work for a boss who listened to the receptionist over her gut feeling. BUT STILL.
Everytime I open my Kindle in public, this is the only moment that always come to mind. My Meg Cabot moment. How thankful I am the people next to me have no idea I'm reading embarrassing books that have nothing to do with my character, but everything to do with my entertainment.
(I don't agree with the quote below, but if that's the case, I've been reading Zinn.)
*I'm in the process of *finally* choosing a winner for the other Kindle. There were so many entries! Thanks for your patience.