January 23, 2014

What Janus Wrought

I realize this makes me sound a little Tracy Flick, but I picked out my outfit for my first day at CWA weeks ago. I'm more on my A game when I'm wearing my favorite skirt from Club Monaco and the blouse I wrestled from the hands of a Real Housewife of Long Island at the Theory store at Woodbury Common Outlets. Nina used to make fun of me for being so OCD about what I wear and when, but then the Times ran this article about enclothed cognition, basically supporting what I was saying about clothing enhancing performance, and now she shows my silly little theories the respect they deserve.

CWA was closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so I was starting on Tuesday, the same day Janus dumped all over the East Coast and ruined everything.

"Just wear, like, long johns, under the skirt!" Richard suggested from my bed. I was tearing up my closet, trying to find a new first day outfit that would impress all my co-workers and weather the polar vortex better than a flimsy silk top. "Take them off when you get to the office."

"Do I look like the type of person who owns long johns?" I tossed a puffy vest over my head. "I can't even believe you know what they are."

"My mom used to make us wear them under our ski pants," Richard said.

My hands stilled on the sweater dress I was considering. Richard so rarely brings up his family that it's like a record scratch when he does. Also, he'd said us....I'd always been under the impression Richard was an only child. "When you say us....?" I glanced over my shoulder at him. He was propped up in bed, shirtless, tapping away at his laptop.

He looked up at me. "Me and my sister."

I tried to keep the surprise out of my voice. It was like if I revealed how interested I really was I'd scare him off. "You have a sister?"

Richard went back to working on his laptop but he nodded. "Yeah." His brow furrowed over whatever it was he was typing. "Thought you knew that."

I shook my head and turned back to my closet. "No. Where is she?"


I relieved the sweater dress from a hanger. "How did she end up there if you're from Oyster Bay?"

I no longer heard the march of the keys, just Richard's sigh. "What's with the twenty questions?"

I pulled the dress on. My hair was plastered to my face with static when I poked my head out of the thick turtleneck. "I'm just curious. You've met my whole family. I feel bad I didn't even know you had a sister."

Richard shut his laptop and pulled back the covers, stepping out of bed. "She's younger." He made his way over to me. "She met some guy from the South and they got married and moved down there." His hands were on my waist now. "Is this what you're wearing?"

I smiled. "Like it?"

Richard took me in from head to toe. "It's like the original mother turtleneck all other turtlenecks were born from." He pinched the thick collar between his fingers and grimaced. "I hate it."

"It's a cowl neck and Nina Garcia says those are chic."

"You know what would look really cute?" Richard reached behind me and found the hanger with my Rockford Peach costume—the one with the tennis skirt that definitely wouldn't pass the fingertips test. I'd had it dry cleaned in case I ever got a last minute Halloween party invite which is also something Nina likes to make fun of me for ("Who gets her Halloween costume dry-cleaned?!").

"That's not very polar vortex appropriate," I said.

"But maybe later?" Richard raised his eyebrows at me.

I gave him a kiss. "You're such a freak." I returned the hanger to the closet. "Meet me at Eataly after work. We can get stuff for dinner before we head home—your office is 25th and what again?"

Richard started for the shower. "Broadway."

"I can't believe we work so close." CWA's offices are on 21st and Fifth. It is a dreamy shopping area and not in the way the movies make Fifth Avenue out to be. Yes, there is a stretch of Fifth Ave, further uptown, cluttered with tourists and fancy stores where even a key chain is out of my budget, but the hood I will be frequenting five days a week is lined with shops that warm a millennial's frugal heart: H&M, Madewell, Joe Fresh, Club Monaco's sale rack, and Intermix for when I'm in a masochistic mood. There's also a Drybar around the corner which is good to know in case hell freezes over and an appointment some time in 2014 becomes available. "We can do lunch together alllll the time."

Richard flung a towel over his shoulder. "You're never going to have time to eat a real lunch."

"Just let me have my fantasy, okay?"

I had to be at work earlier than usual on my first day to go through the HR orientation. There were nine new hires, and the woman running the session had us turn to the person next to us and introduce ourselves, say where we were coming from and what we were going to be doing at CWA, and also share one cool thing about ourselves. It was like camp.

The girl next to me was named Howie, and I instantly loved her because I have a thing for girls who have boy names. She had dark hair slicked into a low bun and she told me she'd come over from Goldman to assist Marty Irvinbaum, who is an agent in the TV department. Oh, and her one cool thing about herself is that she can speak Italian and that is insanely cool and sexy.

"You were at Goldman Sachs before this?" I asked, just to be sure I'd heard her right. It was a move that seemed nonsensical.

Howie took a sip of her coffee and nodded. "I know. My bosses told me I was making the biggest mistake of my career. I was on track to become the youngest VP in my group." She rolled her eyes. "And don't even get me started on the..." she rubbed her fingers back and forth, indicating she'd taken a massive pay cut.

"So why did you do it?"

Howie shrugged. "Some of the partners are investors in the movie industry and I just heard people rave about this place. They're doing some really cool things here. And being an agent isn't really all that different from what I was doing at Goldman. I sold financial products there. Here I'll sell talent to producers or casting agents or whatever. A lot of really successful agents started in finance."

"I didn't know that," I said.

Howie took another sip of her coffee. "Yeah. Also, I was so sick of being the only woman and the only black person on the floor." She rolled her eyes. "You wouldn't believe the abuse I had to put up with."

I put my hand over my chest, aghast. "Why didn't you sue for, like, harassment or discrimination or something?"

Howie laughed. "You're adorable, little blond girl."

After we'd gone around the room and introduced the person by our side (in case you were wondering, my one cool thing about myself is that I can hold my breath under water for two minutes and fifteen seconds and I expect my medal to arrive in the mail next week everyone), another HR rep talked us through the insurance, medical, and dental plans CWA offered. After that torture, everyone gathered their things to take a tour of the building. Before I could follow the group out into the hallway, the receptionist stopped me at the door. "You're Josie Mitchell, right?"

"I am."

"I never got your passport. I need to make a copy of it for our files."

I groaned. "I am so sorry. I totally forgot to bring it with me this morning."

"You should try and run home and get it at some point today," she said. "I won't be able to enter you into our system as a new hire without it, and it will screw up your pay cycle."

"Should I go now do you think?"

"I would." She glanced out the window at the wall of white. "Before the storm gets too bad."

I had to splinter from the group to go find William and tell him I had to make a quick trip home. "You want my car?" he offered.

"Are you serious?" I asked.

"Of course I'm serious!" he said. "It's dangerous out there. The last thing I need is some cab swerving onto the curb and hitting you on your walk to the subway. Who'd be my assistant then?" he laughed loudly.

I rolled my eyes. "Thanks for your concern."

William's driver, Marcus, met me downstairs. It took us forty minutes to get to my apartment—I might as well have walked.

"I'll be right back," I said to Marcus as I climbed out of the car.

I hurried into my apartment building, shaking off snow as I climbed the stairs. I jammed my key into the lock and opened my door. When I saw the figure on the couch I screamed. The figure screamed too.

"Richard!" I took a deep breath. "You scared the shit out of me." I took another deep breath and almost laughed before I realized something, before I took in the deer-in-headlights expression on Richard's face.

"It's almost noon," I said. "Why aren't you at work?"

Richard aimed the remote control at the TV and shut it off. "So, um, there's something I have to talk to you about...." And never, in the history of mankind, has anything good ever followed those words.


  1. Oh no. Oh no no no! Richard!! What are you doing?!?!

    1. and why is he doing it in her apartment?

  2. Grr I don't think I can wait till tuesday when left with that. I secretly hope he is unemployed.

  3. admittedly I must've read poorly in the past, but I thought this new job was in LA for some reason and she'd have to move? Anyone else? Please clear this up! Thanks!

    1. Once she's accepted into the agent training program she will be sent to LA for the months, for now she is Williams assistant

    2. the job is based in new York but Josie will have to go to LA for 3 months for training.

  4. For the love of God and all that is holy, please make this some good drama with A LOT of detail!

  5. Living off his parents' money, would be my guess. Richard is digging a hole & I really like him, so stop it! Lol.

    Also, I worry that going home in the middle of an orientation is going to have repercussions... we shall see.

  6. I love your description of the Flatiron district..it's so on point and is your description of howie's Goldman job. I work in the area, love the eataly and can relate so well to howie and her job. Hmmm, I would have liked more of a back story for Josie and Richard over the past 3 weeks just to get a better feel. I'm on the fence about their relationship. I like that we are finding out more about his family but there is something huge he's hiding. Can't wait to find out more.

    1. Like New Year's Eve! Where was a post about New Years? haha

    2. YESSSS!!!!!! I love your writing Jess but the last post Josie and Richard ran into his ex and she blurted out how Richard used her to prove a point that he was relationship material and now here we are with Richard and Josie pretty cozy in her apartment picking out clothes for her new job. What happened NYE and how did her last days at Literatti end with Kate and Frank. Where are they in their relationship that Richard has his laptop and keys to her apartment? I don't even think Justin or Peter had keys to her place? I love this blog and I love each and every post and understand that you can't answer every question or provide every detail. I'm missing the progression of Richard and Josie.

  7. Jessica why do you do this to me??!!! These cliffhangers kill me! Ahhhhh such a good post!! I literally can't wait until next week!!! I'm still indifferent towards Richard, so I'm interested in what he has to say. I hope he gives Josie a real explanation rather than playing around it like he did with the whole Sam thing last time, because it really made me trust him less than I already did.

  8. Kinda dissapointed that on Tuesday there was no post and today's post was kinda short... Ohhh well ...

    1. Jessica was feeling under the weather Tuesday and I'm sure she's still fighting some of it today. I can't blame her for the lack of posts this week. Hopefully this means some extra juicy ones next week!

  9. omg did he get fired..omg i hate cliffhangers grrrrrrr

  10. Oooooo juicy! Love it and can relate - my bff in NYC met a guy, dated him for 6 weeks where they had weeknight sleepovers and he'd put on a suit in the morning to go to "work", then it turns out he didn't have a job! Also I wonder if Richard is secretly a trust fund kid (knew one who pretended to be normal/poor) or is actually out of work and needing a job. Or maybe he is now drug dealing or something crazy like that!

  11. Nooo Richard!! Don't mess this up!!

  12. Nooooo!! Richard, don't fuck this up!!!

  13. Will there be a make up post over this weekend since tuesday was miss? I'm sooo curious to see what Richard has to say!!!

  14. Loved seeing the office location -- literally a block and a half away from my office (by the way non-New Yorkers, at that intersection are a Club Monaco, HSBC Bank, Ann Taylor, and Eisenberg's sandwich.. sorry to ruin the mystery). It really is an excellent shopping area! (and I LOVE Eataly)

    Please please please tell me that Richard's going to say he lied about having a job/got fired. Those aren't good but considering how this is ending it's best-case scenario.

  15. He's a loser without a job!!

  16. Here we go! She doesn't have time for this, though...she's gotta get back to work. PLEASE don't make us wait until Tuesday!!! mum

  17. Something's up with Richard. He's too shady - lying, evasive, won't open up to her if it's not about sex.... And why didn't he just go to his own apartment after she left instead of hanging out at her place? Weird!

    Don't think this will end well.


  18. OMG I cannot wait till Tuesday!! please hurry lol... good stuff !!

  19. Richard gets so annoyed when Josie asks him questions about his life. That's a huge red flag. She's only asking simple questions. He's only said 'I love you' when sex is happening and that's because he doesn't love her and is telling her everything she wants to hear. Josie is so gullible and will believe anything anyone says. I mean, come on, she even believed Elizabeth's bulls**t. I hope what he has to say will cause them to break up. But knowing how much I hate Richard it will probably be something stupid and they will be fine.

  20. I feel bad for Richard, he probably hasnt got onto his feet yet since being sacked the last time. Lets hope something works out for him.

  21. Richard is totally a trust fund baby! By the sound of it, it seems like he went skiing often in his childhood, I don't know about you guys, but I've never met someone who goes skiing often that doesn't have at least some decent money. Plus, Josie mentioned how he paid for some expensive champagne and dinner with a good tip. Because of the phone call to his mom on christmas at Josie's, I have a feeling there's a lot more to it than just the money. Can't wait for next week!!


  22. Well you usually don't want to tell a girl about your parents' finances. Doesn't make you look good to say anything about it anyway. I've never lied about having a job when I didn't but no matter what I don't volunteer the info. I'd rather someone quietly draw their own conclusions over time, if the relationship goes that far.

  23. 1.) Oh, my gosh -- is it Tuesday yet?
    2.) +1,000 for the Tracy Flick reference!

  24. So many thoughts on this! I cannot wait for Josie to start her new job and as much as I kind of love how she's with Richard and how nice he's been so far (except when they ran in to his"ex,"), SHE JUST NEEDS TO GET HER PASSPORT AND GO BACK TO WORK! She doesn't have time for his secret back story, it isn't worth her job!

  25. I was hoping Richard was going to secretly be some millionaire....like maybe the secret head of the CWA who used his "online advertisement job" as just a cover story but that doesn't seem to be happening... i just can't wait to here what happens on Tuesday!!

  26. Ohhhh I don't want Richard to mess this up! And I really hope the discussion doesn't take too long, she's in the middle of orientation!
    Has he lost his job and secretly moved in? He never seems to stay at his house?

    Is there any other blogs like this one? I think I'm going to need another to keep me going over the off days!

    1. http://newyorkdixie.blogspot.com/

  27. I really hope Richard doesn't mess this up I really like them together.. But I am trying to patiently wait for Tuesday to get here.. I just hope it's he got fired or something like that it makes me kind of nervous lol...

  28. I hope Jessica is feeling better...

    Can't WAIT for the next post!


  30. Were you posting a new one today!? It isnt up yet! Hope to read more! Xoxo

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