There’s always time for ‘You’ve Got Mail’

One of the great celebrity tragedies of the last decade is Meg Ryan’s metamorphosis into a puffer fish. It’s hard to believe that Kathleen Kelly from You’ve Got Mail is now nearly unrecognizable as a halibut. But, I try not to let that diminish my enjoyment of what is, I will argue, the best romantic comedy ever made.

In the last three days, I’ve watched You’ve Got Mail four times. I can’t stop myself. In my own life, exchanging personal emails with mysterious semi-strangers has gotten me in the most romantic trouble, but I still like to believe in its potential. Plus, most men can barely sign their names to an occasional greeting card, so seeing one (Joe Fox, aka Tom Hanks) who can actually string together witty, insightful, and grammatically correct paragraphs is especially enticing.

I love that Joe Fox doesn’t swoop in to rescue Kathleen Kelly. In fact, he never even considers it and has full confidence in her. She’s a strong, independent woman who doesn’t need saving, and their relationship appeals to the feminist in me. They’re both wonderful equals and, even when Kathleen’s business closes, she is entirely in control of her life. She finds another gig and does it all on her own. She is terminally adorable and feminine, but never helpless. She’s perfectly imperfect, funny, smart, and blessed with the gift of making baggy, neutral-colored clothing look impossibly fashionable.

Plus, as a romantic lead, Joe Fox is darn charming. Near the end, when he tells Kathleen Kelly that, if circumstances had been different and he hadn’t run her store out of business, he would have asked her out for as long as they both shall live, I lose it. Every time. It’s such a perfectly sweet, romantic line.

The movie only becomes more appealing as I get older. There are so few romantic comedies worth watching (don’t even get me started on the damn Notebook!), but You’ve Got Mail is a classic. I’ve seen it at least a dozen times and I’ll surely see it at least that many more. It never gets old. Many have argued that Sleepless in Seattle is the best Ryan-Hanks pairing, but don’t believe it. That movie is ass.

Packing, moving, and the dangers of veggie mash

I’m sitting here on a frozen Saturday morning, a button missing from my red reindeer flannel pajamas, experiencing my first day of unemployment. For the next two weeks, I’ll be┬ájobless while packing to move back to Oregon. I can hardly believe it myself.

In fact, the personal items from my office are still packed in the trunk of my car. If I take them out, I know that means I’m really done, I’m really moving away.

Yesterday was my last day at work and I almost made it out the door without crying. Almost. I’m leaving four of my favorite people on the planet, and it breaks my heart that they’ll be continuing on in their lives without me. It’s horribly selfish, but I don’t want to think of someone else in my office doing my work, including my jumble puzzles, and getting to have fun with my awesome coworkers. That person is an asshole. I hope he/she gets dysentary.

It’s probably a good sign that what I’ll miss the most are the people I work with. It means I had a great job, even when it wasn’t, and that there are four people who will probably never really get rid of me. I’m a barnacle they can’t scrape off — even from 400 miles away. I love them all.

So, that leaves me to this moment with the pajamas and the frost, and the calm before the tsunami of packing and swearing and second-guessing. In a startling display of ridiculousness, I’ve also chosen this week to start a “clean living-vegan-eat so many vegetables your poop is purple-green veggie mash” challenge. I was inspired by Augusten Burrough’s self-help book and his chapter on suicide without suicide. Kill your old self and start a new one. Don’t try to be what you want, just be it. Very yoda and probably true. So, here goes. I’m a person who drinks lemon-ginger-turmeric-honey water in the mornings and isn’t angry about it.

I can do this. All of it. I’ll be in touch.