Writing left handed

It’s Time to be Ruthless

I once had a professor in college who told me, “You’re extremely gifted.  You’re going to have lots of opportunities come your way.  But you must stay focused.  You must turn them down.  Ruthlessly.

He was one of my favorite professors (admittedly, this had as much to with the course material as it did the fact that I had a huge crush on him) and I never forgot his advice, mainly because I couldn’t believe he actually used the word “ruthlessly.”  Not when I was pursuing a double major in dance and history; I figured I’d be lucky to get a job.  Any job.  The only thing worse than majoring in dance or history would be majoring in English and trying to make a living as a writer.  (Joke’s on me, I guess.)

At any rate, after last’s week Single Bridezilla segment and the unfortunate aftermath (in which I found myself being asked— on numerous occasions— if I couldn’t try being just a little bit crazier, or perhaps a little bit more single, because then I’d be much better for reality TV, ya know), I’m becoming ruthless.

In truth, this newfound ruthlessness has been bubbling beneath the surface for the past few weeks and frankly, it’s about damn time.  I had lunch with my partner-in-crime and co-producer last month and when she made a suggestion for a little scheme we’re working on, I immediately put my foot down.


A few minutes later, I did it again.

“What’s with you today?” she laughed.  “You’ve gone b*tchy all of the sudden.”

“Not b*tchy,” I replied.  “Just serious.”

By which I meant ruthless.

The thing is, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do (write, produce, teach, perform, choreograph, travel, volunteer, date, study, research, etc.)  So I’m starting to get more selective in the projects I take on because let’s face it: I’m no longer that recent college grad who is desperate for anything—anything!—that will enable her to get her foot in the door or add another credit to resume.

Of course I can’t afford to be too selective (not with the publishing industry being what it is these days) but I can put my foot down.  And if I’m sick of being painted as some vapid, idiotic, wedding-obsessed bimbo, I can do something about it.

(This is my blog, after all.)

As such, when I sat down for my sixth (!) interview of the week on Friday, I told the producer everything: yes, I have a Masters degree; yes, I spent a year at Oxford; yes, I know I’m good at public speaking—I do research conferences!  Admittedly I spend most of the time checking out members of the opposite sex but that’s beside the point; finally, last but not least, yes, I love weddings.

So sue me.

“Are you worried that you’ll never get married?”


“But won’t you be disappointed if you don’t?”

“Of course.  I’ve already spent twelve whole dollars on a dress!  But I have so many other things I want to do—I want to write books, I want to get my PhD, I want to go back to Europe—marriage isn’t my only goal in life!”

Eventually she told me that she loved my project and loved my personality but that she feared that I wasn’t quite “crazy enough” to make the cut.

(And that she could tell I was “too smart” to exaggerate just for the sake good television.)

Honestly, it was one of the nicest things I’d heard all week.

So that’s the last I have to say about Bridezilla’s for a while.  In fact, seeing as The Wedding Date and I did not spend the weekend attempting to watch Star Wars, we were able to get caught up on housework (him) and blog posts (me) and I’m rather proud of what I’ve come up with.

Besides, one of my co-workers is actually getting married, so I can start planning for her instead of planning for myself.


9 Responses to “It’s Time to be Ruthless”

  1. Zak

    I guess the obvious question, which you’ve already more or less answered is:

    Would you rather have more fame and be seen as all the negative things attached to you in order to get that fame (bridezilla stuff), or would you rather be you, and make a harder-fought but ultimately more worthwhile career?

    But, you already did answer that.

  2. chauffeur

    She answered, but wisely is atleast looking in the opened doors to see what is behind them. I think she handled all the interest like a true professional. P.S. Kat, Tell of planning for co-worker, At the NYE party, they asked me if I could officiate (due to my chosen vocation). I thought they were teasing so I gave a humerous answer in kind. Now that I know their theme, I want in!!

  3. CaptainPhoenixRising

    Well…it was fun while it lasted! Good on you for knowing where you will and will not go. But I do think it is kind of funny that the last week was spent with people either referring to you as either too crazy or not crazy enough! I think that means that you fall somewhere right in the middle – as in fairly normal! (That will be $90,000.00 please!)

  4. Katie

    Exaggerating for good television is for people looking for 15 minutes of fame. You, my dear, have far longer than that in store, so it’s good you didn’t sell out now. 🙂

  5. The Prof

    Obviously you must be selective and do only what you feel is right rather than for some pseudo fame. If the interest continues I think you need to first mention your daily/hourly rate before acceptign to talk to anyone. That would be ruthless and quite proper too!

    P.S for the readers I am not THAT prof!

  6. Chicago-Style Girl

    Good for you. If people were smarter and less crazy, they’d stop being made into basket cases on reality TV. But then of course, what would half of America do without their Housewives etc.? I’m just glad you won’t be one of them.

  7. casespace

    Ugh. I feel like this confirms what I already knew about reality TV.

    As you probably already know, I’m totally there with you on marriage not being my life goal. While it’s nice and I see the benefits of it, there’s so many other things I feel “called to” do and desire to do. 🙂

    I’ve seen you accomplish so many of the things we first talked about when we were interning together, so I’m sure soon you’ll find the perfect fit opportunity-wise.

  8. Lost in France

    There seems to be a wise head on those young shoulders. No doubt much of this can be attributed to C & L but I am sure that you have learnt a lot yourself.

    It must have been tempting to go for the quick fix instant shot of notoriety, but you have stayed true to you.

    Well done


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