There might be a slight FRIENDLY competition between Cat and me, which she probably doesn't know about because it exists mostly in my head. Basically, I think Cat is a brilliant writer, and she's obviously a riveting personality, and both those things spur me on to do my best work possible to try to keep up with her. This is a good thing. I am also a little invested in having more Twitter followers than Cat. It's very mature.
Anyway, she's been around in the office a lot lately, and besides distracting me from putting new things in my vagina by being a beautiful ADD butterfly, she is also hilariously brusque to her assistant, Julie.
Sample Cat/Julie dialogue:
Julie: "I feel like the only way I can get in touch with you is through Twitter."
Cat: "That's exactly right."
At one point yesterday, Cat closed her computer after IT told her not to, then blamed it on Julie when they asked about it. Then when Julie apologized, she Tweeted something mean about it.
But the truth is that they have a special relationship, dating back to when Julie was Cat's intern at Lucky. As Julie anxiously wants me to let you know: "Cat truly IS my mentor. I remember reading her stuff for Lucky and thinking, this needs its own platform because it's 100 percent original and addictive. She supports my career aspirations and she's the reason why I'm able to pursue them. I owe her everything."
And since Cat can't have anything I don't get, to the extent that I actually went out and got Baked Cheetos yesterday after I saw her eating some, I want a protege, too!
You see, I was a protege once, to the unmatched Tracie Egan-Morrissey, then just Tracie Egan, and it changed my life. She wrote a post recently about renovating the bathroom at BUST Magazine, where she was a staffer and I was an intern at the time. Since she talked in that post about how much cocaine went into the making of the bathroom, I don't think she'll mind if I say that part of what she did for me as my mentor was leave lines of cocaine on the back of the toilet for me during the work day.
Out of a continual stream of interns, she took an interest in me (to be fair, I stayed for like 2 years), I think because I was a pretty good writer who didn't require a ton of editing. An intern that can write is like GOLD DUST in publishing. I would say we became friends, but I was so intimidated by how cool she was, that it was more like she took pity on me and let me hang around her. At one point she started referring to me as her protege, then shortened it to "prote," because it sounded like scrotum and made us laugh.
She taught me a lot of things at BUST, and then we stayed in touch when she left and started doing her own blog, the late great One D at a Time, blogging as Slut Machine. Since I was at that point drearily editing K-12 test preparation materials, I was inspired by her success to start writing about my own sexual misadventures.
When Tracie started working at Jezebel, we sort of fell out of touch, and I'm not sure if we're still friends. My addiction stuff was really spiraling out of control at that point, plus I was bitter about my position in life and jealous of the success of others. It's possible she sensed my resentment and pulled away. I've tried to reach out to her a few times over the years, but either she's very busy or I offended her in some now-forgotten way in my "asshole period." Either way, I am grateful for everything she taught me and all the contacts, introductions and good words to editors she freely gave during the time she was my mentor.
And now I want to offer the same assistance to a protege of my own! I know I'm not good at being a fancy editor type person because I feel guilty calling in products and I get annoyed by snobbiness and internal drama, but I do feel like I have some skills and experience to offer in the world of media.
Here are some things I have to offer:
- experience in the glamourous world of writing for the Internet
- friends with and can introduce you to many dope bloggers and writers
- access to free sex toys
- access to publishing legend Jane Pratt
- patience and a willingness to help young writers find their voices IF the talent is there
- a boyfriend who insists on making "snack platters" when we have company
- enthusiasm and appreciation for good work
- willingness to show breasts to strangers
- video, radio and television experience -- media training
- already made a litanty of mistakes made, so you don't have to!
I know! I'm like a Swiss Army knife. But what do I want from my protege? She should be a writer, a REALLY GOOD one, and probably somewhat boundaryless, so that I can mold her in my professional image. She should probably be focused in the area of sex and relationships, like how Cat and Julie are both beauty writers. She should be pretty, obviously, because I might have to be seen with her. Anything else?
If, by some miracle you actually want to BE my protege, email Intern Olivia (firstname.lastname@example.org), who is my little duckling, but cannot be a true mentor due to the fact that she is a photographer not a writer. I am going to let her (and you) help me make this important life decision.
My future mentee best follow me on Twitter.