Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Too fat: memoir 11

age 12: future "fattie"
Manhattan Beach was near LAX (Los Angeles International Airport), a pleasant fifteen-minute drive along the ocean. Hoping to become a travel writer, I applied to be a stewardess with TWA. The panel of interviewers asked questions in French and, boy was I tempted to jazz things up by singing Chevaliers de la Table Ronde, but I kept that joke to myself. Pleased with my polite answers, they asked me to step on the scale there in the room -- ooof -- then motioned for me to turn around so they could view my derriere.
     "You look like a cow." Well, those weren't their words, but it sure felt like it. They did say, "We'd love to hire you. You're tall enough, 5'6", but come back when you lose twenty pounds." I hurried to the parking lot, ashamed to weigh 135.
     It was the mid-70s. Thin was in. Trying to look like Twiggy for a job seemed hopeless -- and stupid -- but creating stories, hmm, the public wouldn't know if the girl pecking away at a typewriter was beautiful or just a dog in a party hat. I decided once and for all to become a real writer.
     At Cal State University, Dominguez Hills, I took a journalism class and helped edit the school's literary journal, which published some of my poems and short stories. I was so thrilled to see my name in print I went nuts. The instructor said, "Kristi, if you're serious about words, get onto a daily newspaper. Be a reporter."
     I asked a million questions, mainly "how?" I was scared to death.
     "Try Gardena Valley News," he said. "It's just a few miles from here. Go talk to the editor."
      So I did. And thus began a whirlwind adventure in journalism.

From: BLUE SKIES: ONE AUTHOR'S JOURNEY, to be published this Fall.


Heather Spiva said...

So good! I got my Masters through CSUDH, mostly online classes, and the ones I had to take in-class through CSUS. :)


Kristiana Gregory said...

Hi Heather! So great you kept at it and got "degree'd"