No. I didn’t get the title wrong.
I blame my husband for my crush on Julia. In 2004 he gave me Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child. Before I turned the last page, I started reading it again. Then again.
You see. The similarities between us are striking. I will bullet them for you.
- Julia is really tall with curly, reddish-brown hair. I’m really tall with curly, reddish-brown hair.
- Julia performed in community theater. I performed in community theater and dinner theater. (I can’t over italicize the kismet-quality of that one.)
- Julia lived in New York City after graduating from college, worked a job she didn’t like and partied a lot. I lived in New York City after graduating from college, worked a job I didn’t like and partied a lot.
- Julia lived in China as a young woman looking for adventure. I lived in China as a young woman looking for adventure.
- Julia met and fell in love with a guy in China who turned out to be her future husband. I met and fell in love with a guy in China who turned out to be someone else’s husband.
Wanting to spend more time with Julia, I became a regular at her Smithsonian kitchen, watched her old cooking shows and sat transfixed when PBS paid tribute to her in their American Masters series. I taped it and pop it in my VCR every couple of months. So we can hang. I even bought Mastering the Art of French Cooking without the slightest intention of ever using it. (Our uncanny similarities end in the kitchen.)
Oh sure. Now she’s on the tips of everyone’s beef tongues. But trust me. If you gushed about Julia Child at a cocktail party a scant couple of years ago, people didn’t clamor to be an arc in your conversational orb.
A Bored Person: “Really? Julia Child? No, I can't say I've really thought of her.”
A Gushing Me: “Oh, well, let me tell you when it all started. Back in …”
- Julia worked for the Office of Strategic Services during wartime in a China-related capacity. I worked for the Department of Defense during wartime in a China-related capacity.
- Julia didn’t have a career plan and stumbled upon her lot comparably late in life. I don’t have a career plan and stumble upon things a lot especially late at night.
And I did love the movie. Well, half of it. The Julia half.
Truth be told, I didn't like the Julie Powell character, the woman who took on the daunting task of cooking her way through Julia's tome. I don’t care how much you’re fighting with a non-congealing aspic, you do not call Julia Child a bitch.
But I would pay full ticket price again just to hear Meryl Streep’s Julia say