Religion & Beliefs

The Secret: Meet Secret Rebecca

For the last week, I have been asking myself the same question countless times per day: What would Secret Rebecca do? Secret Rebecca was born out of my inability to see myself on the cover of the New York Times … Read More

By / April 9, 2007

For the last week, I have been asking myself the same question countless times per day: What would Secret Rebecca do? Secret Rebecca was born out of my inability to see myself on the cover of the New York Times Book Review, or waking up in a $10-million-dollar house in Malibu, or leading my 10-child brood—half birthed, half acquired—through the more complicated harmonies in the Sound of Music score. The Secret requires constant positive visualization, but when I’m sitting on my couch watching Sex and the City on demand with an empty bag of baked Cheetos (come on, they’re baked!), it’s hard to pretend I’m a skinny person who has eschewed TV for the meditative, life-affirming power of a saltwater fish tank. Secret Rebecca is that person. Secret Rebecca looks like me, except she’s thin and her hair is less frizzy. She loves waking up at 6 am for yoga and she thinks that if fruit and ice cream had equal nutritional values, everyone would choose fruit because it really does taste better. Secret Rebecca is not creatively paralyzed—neither by fear of failure, or success—and so she manages to churn out one excellent book a year. She’s not delusional—she knows she’s no Phillipa Roth—but she sees no reason she shouldn’t be able to earn a living by writing quality trade paperbacks. So many dumb people do! But Secret Rebecca doesn’t think of them as dumb people. Why waste time and energy harboring negative emotions? Secret Rebecca thinks, Good for them! They’re following their bliss! They’re doing the best with what they’ve got! Unlike Rebecca, who thinks, if I had just a little less obsessive self-awareness I could have published ten books by now and bought myself a nice little pad overlooking the Barnes and Noble on Astor Place from which I could drop water balloons on all the entitled double-stroller-pushers attending chick lit signings with their nannies. Secret Rebecca moonlights as a chick-lit writer under a pen name, just for fun. She donates all the proceeds to an anonymous send-a-nanny-to-college fund.