The harsh reality of PJP Buttonwood today was an endless line of dirty dishes, two trips to Hy-vee for forgotten supplies, shipping orders that took forever to finish, and a phone that wouldn't stop ringing.  Tonight, we ordered pizza because the thought of cooking dinner - and then cleaning it up - made me want to rock back and forth in the fetal position.  I'm expecting my "Mother of the Year 2014" trophy to show up at the front door any day now. Here is Meg Ryan as Kathleen Kelly in You've Got Mail entering her twee little shop on the Upper East side of New York City...


Nora Ephron and her movie-set styling team knew how to create ADORABLE.  (And also, I spent most of 1998 and 1999 desperately trying to recreate Meg's hairstyle in this movie.  Sadly, it never worked out for me.)  This image of Shop Around The Corner is precisely what I had in mind for all the months it took us to create PJP Buttonwood.  This picture is the complete representation of what I thought owning my own business would be like...charming, sweet, inviting, and oh so fun.

I've finally figured out that the reason Nora Ephron put her main character in a children's bookstore is because THERE ARE NO DIRTY DISHES IN A CHILDREN'S BOOKSTORE.  Would You've Got Mail have been so compelling if Meg was surrounded by dirty spatulas from Wal-Mart and she emailed her potential love interest about burning her fingerprints off on a hot jelly jar pie?  Probably not.  Now when I look at this picture, I think "huh, I bet that rent is like $12,000 a month in NYC and that is A LOT of books to sell to meet that overhead..."  Cynic, Party of One.

So what about the charming, sweet, inviting, and oh so fun part?  PJP Buttonwood is all of those things, just in such a different way than I could ever anticipate.  I thought creating a replica of a movie scene would equate to business ownership as smooth sailing through calm seas.  But here is the truth, making pies is messy.  Owning a business is messy.  We spend most of our time taking one very tiny step forward for each big step back.  And yet, this journey is better than any movie made.  Because here is the thing...Jeanne and I are both looking forward to starting another day with PJP Buttonwood tomorrow.  And that is the part of the puzzle that makes the dishes worth it, the running out of boxes worth it, the continual need to print pie box stickers worth it, the not sitting down for hours worth it, the living off coffee worth it.  And when people ask what I wish I knew a year ago, it is this: 90% of the time, I'll feel like I have no idea what I'm doing.  But 10% of the time, I'll feel just right.  And that makes it all worth it.

I think Kathleen Kelly probably felt the very same, even in her sweet little store.  She probably just wore out waiting for dial-up Internet to connect her to her AOL mail to even bother typing it all to Joe Fox in an email.  I think someone should look into the "You've Got A Text Message" sequel to the original...