emma b. says

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Rants and a Rave

I turned thirty-seven yesterday. It was a quiet day, I read a novel. I walked. I spoke to no one until the late afternoon. It was warm and muggy, the wind came strong in the evening. I was lonely. In the late evening T called and asked what I was doing, I thought about asking him over for a tumble to celebrate the onset of early middle age, but I was busy watching Dancing with the Stars. It's true. I forsook sex in favor of watching the cha cha, but you know what, I was kind of embarrassed, that show makes me weep like a little bitch. Or maybe it was the circumstances.

I keep walking through spider webs, literally. I feel bad about blundering through their web craft, I wish they'd stay out of door frames and stick to corners. I worry I'll find an unwelcome visitor in my hair.

I didn't get the job I so wanted. I thought, no, I was convinced that word would come yesterday and the rest of the year would prove rainbows and unicorns. Word came today. I've been doing freelance work for a friend and I had to go out to my car for a bit and pound silently on the horn. And suddenly I was really fucking pissed.

Is it me? Do I smell bad? What have I been doing wrong? All I hear is how great they think I am, and then I wait around for decisions to be executed, and I hear, I command too much salary, over qualified, delaying hiring for six months, delaying hiring for a year, thinks I'm too liberal (what?) I've lowered my requirements to the minimum, and the recruiter came back to me with a long term position that is less than my fucking minimum. And the sorry truth is that I will take it. It's been a long and humiliating trip through the employment world. I am looking at taking several very large steps back in my career, just for a steady paycheck. For the first time in my life I am very directly affected by the economy, and I am one of the lucky ones.

Because here is what I sort of not so secretly think.... I am not a kid, and I am not a man. I have a lot of experience, enthusiastic references, I am organized and moreover I am smart. I am not specialized, which I think would make it even harder. I am not married, because I think that would make it even harder, I get there is an undertone of a little bit of fear that a company might invest in me and I would run out and get pregnant. I am a motherfucking smart woman, I don't want to be bored at work. I don't want to be nickel and dimed. I don't want to go to battle for a pittance, lousy insurance, no bonus, no matching. What the fuck is wrong with you, employers? You want a mindless drone, or you want someone who can actually accomplish something.

They want the young drones, the young ladies who can't defend themselves and don't want to, or the young men ambitious enough to work sixty hours for naught.

I rail against the fact that I feel for the first time in my life I am caught in the cross hairs of the economy and can rely neither on my intellect or industriousness to charm, cajole my way into job. As I said, I am one of the lucky ones, I know how to ply the system, even though I'd rather drive pins underneith my finger nails, I can network when neccessary. It's through networking that this freelancing is keeping me in cable and little else.

I just don't understand, although I do. It makes me indignant, it makes me afraid, it makes me embarrassed, it makes me feel helpless in the face of circumstance, small when contemplating the stack of bills, this from the girl who has (had) almost no debt outside of her mortgage. Makes me wonder how I will get ahead, not for the bling, but because I would like to afford a puppy, because one day I'd like to finish the basement, and in the short term I would really like to buy some geranium baskets for my front porch. Again, I stress, I am one of the lucky ones. I'll keep my insurance and my car insurance and my cell phone and keep current on my mortgage, and I have a safety net in that I can depend on my family for help, I am not five hundred dollars away from falling through the cracks. And my heart goes out to those who are.

You know what else irks me, it's optimism. Unflagging optimism is why you end up bitten on the ass on your birthday because you thought it would just fall into place, the signs were auspicious, the moon was rising. Fuck optimism, anyway.

While we are at it. Fuck you Georgie, you motherfucking asshat, this is all your fault, you too, Greenspan, all of you greed monsters on Wall Street. (if you haven't heard the This American Life regarding the subprime/credit crisis, go and listen, it should be required in economics classes)

Also, fuck the weather. Cold, hot, hot, hot, cold. I woke to rain. I thought about bitching, but thought my peonies might be grateful, so I didn't.

Fuck politics with a hot poker a la Edward the Second. Don't make me regret my vote, Obama.

Fuck the junta in Myanmar.

Such incomprehensible sums of human bodies in Burma and in China, I begin to not be able to empathize. But I suppose if you started to stack the bodies in Iraq and Afghanistan it might level out.

And the rave....

My brother and belle soeur hosted a barbeque for me on Saturday. I had gone to the market in the morning, sat in the sunshine as the massive flowering trees shed the last of their blossoms in fragrant blizzard, savored a popcicle that some enterprising hipster had made strawberry-lemonade, organic, natch. Paraded through the sunshine with my bunches of lilac and my stained mouth.

Showed up to W's house with nine pounds of potato salad, sweltered in the evening's heat with beer and weenies and new friends. When the sun set, we moved on to tequila, my last clear image is my belle soeur dragging a wooden pallet in through the garden gate, we had run out of wood for the fire pit and she made a mission of finding more. My brother had passed out at that point as was apparently mystified at it's pressence the following morning. Good times. I neither threw up, nor fell down, but someone else I know did.


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