Why I Love the Word Fuck

It happened again, the topic of kids swearing came up in conversation and someone dragged out that old, prissy, non-truism about swearing being a lazy person’s way of expressing themselves. It goes like this: There is always a more creative and descriptive way to say what you want to say. We’ve all heard it. Many of us have said it. It’s like that other non-truism, “Everything happens for a reason.”  It sounds good and so it gets repeated and repeated even though it is patently not true. Everything does not happen for a reason. And there is not always a better way to say fuck.

Here’s but one example. You are rushing out the door in the morning. You have three minutes before the school bell rings. You’ve told your kids 17 times to put on their shoes, 21 times to remember their backpacks. You’ve chased them around the living room applying sunscreen. And just when it seems you might all get out the door with 20 seconds to spare, you notice that the cat has defecated (I’ll spare my delicate readers another swear word) on the sofa.

The anti fuck-ers would prefer for you to properly express yourself at this moment. It might go something like this: I am in such a hurry and I am already feeling frustrated with my children.  I am surprised and displeased to discover that the cat has defecated on the sofa. I like the sofa and it is newish. Further, it makes me wonder if getting the kittens was a good idea. Now I have to stop and clean up this poop. It is not only an unpleasant job that I would prefer never to have to do, but it will also make my children late for school and me late for work. My pulse is quickening and I feel the beginning of a stress-induced headache coming on. Rats.

Or, you could just let out one, quick, fuck! and get on with the dreadful business of cleaning the sofa. Fuck is filled with meaning and emotion and true expression. And it’s nice and tidy.

Recently, a young and vivacious friend of ours was diagnosed with stage IV cancer. It was shocking beyond belief and nearly impossible to wrap our minds around. We were broken-hearted for her husband and her children and so very sorry for the treatment she would have to endure. But what I kept saying in those first weeks, when the seriousness of the situation was still sinking in, was, fuck. Fuck was all the sadness and helplessness and anger and confusion rolled into one. What else do you say to yourself when something so shitty happens?

I am not advocating for fuck in the classroom. I don’t expect weather reporters to start telling us that it’s fucking hot outside, and like any parent, I would be horrified if my kids started throwing it around. It’s not for every situation.

But, used judiciously, it is the absolutely perfect word, without substitute. It is not a lazy person’s crutch. As my Poetics professor Sandra Gilbert once said, “Fuck is a fine and respectable old Anglo-Saxon word.” Which is exactly what I’m fucking talking about.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

How to Lose Your Friends or Lena Dunham’s Email

I just subscribed to this thing Miranda July is doing where famous people from all walks of life (actors, authors, artists, people I’ve never heard of) forward you an email from their “sent” box. This week’s theme was “an email that includes a picture of yourself,” so all the emails from the actors and authors and artists and people I’d never heard of included a photo they had sent someone.

The first email was from the young phenom Lena Dunham, who I like quite a bit. And what was interesting about it was not the photo of her in a naughty Catholic girl skirt, it was the long, mid-90’s girlfriendy email-letter format (read it). Remember those? Remember when we wrote letters over email? Long, newsy, funny, personal, loving emails to the friends we missed after college. They were a lot like the ones we used to write by hand, only they didn’t enjoy so many centuries of popularity and crabby people don’t lament their demise with as much regularity.

 

And this got me thinking about a couple of those friends I have lost now that no one writes the long email letter anymore. The problem is that decline of this particular literary form is closely aligned with my blossoming phone phobia. Unless I keep up with you on a regular basis and see you all the time, I am scared to talk to you on the phone. I can handle quick plan-making phone calls, but I dread the catch-up call like most people dread public speaking. Chances are, if you are one of my old, long-lost friends, “call Your Name” has been traveling from to-do list to to-do list for years now.

And this is sad because this is how you lose your friends. How I lose my friends. Specifically my creamy-cheeked friend Vida, who I met in ninth grade and who runs a medical access organization for immigrants in Wyoming, and who remains one of my favorite people ever on earth even though I haven’t spoken to her in three years and she has a whole entire child whose name I do not know. And my crazy-beautiful friend Tara who I met in that writing class in Portland right after college when we were both so miserable and lost except that we found each other. She now lives in Germany and has adopted a son from Russia and I no longer really know much about her life. The last time I saw her was at her wedding at the UN, where my milk-full breasts kept threatening to topple from my dress and that guy sang that crazy opera poem.

I know bridges are easily crossed and forgiveness is something most people want to give. And yet, I still don’t call. I plan to. But I don’t. And every day and week and month and year that goes by just makes that catch-up call all the more daunting. But here comes Lena Dunham, to remind me of that moment in time when I was in my 20s and had lots of time and lots of great tales of love gone wrong and I maintained friendships simply by virtue of those funny, self-deprecating, newsy, loving, melodramatic email letters.

I don’t know what I’m trying to say exactly. This is part feeble excuse, part nostalgic waxing, part lament. I should probably have something big to say about technology and human relationships. How I came of age in the early days of email and got stuck there. Although that’s not true because I Facebook like mad. I even tweet when called upon to do so. So this is not a luddite’s elegy for a bygone technology. It’s more just that I miss my friends and I feel bad about losing touch, and that this morning, when I read Duham’s email, I was flooded with affection for two people to whom I badly owe letters.

 

 

 

 

Posted in friends, life, relationships, Uncategorized

If They Are the Devil’s Spawn, That Makes Me…

 

They look like nice, normal kids. But don’t be fooled. 

I’ve resisted writing much about my kidlets since I started this blog again. I sort of had my fill of the parenting navel gazing while I was at Baby Center. I wanted to look into my navel and see other stuff, like trips to Vietnam and published books.

But, as it turns out, my kids are a huge part of my life (who knew?) and I’ve really got to get something off my chest.

THEY ARE FUCKING DRIVING ME TO DRINK.  Seriously, they are the worst possible kids ever. Just awful from beginning to end. Actually, they are perfectly delightful on their own. Maybe even exceptionally great. But collectively, they suck ass.  The Mister and I have a few pet names for them: rat bastards, fuck wads, stuff like that.

The thing is, they never stop fighting. They are positively awful to each other and I am the soft, cushiony bosom against which all their awfulness bounces. Seriously, I can’t take it anymore.

Oliver taunts his sister with delicious baked beans

I didn’t have siblings to fight with. My half-brother is 6 years younger than me and we only lived together part-time. We fought terribly, but only on weekends and summer vacations. It wasn’t, like, the main activity of our young lives.

And the thing I wanted more than anything else as a child, was a sibling. More than Atari, more than a 2XL Robot, more than anything. I still sort of do. I am a little jealous of everyone who has a sister.

I tell you this to illustrate how very unprepared I was for what this whole sibling thing was about. In my mind it was all camaraderie and sharing clothes. It was a built-in playmate and best friend.

When I found out I was pregnant with twins I hyperventilated. But later, after I could breathe normally, I was delighted to imagine the closeness they would experience. What could be more delightful than a sibling so close in age?

Well, now I know. Eczema is more delightful. Hangnails, planter’s warts, and canker sores are all more delightful. Delayed flights, Lean Cuisine, and post-nasal drip are apparently also more delightful than having a sibling.

An actual photo of Maggie “playing” with her brother

My dream of making up for what I lacked as a child has been shattered. Maybe I was the lucky only child after all.

I am at the end of my rope, I really am. I don’t even want to be around them because it’s all screaming and fighting and “I hate you” and “I wish you were never born” and all sorts of other lovely, relaxing, brotherly love sort of sentiments.

And I don’t know if it’s our fault. We tried so hard never to compare them and to lavish praise and consequences evenly. We are a fun, loving family. But, if they are the devil’s spawn, that makes the Mister and me the devil, right?  Maybe in some way we modeled the snottiness and ill-will. Maybe we are too quick to anger, or maybe we’re too soft. I honestly don’t know.

All I know is that after hearing about all the estranged adult fraternal twins, I made a promise to myself: I would raise them to love each other and to understand how meaningful and special their relationship is.  And, now, seven years later, that seems like a joke.

I don’t even care if they love each other as adults anymore. All I want is a little peace. One, single day without a screaming fight. I would give up pedicures and catalogue shopping for a year if they could only get along.

Posted in baby center, kids, life, motherhood, Oliver and Maggie, Uncategorized

2 Laugh Out Loud Books (and 4 that will make you chuckle)

I love books and stories of all kinds (well, not so much experimental meta-fiction, but that’s my failing). But what I find absolutely delicious are books that make me laugh. Not books that make me chuckle or smile appreciatively, but books that make me embarrass myself in public. Books that make me shake so hard in bed that I wake The Mister. David Sedaris’s Barrel Fever did that. So did Fraud by the late, great David Rakoff. Anne Lamott’s Operating Instructions made me laugh and cry more than any other book.

Humor writing is not an easy thing. I’ve edited two books of humor writing and I’ve gotten good at articulating why something comes out funny or why it doesn’t. But that, of course, only covers part of it. Good humor writing is the perfect alchemy between language, timing, voice, story, and that certain I-don’t-know-what that funny people have.  And then there’s the matter of taste.

Additionally, funny books have to have depth and resonance and bottomless insight and wisdom. It’s a tough gig, it really is.

But I think we can all agree that the worst is someone trying to be funny, but failing.  Sort of like those friends who laugh so hard while telling their own stories that you just end up feeling uncomfortable.

So, here’s a few I really loved in a wheezing, snot-coming-out-if-my-nose kind of way. Apologies to those of you on whom I’ve already forced these:

You’re Not Doing it Right by Michael Ian Black

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s possible you should be between the ages of 29-52 to properly appreciate this book. You might need to have kids or be married. The again, maybe not. But if you meet any of these criteria, I beg of you, do yourself a favor and read this. As my friend Carrie said, “I can’t stop laughing at his wonderful asshole self.”

 

How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is part coming-of-age memoir, part feminist manifesto by a bad-ass British woman with a foul mouth. Let me just put it this way: if you come over to my house and say anything bad about Caitlin Moran I will have to ask you to leave. Because I love her. And she’s my best stranger friend.

 

And here are a few that were supposed to be laugh-out-loud but didn’t quite get there for me. I liked them, but no guffawing was heard.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kaling 

Mindy Kaling is cute as hell and funny enough to hang out with for a few nights. But the book never achieved hilarious transcendence. It’s more like reading the diary of a very clever college girl.

Let’s Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

Lawson is the very, very funny Bloggess. And this memoir is funny and charming but not laugh-out-loud. To be fair, I didn’t finish it. But that’s saying something because I am nearly religious about finishing books. Maybe it was just too Texas-y for me?

Night Terrors: Sex, Dating, Puberty and Other Alarming Things by Ashley Cardiff

Ok, I may have laughed out loud a few times, but I also didn’t finish it. It’s possible you may have to have been born in the ’90s to properly appreciate this memoir (due out in July 2013). She’s very frank and very funny, but after a while it all felt a bit young and silly to me. Still, I’m sure she’ll get a lot of attention when the book comes out.

Bossypants by Tina Fey

I loved this book, but it did not make me shake with laughter, and that is my standard here. Tina Fey rules. What more can I say. Read this if you haven’t, but don’t expect bed shaking. Tina Fey is my second-best stranger friend, btw.

 

 

Posted in books, literary life, Rakoff

How to Live an Amazing, Ordinary Life

I’m starting to feel like we’re in an abusive relationship. I draw you in, then I’m unresponsive and withholding. Finally, I return, begging forgiveness and you take me back (or, I hope you do).  It’s getting icky. So, let’s just stop all the codependent b.s. I’ve been busy, ok? And, no, I haven’t forgotten about you. We’re all adults here, let’s just get on with it.

What have I been so busy with, you ask?  Oh, the usual: kids, house guests, job hunting, Lit Camp, researching flame retardant curtains, getting the Mister drunk and taking him clothes shopping, thinking about the Second Amendment, being really, really tired.  If it makes you feel better, you are not the only one I am neglecting. I haven’t called my mom in more than a week, and my toenails are absurd.

I am also halfway through throwing two slumber parties in a row. I haven’t eaten a grain of any kind (including the sugar kind) for 14 days, and I’ve given myself a pre-ulcer because I am apparently very stressed (although, again, I feel pretty great).

Oh, and The Americans. I’ve discovered the Americans.

But I’m not trying to play the I’m-so-busy game. Because that game is extremely boring and tedious and everybody is busy. Plus, my job is writing about pretty houses and interviewing Trina Turk about where she likes to shop, so, you know, not exactly a Bangladeshi sweat shop.

So what am I trying to do? I am trying to figure out what makes up a life. I am trying to make a little peace with the fact that life is about 90% mundane. The other 10% is the stuff of highlight reels that we post on Facebook and Instagram: our travels and parties and the occasional well-lit shot of us looking stunning.

Good luck with that

When I was young and ambitious and so very, very full of myself I had this picture in my head of what it would look like to have arrived. I was standing against floor-to-ceiling windows high up in a Manhattan apartment wearing a black cocktail dress and holding an elegant drink of some kind while reading from my latest novel. I feel the need to add here that this was way before Sex in the City and this was completely an image of my own imagination, trite as it still may be.

But now I am a grown up and I am sitting in the almost-dark on my cheapish sofa in a fraying dress I bought at Forever 21. No one is else is here. My kids are asleep. The Mister is out with a friend. It is absolutely not glamorous and no one is watching. But it is good*.

We all have triumphs and show-off moments. I have read my work in Manhattan. I have attended literary parties. But 99.9% of the time I am doing laundry, and making grocery lists that will only be forgotten on the kitchen counter later, and ordering clothes from Gap online, and job-hunting, and trying to diet, and cleaning out my kids’ closet, and looking forward to date night so I can eat a crab luis and get a little lit on Savingnon Blanc.

And I know lots of successful, well-published writers who are doing the same exact thing. Maybe they get to go on the Daily Show and maybe their college asks them back to speak and maybe they sell the film rights, but mostly they are just at home, noticing the grubby walls that need painting, or running out for milk, or paying the electricity bill. Their highlight reel might suddenly balloon to 15% of their life, but then it calms down again and they are faced with those  huge piles of mail and dishes.

Mundanity is the great equalizer. Unless you are Beyonce, in which case, none of this applies.  And if you are Beyonce, Hey B, what’s up?

I know I am a little slow on the uptake and that I was supposed to realize that my life was going to be ordinary around the time I turned 30 and was working at a bookstore. What can I say? Either I’m a dreamer or I’m slow. In any case, here I am, learning to be satisfied all these years later with my ordinary, mundane, amazing, thrilling, boring, annoying, glamorous, normal, unremarkable, exciting life.

*I still plan on having a super cool, fancy book party. So if your place in NYC has the aforementioned view, please do let me know.

 

 

Posted in Beyonce, Dreams, life, literary life, the good life, Uncategorized, writing life

Disneyland Almost Caused My Divorce

First, I meant to write, I did. But we were on Spring Break and everything just went too fast and one minute I was sitting on the beach, and the next minute I was lying by the pool, and the next minute I was cruising the San Diego Zoo, and then I was eating a burger and drinking a beer, and I can’t really explain it, but time just got away from me.

It was a good vacation. It was wholesome and all-American and except for the whole being married with kids part, it was pretty relaxing.

Or, it got relaxing. It started out kind of pinch-lipped and uptight. The problem was that we  (I) decided to stop on our way down to San Diego and go to Disneyland with my bestie and her family.

What you should know is that the Mister is the anti-Disneyland Dark Lord. If Disneyland is America, The Mister is Kim Jong Un. He is, in short, completely immune to whatever charms Disneyland holds.  To him, Disneyland is nothing more than a corporate trap bent on turning little girls into plastic-y princesses and separating grown men from their money. And the roller coasters aren’t even that big.

So, yeah. Disneyland was basically an exercise in me wishing the Mister would drink a little of the Kool-Aid and play along, and him wishing I would just leave him the fuck alone because he was having a good time and why did he have to smile and dance and hug Minnie to prove it?

Oh, and we waited in line. A lot.

All in all, we spent 12 hours at The Happiest Place on Earth. And I spent maybe 20% of those 12 hours contemplating divorce*. I wondered if I should lawyer up before I broke the news to the Mister or after. I decided where I would live once I could no longer afford to live in San Francisco, being a single mother and all. I imagined my new boyfriend (he was sort of unsatisfactory if you must know), and how much weight I would have to lose to even snag him in the first place. I contemplated our custody schedule and estimated how much writing I could get done while the kids were with their dad. I made peace with the fact that I would never be able to travel again. In other words. I was not in a happy place.

 

All that fake cheer was making my life look bad. Every “cast member” who waved at us with one of those puffy white Mickey hands just made my husband look like a grouch. Every time we weren’t walking on tippy toes singing It’s a Small World, I felt less than. The kids were giddy and prancing, but us? We were realistic and adult and above it all. And it was depressing.

Normally, I like my life. I like The Mister. I practice gratitude and feel lucky and have my priorities straight. But Disneyland was in my fucking head, man. Mickey was working his evil voodoo magic to make me believe that we should be a different kind of couple than we are. We should be more American and more conventional and more into buying stuff for our kids. We should smile when expected and talk to strangers in line and never, ever, make snarky comments about Disneyland. We should be Happy. Capital H.

Let me tell you a little secret: Disneyland is just a theme park. It is not the happiest place on earth. It’s sort of cute if your kids are young and they really believe in it all, but otherwise, every ride is just an opportunity to sell you stuff.  It’s a lot of waiting in line. It’s hot. It’s crowded. The food is bad and expensive. There are a lot of little girls wearing makeup and princess outfits. There are a lot of fat people in electric carts. It costs about $500 for one day. If you look closely, there is garbage floating in the lakes and It’s A Small World is really just plywood and glitter.

 

And yet, I sort of like it anyway. Despite everything that is false and phony and overpriced. Despite the fact that the whole thing sometimes feels like it only exists to sell you cheap, made-in-China crap. There’s a little bit of it that gets under my skin. I kind of love Minnie. I get properly nostalgic when I see Peter Pan.

Which is why it almost caused my divorce*. Because it did not get under the Mister’s skin. No matter how much I cajoled and harped, he did not love it. He put up with it for me and the kids. He was game and he was spending a shit load of money, but he did not buy it. He was not starry eyed. He waited in line and rode the rides, but he did not hug Minnie.  And he did not buy a t-shirt. And for some reason that made me feel like there was something wrong with us.

But then I got away from all the branded joy and paid-for pleasantness and we went to San Diego and it was sunny and we went to the beach and took hikes and read books and waited in no lines (well, except traffic) and we felt like an ok family again. We could like what we liked (sunshine, the donut shop, the seals and tide pools, our lap pool) and dislike what we disliked (the sterile McMansion neighborhood we were staying in, the traffic, the odd smell of the house) and it was fine. We were just a normal family, possibly slightly snobbish and urban, but basically not bad. And no one was expecting us to be smiling all the goddamn time.

*Don’t worry, I wasn’t really contemplating divorce. I’m just prone to melodrama and big gestures.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

In Praise of Whole Wheat Bread Men

 

The Mister is currently out to dinner with a former not-girlfriend-but-mutual-crush who has just published  her third novel to much acclaim. I am sitting on the couch blogging in my slippers and trying to recover from the gut-wrenching Chinese food I ate for dinner. Did I mention that she’s pretty?

But I am not jealous. I am not the jealous type. Well, that’s not true. I am jealous that she has found the discipline and stamina to write three books. I’m jealous that she knows Jonathan Franzen (although I imagine he’s something of a pill), but I am not jealous that my husband is out to dinner with her.

I’m not worried.

I am, after all, the same woman who lets her husband go on tropical vacations with women who are not me. Actually that one gave me pause. Not because I was worried, but because I thought it looked weird, because so many other people thought I was crazy. But I got over it.

I cannot imagine how awful it would be to be in a realationship where you were worried about such things.  I mean, this whole long-term family life thing is hard enough without having to worry that your partner is going to go make-out with someone else. And by make-out I mean screw. And by screw I mean betray.

It’s not naiveté; I understand completely that anything can happen and that no one is ever 100%free from the possibility. I just really don’t worry about it.  Maybe I possess supreme confidence. But really it’s just that The  Mister has no moves. Zero. The thought of him seducing someone in a hotel bar, for example, makes me gleeful. He’s awesome in about 25,000 ways, but he is not a player. He’s still the eager 13-year old, grateful you let him put his hand in your bra.

 

When I was growing up my mom always said I should find a “whole wheat bread man.” This was as opposed to one of those flashy pastry men, all done up with sprinkles and whipped cream. Obviously.

And even though I tried never to do what my mom suggested, I married a whole wheat bread man*. Delicious, substantial, unflashy whole wheat.

Which means that I can be stuck in the house with the raging poops while my husband hangs out with a pretty novelist he once pined for and feel pretty ok about it. You know, like 90% Ok. Or 75%.

*A note for the gluten intolerant: may I suggest the brown rice man. He is also lovable and trustworthy but with less bloating.

Posted in marriage, relationships, the MIster

How to Sprain Your Face Not Using Oral Sex

Here’s something I learned this week: When you tell people you’ve pulled a muscle in your jaw almost every single one of them will make a blow job joke. Except the people at your dentist’s office. There, they will look at you sympathetically and say, “stress?”

Did you know you could do that? Just wake up one morning barely able to open or close your mouth because you’ve pulled a muscle in your jaw by grinding your teeth and sleeping on your face the wrong way? I did not know that. But now I am living proof.

But here’s the thing, I don’t feel like I’ve been particularly stressed. I mean, no more than usual. Yes, I have six-year old twins, and I’m job hunting, and I am often kept awake at night shamefully cataloguing all the things I wish I hadn’t eaten that day.  But all that is so pedestrian. It’s no reason to go around spraining your mouth.

Think of the mothers in Syria right now, fearing for the lives of their children. Think of the people out of work for years. Homeless people, sick people. A billion people in the world with non-pedestrian problems. Real problems. And fully functioning jaws.

I don’t like being this weak. I mean, if a little job hunt and 30 extra pounds sends my body into full-on panic mode, what am I going to do when the shit really hits. An earthquake? The apocalypse? A real problem that demands that I woman up and deal? I am afraid my body will just melt into a puddle of goo, like those Nazis in Raiders of the Lost Ark (man, that was a good movie).

My dad took my brother and me to see The Melting Man when we were 2 and 8. It totally traumatized both of us for a long time. 

It’s all, obviously, a metaphor for getting older, for the slow betrayal of your body, once such a faithful ally. First you realize that you can no longer turn ten cartwheels in a row without dying, then you realize you have no interest in casually playing frisbee ever again as long as you live, then you start to hate bending over to tie your shoes, then some whiskers grow in weird places, then you have to hold the menu at arm’s length to read it. Then you pull a muscle in your jaw sleeping. And finally, you pee your pants at your son’s wedding and decide it’s time to move into assisted living.

I do not have to wait for the apocalypse, it’s already begun, very slowly. I am melting, but you’d have to  have one of those slow motion cameras that show plants growing and flowers blooming to see it.

Also, my eyelid has been twitching for a about 8 weeks.

Posted in Uncategorized

Not As bad As All That

I met my friends Jennifer and Karie for dinner last night and the first thing Jennifer said to me as we sat down was, “What are you talking about? You look great!” She also added an empathetic fuck you to the school that rejected Oliver, which was nice.

Apparently I had given the impression, via my last two posts, that I am a horrific sad sack popping pills and getting up only to make my gelatinous way to the fridge and back. Occasionally I might lift my graying visage to curse the heavens, only to quickly return to the eating and popping.

But let me clear a few things up. First, I am still so totally eye-burning hot it is almost difficult to look at me.  Yes, the jaw line isn’t what it used to be, and the gut is rather more gut-like than I prefer. But, don’t fret, I still look like the white, chubby, middle aged Beyonce. Plus, I just got my eyebrows done, so you know. Working it.

The similarities are crazy

Second, I did get two job rejections in two hours and my ego was just the weensiest bit bruised. But I still have some employment irons in the fire and I’m not going to miss my mortgage payments, and even though I’ve had to wean myself from expensive salon products and go full-on Wallgreens, KQED just sent me a free digital remote speaker thingy, so I’m good.

Plus, in case you are still worried about me (or worse, trying to distance yourself from my cursedness), here are some other good things.

1. I am going to Disneyland with my best friend and our families during spring break.
2. I got accepted to Lit Camp and I get to spend three whole days rollicking with other writers in April.
3. I just sent the first 85 pages of a book I’m working on to my agent.
4. Our third flock chickens started laying eggs and they are delicious.
5. I know a lot of really great people*, people I am just amazed and grateful to know on a daily basis.

There. Do you feel better now? I know I do.

*You are most likely one of these people. Seriously. Not a lot of other people know I’ve started up this blog again.

Posted in Uncategorized

How Not to Handle Rejection

It’s been a big week over here at the homestead. And by big, I mean painful and cringey and slightly embarrassing.

But I am getting ahead of myself. You should know, first, that I have been looking for a j-o-b, a real one. After nearly 7 years of on and off freelancing I’ve discovered that my propensity for delayed showers and sordid internet journeys deep into Buzzfeed’s lists is not serving me well. I want colleagues, grown up colleagues. I also want work clothes and collaboration and a clearer sense of mission. In short, I am tired of working in my underwear with little possibility for growth (except of the girth variety).

It started out swimmingly and I had an embarrassment of riches before me: branding jobs, editing jobs, marketing jobs. What I was most concerned with was which one I would pick. I spent a lot of time weighing the passion vs. money thing and came out clearly on the side of passion. I want to learn new things and be stretched. I want to work hard and spend very little time looking at the clock. I bought a snazzy new interview outfit and started to feel confident.

Then yesterday happened. Yesterday was the day I got two rejections in one day. No magazine editor job, no uber-hip branding job. One of them I really wanted, one of them I didn’t really want, but both rejections stung. Here I thought it was going so well only to find out you don’t want me.  It’s just like I remember dating, only without all that fun kissing.

Then, this morning, we got the letter from the private school letting us know that Oliver didn’t get in. It’s totally fine because we weren’t going to send him there anyway (so there), but that’s not the point. The point is, they rejected my kid. My awesome, crazy-smart kid. What the fuck?

So here I am, back on my butt on the couch, in my robe if you must know, feeling like maybe this whole job thing isn’t going as swimmingly as I thought and feeling like maybe I am doing something wrong, but mostly feeling like I want to take a Xanax to quiet down the squirming mass of earthworms that have taken up residency in my chest cavity. And like I want to take a nap.

But I am not going to do that. Take the Xanax and the nap, I mean. Instead I am going to write away this buzz of humiliation by airing my rejections publicly (check), then I am going to take a walk and hone my message to the universe. That’s what my former nanny-turned-life-optimization-coach told me to do.  She said I need to be specific about what I want and ask for it. And I figure it can’t hurt. I already tried the snazzy outfit and that didn’t work, so it’s time for the universe. Also, I’m considering botox.

Oh, and if you have any job leads for me, bring them on.

Posted in job hunt, Oliver and Maggie, Sunset