So it looks like my plan of avoiding both Peter Griffin and my mailbox failed. Miserably. The letter came yesterday. I didn't check my mailbox till late last night -- both J and I decided to open it as sparingly as possible this week. All I can say is damn you, curiosity. Once again, you've gotten the best of me. *Raises clenched fist to the sky.*
I was having an excellent day, singing along to the radio at the top of my lungs in the car and proudly wearing my new six-dollar eye shadow as if it was a new Dior dress. I felt hot, sassy and in control. I even chatted with Peter Griffin a bit, just to brighten his perverted day. But later all that didn't matter.
I suddenly felt sick when I opened the little aluminum door and saw the back of the single, ecru envelope sitting inside. Kind of like someone had punched me hard in the chest, or like the time I belly flopped into a pool after one too many margaritas and gotten the wind knocked out of me. I thought I was going to hurl. I took the letter to our apartment, handed it to J, then -- even though I told myself I wasn't going to cry -- shed a lone teardrop. Oh the dramatics. "Great," I thought, "now, on top of everything else, I'm carrying on like a tacky supporting character in a Lifetime movie."
And of COURSE the day the letter came was a day when we got no other mail -- not even the usual pile of junk inserts that make me feel like a semi-important person for having to sift through them. That was the salt in the wound. Is it too much to ask to somehow find a way back West? Also, whether we could go back home for Thanksgiving hinged on this job. Now that it's gone we don't want to spend our savings on $1,200 worth of plane tickets for a four-day weekend, so it looks like this will be the second year I'll have to Skype my family over turkey dinner. Someone up there must really hate me -- first the Patrick Swayze news, now this.
J took the bad news as he usually does: even-keel and stolid. The man has nerves of steel. Unlike me, things just don't get to him. I'm the hyper-emotional one; he's the rational one. If this was The Birdcage, he'd be Robin Williams and I'd be Nathan Lane, begging for my aspirins "with the little A's scratched off". So after about an hour of sitting in silence, me wondering whether it was a good time to suggest my brilliant idea of living out of a VW Bus and pretending we're hippies on a trip across America, he simply said "Well, that's that. Nothing we can do now, just keep looking." The problem, my fine-feathered friends, is that there's nothing to look for -- there are almost NO jobs!!!* Sure, I have the luxury of sleeping in a hippie bus and living off Costco samples, but that's because I have no debt. His expected debt is oppressive.
Anyway, he went on to reassure me that this doesn't mean that we won't move back to California after graduation, it just makes the search narrower and harder. This opportunity would have been a diamond in the rough. "Stupid collapsed state budget," I mumbled.
Well, after his pitiful attempt at cheering us both up, it was my turn. I put on Bob Seger's "Night Moves", cranked up the volume and opened a bottle of red for us ... the bottle we were saving to celebrate with when he got a job. Eff it, I thought. Rules were made to be broken anyway.
*Except here in good ol' DC, and I refuse ... refuse ... to stay here. I told him my "contract" was for three years -- the duration of his school's program -- and after that I'm outta here.** I've also recently added that I refuse to have babies here, so if he doesn't want a family, then he can stay.
**Realistically I cannot live without J, but reiterating this "contract" bit seems to scare him enough into not getting too comfy with the job market here. That's what he gets for marrying someone he's referred to as "slightly deranged." Muwahahaha.
Writer, wife, and mom to two baby girls. As of 2013 I'm no longer brunette (blond ambition!) nor on a budget. I love shoes, wine, Palm Springs, and Barry Gibb. As always, I'm still looking for my lost shaker of salt.
Email me at brunetteonabudget [at] gmail [dot] com.