A week ago J had a preliminary interview with the Bronx district attorney's office to be a DA. Yes, I just said the Bronx. After the interview (which he said went really well), J surprised me and said he wasn't going to send them his letters of rec like they'd requested.
Me: "What? You're nearly giving yourself an ulcer finding a job. Why wouldn't you pursue this?"
J: "Because though it'd be nice, I think I can do better. That and," he said with mild sarcasm, "I don't think it'd work if we became a bi-coastal couple. I'd miss you too much." (Note: I've told J that if he decides to reside on the East Coast post-graduation, I'll split my time between the East and West coast. Maybe throw in a little extended time in Italy for good measure. No biggie, but apparently it is.)
He looked at peace with his decision (well, as much as one can be who's job hunting with $200,000 in school debt looming over his head) until two nights ago, when we were working on our laptops at Starbucks and he got a call. It was the DA's office, wanting him for a callback interview. And his immediate response when they asked if he'd want to come up and interview with the panel was ..."Yes." Why, I don't know. He didn't even know himself, and kept wondering out loud why he'd said yes. All I could do was shake my head...."this is SO not something Don Draper would do," I thought to myself. J immediately regretted his snap response and said he'd call and cancel, but I told him no.
"Just do the call back. You don't know if you've got the job. Think hard about whether you want it when you get the actual job offer. Until then don't say no," I said, espousing my oft-sage advice. He agreed ... and promptly began looking for possible apartments in the Bronx, emailing me the listings. I couldn't help but laugh out loud across the table from him when I saw the damned things in my inbox.
"No, kemosabe, I won't be living in the Bronx. You'll be," I reminded him. (Insert sad J face here.) "I'm a freebird, I don't do the Bronx...or anything that's even remotely close to Yonkers."
Now I've never actually been to Yonkers or the Bronx, but they both remind me of a particularly vile DMX song I used to "bump" in my car during my high school years as I cruised through senior parking thinking I was cool long before I actually was. (It was very Michael Bolton listening to Tupac in Office Space). Anyway before the song starts there's a crass repartee between DMX and his "honey," in which he accuses her over the phone of feigning interesting in other males' appendages and philandering with some unnamed man in Yonkers (in so many words). It will forever be burned on my brain and is now what I associate Yonkers, the Bronx ... heck most of the NYC boroughs with.
After hearing my story and laughing in my face, J thought I was being "ridiculous," and so began sending me Manhattan apartment listings instead.
"I could take the train and commute," he reasoned.
I shook my head. "Did I not just tell you I was a freebird?! Freebirds don't live in Vuh-jin-ya, like we are now, and they don't live in Manhattan either." (Confession: I so wanted to live in Manhattan when I was 21 and still overly obsessed with Sex and the City. Not so much anymore, as my new obsession is all-things Easy Rider.)
"Take me back out West, honey child. I'll even live in LA or Reno if it means we're inching our way closer." Yes, you read that correctly. I'll admit the Reno comment was desperation speaking, but it didn't seem to matter since calling J "honey child" seemed to distract him from the imminent issue.
So J has come to one of the great crossroads in life (that is if he goes through with the second interview and gets the offer): Does he settle and get paid minor ducats at a thankless job, or does he take the risk of holding out and wait for a better opportunity? Too often I think we choose the first option because it's safer and more secure, but does it lend itself favorably in long-term career advancement, or is it simply sufficing as "a job"? Personally there have been times in my career where out of sheer impatience I began blindly applying to anything I was qualified for (within the journalism realm, of course), and jumped at the first offer that came my way. It worked out okay in the first year, but my happiness began to wane the second year -- even with a 15% raise and myriad perks.
I vote he waits for something better. Not just because of my fond memories of DMX and the Bronx, but for his overall happiness and well-being.
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.