Yes, I’m aware the wordplay does not completely work. But the sentiment stands true. There is nothing ladylike about elbowing your way to an eighteen dollar sweater at five in the morning. There is no reason to pay more for something than you have to, but the value of your time and character also have to be accounted for. The spirit of gift-giving is to think about the people in your life you want to show appreciation to and what it is in your power to give them that they might like.
The spirit is not to dive in to the dollar bin grabbing everything within reach, only to decide later which unfortunate cousin is going to get a battered copy of Die Hard, and who gets the stuffed reindeer with the jingle hat. Shopping on Black Friday is not relaxing, so you can’t even claim retail therapy.
The only ladylike way to shop on the Friday after Thanksgiving (the day after you have dedicated a whole uninterrupted twenty four hours to connecting with friends and family whilst consuming twice your body weight) is online. There are some incredible sales, that no reasonable person can expect you to ignore, but the pursuit of a bargain should not take over your brief respite from work and other distractions. Pick a time to commit yourself to the pursuit of a reasonably priced coat, or set a cellphone alarm for that Amazon lightning deal you just can’t miss, but limit it to an hour or two. Then read a book, curl up and watch a movie, or even take a walk with your aunt or other relative you don’t get to see very often.
As we get older, and advertising agencies get evermore overeager during the holiday season, we seem to forget that celebrating is meant to be about spending time and making memories with those we love. Whether it’s taking the time to tell one another what you’re thankful for, or making sure gifts are both thoughtful and personal, make sure you take full advantage of your time away from the obligations of work to play a little bit.
If your idea of play happens to include a quick tirade through Target with your mom, then so be it.
Happy Thanksgiving! And Happy Hanukkah!
Interviews and dating are exactly the same. You get a call, and someone would like to see you at a predetermined time, preferably looking slightly better than you usually do, to ask you a bunch of personal questions before deciding whether or not they want to commit to spending any more time with you. And you show up and smile and try not to sweat too much while being witty and charming and memorable, concentrating on not accidentally flinging a pen and/or fork at your interrogator. Then you go home, change your shirt, and eat a cake. While you wait for a call that maybe, hopefully they want a second date. Or, dare to dream, they ask you to go steady! And then you have five days a week of repetitive phone calls to look forward to. But then it could all go the other way. No call at all and you just sit there, with your hands clenched, planning alternate futures that all hinge on this one virtual stranger calling you, until you finally consider the one that’s already happening and regret having suppressed that fork flinging impulse. Or, in the rare, mature case you get an email full of lies about how much they like you that ends with “I didn’t pick you”.
If you’re really lucky it’s a blind date and someone who claims to care about you goes out of their way to do you a “favor” by setting you up with their friend, or more likely, some random person they met, and you are now obligated to follow through with this extra strange stranger on pain of ruining your friendship. Now there’s the stress of alienating someone you already decided you like as well as this new goober that you didn’t even get the opportunity to vet for mildly acceptable taste and manners. In all likelihood he does not possess either of those things and now you not only have to extricate yourself from having to talk to this person more than once, but have to deal with the issue of why your friend hates you so much that they wanted to torture you psychologically with the penultimate socially awkward scenario. Now you’re mad, and you feel trapped, and you’re wearing heels for no reason.
Absolutely no part of these scenarios are different when dealing with a potential employer, except (with few exemptions- I hope) the sexpectations. When finally leaving the office I’ve personally never had an interviewer try to stick their tongue down my throat just in case I was into it. Hopefully you want something different from a date than an interviewer, but I’m not one to judge. I don’t have any suggestions for improvement when it comes to dating or interviews, especially since I’m really not very good at either of them, but I’d be lying if I hadn’t considered the advantages of selling crocheted blankets out of my parents back room and exclusively making out with drunk guys.
And people wonder how I could possibly be single and unemployed.
As you may have inferred there is lots of collating fun to be had in the Writers’ Room. I can put pages in sequential order like nobody’s business. I’ve also reached new levels of exhaustion heretofore unknown. Granted there are other responsibilities associated with my illustrious position, but the most fascinating thing is to see what I’m capable of and what I choose to do when I’m tired to the point of mild hallucination.
First, let me explain this whole potato business. My mind barely registers weekends anymore because it is so constantly occupied by work, but I do make a point of going to the farmers’ market every Sunday to make sure I eat something green, or at least semi-nutritious. This last weekend I spied some especially scrumptious looking baby potatoes and got a bag full. As a result, when I wandered home the other night, after a 13 hour work day for the 2 hours of consciousness I get to myself before bedtime, the only thing of mine in the fridge was these potatoes (and some beer, but we don’t need to get into that right now). I could not have been happier. So I boiled them and slathered them in garlic and butter and salt and it was pretty much the most amazing thing that I’ve gotten to eat in weeks. The In N Out burger I ate in celebration of my replacement tooth (more permanent than the fragile placeholder I had after my front tooth literally fell out of my face) ran a close second. As you can imagine, I enjoyed these potatoes immensely and promptly fell asleep.
Before you start feeling sorry for me, and thinking that your life is so much better than one in which a potato features so highly, consider that the things I do all day to get so tired are something I wouldn’t dream of trading for anything. And not because “there’s a thousand other people out there that would like to take my place”, but because I love it. A lot. And for all that I’m functional on only the most basic of levels sometimes I never once consider wanting to do something else, or regret that the time I spend in my desk facing the wall could be better spent elsewhere, with people, having a social life. Ok, so I don’t think about it until I realize that the only stories I have to tell my friends are about collating, or involve a vocabulary they can’t get exited about. I updated the bible, and read at the table read, and approved art with the UPM after I took the cart to set!! (Yay?) The only thing that truly worries me right now is that this is going to be over in just a couple of months and there are no guarantees that I still get to be a fancy TV person after that. There is a very real possibility that come September I will be back to substitute teaching and all of this will be a lovely dream.
That would suck. I hope that doesn’t happen. I am so OK with my happy potatoes. You should go eat some.
I just signed my first check toward paying off my student loan. This event is notable, not only because I rarely sign checks- with the whole not having funds with which to justify them thing, but because it means I have been done with college for 6 months. While this ‘grace period’ might make perfect sense in an economy where, you know, people are employed, there is an essence of the cruel about it under the current circumstances. The state of California currently has an unemployment rate of 12%, NOT including recent graduates who haven’t previously held a job- that is pretty sucky. Those orientation promises of your golden worth to the global work force are feeling very far away.
I honestly hold no grudges or blame toward the U.S. Department of Education and Boston University financial aid for the $70,000ish dollars I currently owe them. I don’t even regret going into enough debt to squelch any and all designer handbag purchases for the next twenty years or so. As it stands I can make the minimum payments out of the babysitting, substitute teaching, and odd writing assignment which I take in the fervent hope that one day not to far from now I might actually work in the field in which I was trained. Silly, I know.
Pretty sure more than a few of my fellow graduates have considered faking their own death after finding out it’s the only way to clear your debt. I’ve used assumed names to get into clubs (Gemma Doily), and more recently to sneak into exclusive fitness centers, but doing it full time sounds like a whole lot of work- aside from the felony issue. I mollify my panic by thinking that in the long run a year of unemployment is going to sound like nothing, and that being a year younger than my peers entitles me to some spare time before the universe is justified in expecting brilliant and significant things from me. Whether that’s true or not is entirely beside the point. I’m finding it physically impossible to do nothing, I’m just bad at it, and thus find myself creating utter nonsense (like this blog) to the general benefit of no one in particular. One day it’s all going to end up exactly right though. I possess excess reserves of the shiny, happy, bubbly, fresh-faced, recent college grad attitude and they’re going to last exactly as long as I need them to.
So, not to worry. What’s meant to be will be and so on and whatnot.
P.S. No one is getting presents this year. Blame the government.