Single: The Incurable Disease

Remember when you were in high school and every teen girl broke up with her high school sweetheart so she could experience the world. She had this perfect plan in her head about attending college, meeting Mr. Right within her first year, being engaged by graduation, married after she gets settled into her first job (which will be her dream job, waiting for her immediately after her hands touch her diploma), babies at 23, and then retirement (or death from old age) at 30. Well, I will definitely admit that at 16 or 17 that was my five-year plan.

But, now, at almost 24, I haven’t achieved any of those goals. Well, I take that back, I have a new job that I don’t hate and I have my own place and a dog. But, where is this fairy stepmother that sprinkles me with that happily-ever-after? Where are my ruby slippers? Where is the white knight who kisses me awake from this mundane slumber?

Actually, for the first time in my life, I don’t give a flying fruitcake where this illusive man is. I actually came to the realization a few days ago. I don’t even want to put up with the stress of having a man in my life any time soon. I look at my friends who are at various stages of engagement, pregnancy and on-again-off-again and I can’t say that jealousy is the emotion I feel. I don’t want to have a man who I depend on or, do I dare even say, depends on me. I like being able to do what I want and not have to check in. I like being able to plan my future with only me and my little, chubby dog in mind. I don’t need someone else’s approval to achieve my dreams. Granted my uterus aches like a black-eye every time I see a toddler, but I’m only 23. I understand in small-town years that’s pretty much spinsterdom; but, I really need to get a MASSIVE grip. The fact that I can’t even get my dog to stop mauling visitors is a small inkling that I’m not really quite ready for motherhood. So, I’m going to just go with the flow and stop comparing myself to celebrities, friends, books, movies, strangers, customers, cartoons, dreams, etc. It’s time to enjoy 23 before I’m 83, in a nursing home, and wishing I didn’t wish the years away.

Do You Want Fries With That?

I find it quite daunting how much I care about what other people think. I’ve never really kept a steady boyfriend because the second someone points out something off about them (which, with the brood I’ve brought home, it isn’t hard) I dwell, and dwell, and dwell until I explode and break up with them in a fit of sobs because they wear the same baseball hat everyday.

Well, that’s how I feel about my new career. A year ago today I was just finishing up eight months of working in the fiery pits of hell that America calls small town television. The hours made your eyes bleed, the pay made your stomach heave and the bosses made you scribble out your hit list with a jacknife under your desk. But, there’s just something fabulous about saying you are a writer in television. People swarm to you, ask you about the small-time talent: “Are they nice? Tall? Pregnant? Smart? Will they read anything you put in the teleprompter?” It was a high like no other. I felt like I finally made it in the world. So what if I had to live on food stamps and would never find a man besides Dracula because I worked in the middle of the night. Everything was going to be A-OK because everyone thought I was a bigshot.

It didn’t take long before the glimmer dulled on that spotlight and I threw in the towel. And after eight months of being unemployed I am now working full-time in sales. And while sales couldn’t more of a boring job title, cellphone sales is even more nails-on-the-chalkboard. But, here’s the clincher: I make twice as much money, I see daylight, and my boss actually doesn’t threaten to kill me on a daily basis… I feel like a million bucks. That is, until someone asks me what I do, I tell them, and they say “Well, the economy is just pretty rough right now, you’ll find a real job soon.” And then I feel an inch tall.

Or, to put the cherry on the dog shit cake, when I have an experience like I did yesterday.

This woman who looked like a toothless version of the evil witch in Snow White came in reeking of day-old Kessler’s and Pall Malls and wanted to activate an old smelly phone on a new line. Mid-transaction she whispers to me “How do you get a job here? Can I just apply online? And do you guys even make any money?” Instantly, I felt like I was working the midnight shift at the 7-11.

I just don’t understand it. Why does the viewpoint of one hillbilly affect my whole outlook on life? Why do I feel like I should still be shackled to a desk being mentally beaten down day after day than doing something that makes me happy?

It’s time to run through the streets topless, kiss every boy I love and fly to Thailand to watch people eat pickled bat babies. OK, not everyone has the dreams I have. But, for the love of God, who cares if people think I’m a weirdo, I know that at the end of the day I’m smiling.