14) Not having to find a new place to get Thai food
15) It’s not as humid here
16) I bet it’ll be much easier to plan the wedding party if we’re on the coast it’s happening on
17) T.H. won’t need to find a new doctor
18) I won’t have a 40-minute commute
19) T.H. won’t have a 30-minute commute (probably)
20) I don’t have to decide if I need to switch to a new bank (since I bank with a local credit union)
21) It’ll be easier to help with my sister’s upcoming wedding from here, too
22) I bet our car insurance would be much higher over there
23) We’d probably need a second car
24) We don’t have to buy all new furniture (after we sell the stuff we have)
25) I know where all the movie theaters are in Portland
26) I’ll probably be on this cool new project at work
27) I don’t have to leave my kitty (see below—how could I?!)
28) We’re closer to Disneyland (of course, Disneyworld is over there…)
29) We’re closer to Tokyo Disney Sea (T.H. really wants to go there soon)
30) We’re also closer to Hawaii, where I think we should go soon too
31) Did I say that I really hate moving?
Of course, I still want to beat up everyone who didn’t hire him, and throw rocks and scream “It’s not fair! He tried so hard, and you flew him out! It’s perfect for him! You HAVE TO hire him!”.
I am also having trouble not being terribly discouraged, because we did absolutely everything we possibly could, and still only got this close. It really is unfair—and I know, I know, life isn’t always fair, but that doesn’t make it less depressing when you put all the energy you have into something just to see it fall flat on its face.
I took a look at tequila mockingbird’s blog a few months ago, via a link from SourBob (who is, alas, posting no more, but ought to be shipping a short book soon!). I liked her blog quite a lot, but lost track of it when Bob removed his links page. Fortunately, though, I stumbled across it again a few days ago. I read Julia’s random thoughts (as she calls them) and looked at her lovely photos, and discovered a couple of things—
1) She must work in D.C., and may work close to the museum I interviewed at (she posted a photo taken in Dupont Circle), which is interesting and kind of neat (is it lame to think “Hey, she sounds like an interesting & cool person! Maybe she’ll be friends with me if we move?)
2) She and her sister are both waiting to hear back from their respective medical advisors about serious (and possibly life-threatening) issues, which makes me uncomfortably cognizant of how whiny and small-minded my recent complaints sound. I mean, yes, we’re waiting endlessly to hear about something that could have a major effect on our lives, but not to hear if our long-term plans need to be shoehorned into a specific time span.
This revelation, coupled with T.H.’s eerie ability to simply decide that if they’re not going to call him back then it sucks, but it’s time to move on, and if they offer him the job later, then great! we’ll figure it out at that point, leaves me sitting poutily on the floor, saying “but I want to know now!” and sounding like a three-year-old who needs a nap. Which is fun and all, but somewhat unattractive, and frankly, crummy of a presumably-adult-ish person to be doing.
So, moving on, when I read Julia’s entry about her sister, my chest tightened and I thought about how I would feel if one of my sisters was suddenly maybe-not going to be around, being pushy or funny or just my sister (you know how she is). Siblings are odd creatures, who somehow imprint themselves so you can’t possibly imagine life without them, even if you don’t call regularly, or even see each other terribly often.
My sisters are both younger, so, growing up, I was The One We’re Counting On To Be Responsible For Your Sisters (Because You’re The Oldest). One of my earliest memories is leading my sister by the hand around a shopping mall, lost, and looking for our mother. We’d opted to sit on some stairs and wait for our mom to finish shopping, rather than accompany her into another store. Our mom agreed to this plan, emphasizing that we should Stay Right There, and she would Be Right Back. However, shortly after our mother departed, some official woman came along and told us we couldn’t sit on those stairs. I was only 5 or 6, and this was a terrible dilemma. Our Mom had told us very clearly to Stay Right There, but this Official Woman said you kids are Not Allowed to Stay Right There. There was some internal debate, but, in the end, I was not brave enough to argue with a strange woman in high heels and lipstick, so I took my sister’s 4-year-old hand and set off in search of our mother. I was terrified—I wasn’t sure where to start looking, and the mall was so huge. (Before you get all het up about my mom leaving us, I should point out that this was the late 70s, in a small town, in a mall that is, in fact, microscopic. It just looked big to me, because I didn’t realize at that point that a mall with a grocery store and a Sears as anchors is actually a Tiny Suck Mall and not the Endless Shopping Center.) But I had to Be Responsible For My Sister, so I put on a brave front, and soldiered along, looking in stores and getting more and more freaked out as we searched and didn’t see Mom. I couldn’t cry, though, because that would upset my sister, and I had to be Responsible, which includes not scaring your sister unless there’s a darn good reason (like she’s being a tremendous pain), and, in an emergency situation, scaring your sister is simply out of the question.
So we wandered and wandered, and, eventually, found our Mom. (I think she was in Sears.) Fortunately, our mother is very tall—5’11 ½ ”—so she sticks up above most other moms. This makes her easy to find—you just look over everyone else, and if there’s someone sticking up who has the right hair color, it’s probably her. Our Mom was quite surprised to see us, but I explained that an official woman came and told us that we were Not Allowed to Stay Right There. Our mom told me that I had done a good job, and that, next time, I could say “We are waiting for our Mom, and she said Stay Right Here” or I could ask a mall guard for help.
But, in the end, the thing that matters to me is that I took care of my sister. She doesn’t really remember this incident, and she certainly doesn’t remember it with the crushing sense of fear and responsibility that I do. And that’s the way it ought to be—she’s my sister, and no one should ever, ever make her unhappy. She’s had strings of cruddy boyfriends and manipulative friends, and I have wanted to throttle every single one of them when they have the inhuman audacity to make my sister cry. I support her current fiancé, because he is properly aware of the fact that my sister is a jewel, and should be catered to and adored. She drives me up the wall, and I’ve had long, terrible fights with her, but she’s still (and always) my sister.
My youngest sister can be more difficult. She’s more like me—opinionated, stubborn, talkative, loud. She doesn’t like to compromise, and we have a loooonnng history of clashes, because she & I frequently disagree about the Obviously Correct Choice in any given situation, and try patiently (and endlessly) to explain to the other one exactly why her viewpoint is Simply Flawed, whereas our own is Clearly Reasonable. This has led to everything from physical attacks (complete with scratching, biting, and hair-pulling) to hours of increasingly-short-tempered discussion. Once I dumped a box of wooden blocks onto one of her friends, when she (the cheater!) solicited outside support for her obviously-ludicrous-viewpoint on Barbie’s home décor. But still, she’s my sister, and it’s okay for me to say, huffily, “She’s impossible!”—but it’s not okay for you to say that! (Just ask T.H. how much I like it when he criticizes my sister, even if he’s repeating things I myself have said.) She’s my sister! I can’t imagine going through my life without the opportunity to fight with her about child care, or holiday plans, or whether or not my husband has to go to some lame family function! Who would annoy me by disguising extremely conservative ideas about family responsibilities as liberal free-thinking if she wasn’t around? Who would remind me about the blocks incident every time we talk about our childhood? Who would tell all my friends how mean I was when we were kids?
My sisters and I don’t live too far away from each other—only a few hours. We don’t call often, and we see each other every few months. But the rhythm is uncanny—we get together, and in two minutes we’re waving our hands and back into that same childhood pattern of conversation, but now we’re talking about gardens and mortgages and career plans. I’m never self-conscious with my sisters. I never have to worry that they’ll tell me that those new jeans look good if they don’t. My sisters fit.
I can’t imagine being faced with the possibility of losing that.
Good luck Julia. I’m thinking of you and your sister. Give her a kiss from me…
And this is precisely why I should not be wasting time at work reading other, smarter, funnier, blogs than this one, because now I feel the opposite of literate and profound and funny, clearly the person at the party who’s had one too many daiquiris and is really eager to tell you this story omigod it’s the funniest thing ever, and you stand there nodding your head, trying not to be too obvious about the fact that you’re scanning the crowd over this person’s shoulder looking for your date so you can say “Gosh I really would love to hear how this all ends, but I’m sorry, I just noticed my date over there in the corner and he seems to be choking to death—I’ve got to run” and your attention drifts up and away and the person drones on and on and then collapses on the floor, overwhelmed by the hilarity of the story about the fish, and that is me, the one on the floor, with the fish.
I suppose I’m predisposed to tragic melancholy, because of the uncertainty and the waiting and the worry, and also because we’ve had four weekends now running of social/familial obligations, which has left me drained and unwilling to sweep the kitchen floor or do anything productive.
I am tired in a lot of ways, and I am poised for a sudden forward movement, and I am concerned that the momentum is simply going to cause me to crash gracelessly into the ground instead of carrying me flawlessly into the shining future I have envisioned, and although it’s just over there, so close I can see it, I am afraid, because often (so often) so close is not the same thing as here, and the nearness of the miss just makes me bitter and self-abusive, and I think up thousands and thousands of ways that if I’d just done xxx it would have worked out.
Still (yes,still!) waiting to hear from The New Job. I am somewhat annoyed that the HR folks have not called back yet, if even to say “No news yet”—the lack of a courtesy phone call strikes me as rude. To be fair, perhaps the HR director is out sick or something—but I should hope that T.H. gets a good excuse and an apology for the delay.
But we went to see the Pirates of the Caribbean yesterday evening, and it was a hoot! I was pleasantly surprised, and may, in fact, need to see it again just for Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow. (not that Orlando Bloom’s dashing William Turner wasn’t quite fetching—he was, but Johnny Depp was awfully funny). And then we had Thai food, and I think that it’s terribly convenient that I like T.H. so much. It would be something of a burden to marry someone you didn’t like to hang around with…