This was the quote of the day on my Google page today:
Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.
- Ellen Goodman
How uplifting! Thanks, Google. Google seems to know that I've been especially brood-y lately about the lack of a "real" job in my life. I like both of my retail jobs well enough. I'd love to get paid a bit more, but for the most part I can enjoy what I do, and with very few exceptions I work with awesome people. However, I must say that working at these jobs was not what I envisioned for myself at 2 years past graduation when I started college. To be totally fair and brutally honest with myself, this is likely about 95% my fault. I have not aggressively--or even much at all--pursued jobs in my field. I'm going to be lame and offer a few excuses for this, to make myself feel better. #1: the area I live in is not exactly a hotbed of geological or editorial activity. My husband has a highly decent job which he likes, and I had suspicions that I'd want to go to grad school, so it seemed silly to look for a job that would require relocation. #2: I tend to work a lot of hours to make up for the fact that I make a pittance, so that doesn't leave a lot of free time for hard core job searching...though I guess I could do less socializing online. Like I said...95% my fault.
Anyhow, I guess I should be grateful to my retail slave status, because it has made me realize that I DO need to go back to school. I'm at the point now where I feel like I truly have to either get a real job or get the hell out of Dodge for a few years or I'm just going to crack one day and start picking people off with CD cases thrown like ninja stars or something. I do, however, have a slight bone to pick with society in general over this situation I find myself in (and which I see many of my friends in) currently. They (they being our culture, schools, "the man," whatever) lead us to believe that all we have to do is get good grades in high school, participate in some extra curriculars, choose and get accepted to a decent college, and then choose a major, and we're all set. Not so much. Once you're at college, you have to decide if you want to stick with your chosen major (if you even had one to begin with). Then you have to decide if you want to go straight into the job market or on to grad school. There is no class called "Getting A Job 101." I wish there had been.
Also, by the time you're 25, it seems like you should already be well on your way to the picket fence and the car and the 2.5 kids. Again, not so much. I'll be 25 in March. I've managed to snag one of the most important ingredients in the equation--the supportive, loving, decent man with a good work ethic, an education, and good prospects--and yet I'm still wallowing around in semi-adulthood wondering where the hell I missed the bus that was supposed to take me to Grownup Land. As much as I hate to admit that sometimes I hear a somewhat cheesy song on the radio and go, "Yeah, man! I know!" here's one that makes me do that:
This is for all you girls about twenty-five
In a little apartment, just trying to get by
Living on, on dreams and spaghetti-o's
Wondering where your life is gonna go
Every time I hear Martina McBride sing those lines, I know what she means. Not that there's anything wrong with spaghetti-o's...I'm just saying.
To close, because I am mean and horrible:
Let me soften this a bit by saying that I laughed less at the haircuts (well, most of them) than at the painstaking comparisons to Marvel characters. As someone who fancied herself more than a bit "alternative" in high school, I feel I must applaud these kids for being brave enough to go all out in their quest to give a big fat middle finger to conformity. That said, I do wonder if when they're 40, some of these people will wonder what the hell they were thinking to spend so much of their hard-earned cash on hair products. Also, I admire their dedication, since it probably takes some of them more time to fix their hair every morning for a week than it has taken me to fix my hair every morning in my entire LIFE, including my wedding day and the two formal dances I attended in high school. Snaps for that.