Thursday, October 18, 2007

Snippets - the sort of sad version

Alternative Advice
When it comes to interviewing? Listen to someone who knows what she’s talking about.

They said no. While I admire their speed, I also know that it means the decision was easy and straightforward for them. And while I wasn’t going to take the offer if extended - and more or less told them so before leaving - I was hoping they’d be ever so impressed with me that they’d offer regardless. They were not. So I am sad.

Little and Smallest Ones visited yesterday afternoon. Little One had an accident at day care, so Mom and I were sent to pick up the girls. Smallest One is growing quickly and now stares at whoever holds her. She’s beautiful. Really truly lovely.

Little One, however, overwhelms with me feelings of love and affection. As she sang along with the opening song on the Care Bears cartoon, as she pointed out objects and re-read the Dora book I brought her, as she snuggled next to me with orders to solve her various problems - hungry, thirsty, needs to potty...I just adore that tiny creature.

“I love you.” I told her when I glanced over at the curls tumbling over her forehead. We were watching said Care Bears cartoon and Professor ColdHeart (I think I've met him, by the way) was using The Magic Mirror to make the Care Bears not care. Bastard. But Little One gave me her attention, smiled and said she loved me too. I smoothed her hair and sighed. I knew she'd soon leave and I'd miss her.

I put her in the car several hours later when her mother arrived. I tucked bags of presents I had brought from home around her feet and kissed her cheek one more time. She held the Cheer Bear I gave her in one arm and her new Dora book in the other. After checking that she was safely buckled in, I smoothed her hair again.

“Aunt Katie?” She said when I stood up, so I bent back down with eyebrows raised. “I hope you come home again soon.” She told me and I blinked back tears at the unprompted statement.

“I hope so too.” I whispered.

“You can come to my house if you want.” She offered, her expression serious, and I nodded and said I would do that. Dad and I stood on the porch and waved until the car was out of sight, Little One’s tiny hand extended so we could see it through the open window as she waved in return.

Worries, continued.
I rubbed Mom’s back as she was sick last night, taking out icky bags of garbage, offering wet washcloths and trying to offer whatever comfort I could. Her nausea appears every evening and she usually throws up anything she’s managed to eat that day. She continued to feel sick this morning - she called when I was 6 hours into my trip at around 9AM.

“Still sick?” I asked her. She said she was and had called her doctor. He prescribed another pill and said it was probably a mixture of problems causing the regular bouts of vomiting.

“I hate this.” I whispered to myself as I tried to sleep last night, tucked in the back bedroom and knowing I should rise early to return to my life. “I hate this so much.”

Go to sleep. Go to sleep. Go to sleep!
My disappointment (and dare I say shame?) over this job is likely due to the fact that I haven’t been sleeping well at all lately. I don’t tolerate such events with any sort of grace and when too many nights pass without a requisite 8 hours, I get cranky or moody or sad. I seem to have settled on the latter for this evening and very much hope I rest well tonight and feel stronger and happier tomorrow.

It’s just that between the lack of anything resembling a personal life, the unexpected interview failure (which really is fine, I know), and realizing that I’ve happily submitted a journal article that will likely be rejected, thereby sending me into another bout of self doubt and mild depression, I am not a happy Katie right now.

But I shall recover.

Random airport story
When I left the airport on Monday, there was an elderly gentleman who boarded the plane with the first few passengers. He hugged his friend - a younger, but still elderly, man - who had somehow made it through security sans boarding pass to wait with his friend. He told the other man this was as far as he could go and let him make his way up the ramp toward the jet bridge. When the older of the two turned once again to smile and wave, I grinned. He seemed so pleased to be heading off to vacation.

When I boarded, I noticed him seated next to a woman in the front row. They were talking about his trip and while I waited for people to stow luggage in the overhead bin, I learned he was going to Seattle to meet a lady friend who was introduced to him online. He was eager to see her, having spoken on the phone several times, and spoke happily about his adventure.

When we were deplaning in Chicago, I had just reached the front of the plane - having been sitting in the very last row - when someone raced back to the attendant and ordered her to call for help. Someone had fallen. I immediately frowned with worry, holding my bag awkwardly in front of me as I had taken mincing steps through the narrow aisle, and slowly moved past the crowd waiting for their gate checked bags and toward the scene of the fall.

As I followed my fellow passengers in a slow line, I heard women gasp with concern when confronted with the older man lying on the jet bridge. There is that ridged, rubber surface that links the two levels and offers a rather steep incline midway between the plane and terminal. He had apparently stepped incorrectly and tumbled backward and my stomach clenched when I realized it could be the man going to meet his online friend.

I peered around the line of people in front of me, pushed as we were to one side as we stayed out of the way, no one able to be callous enough to step over the poor man in order to reach the gate and move on to her final destination. We instead watched four men who had abandoned their bags around the tunnel that contained us and were bending over the man, asking questions, resting hands on his shoulders and reassuring him that it could have happened to anyone.

“I’m so embarrassed.” He said gruffly, his legs halfway up the rubber incline and his body trying to right itself. I could see the indecision within the group around him as they debated helping him up or demanding he wait for professionals. “I’ve never fallen before.” He told them and I saw his wife fluttering around him, and sighed with relief when I decided it couldn’t be the passenger on his way to Seattle. Then I continued to fret about the man who had landed on the thinly carpeted floor. “I’m embarrassed more than hurt, so can one of you just help me up?”

The men decided it was a fair request, I assumed, since they all moved to position his feet and pull on his arms or push at his back as they maneuvered him. The man, once upright, waved us past him and we kept our gazes away in order to be polite. As I passed them, he was following his wife to the gate, his steps careful, his head down and his palm firmly on the handrail.

It is embarrassing to take a tumble. And for everyone who finds love online and jaunts off to meet the person who flutters over them in return, there are those of us who end up looking like flipped-over turtles on the ground, waving about our limbs about with the futile desire to get back up, wincing at the thought that someone saw our indignity and having to accept and tolerate the sore muscles or sprained ankles that hinder us as we make our way to the next gate.


phd me said...

Oh, I'm sorry about the job. Really. And I understand what you mean about the speed.

I'm right there with you about the little ones. There's something very, very special about the love of a niece or nephew. Oh, how I miss mind...

Anonymous said...

me too, sorry about the job. your interview tips were still really good though!

Alethea said...

Ow, ow, ow. About airports and interviews and papers and moms. You seem to have the right perspective but it doesn't stop it all from stinging. Try to have a satisfying weekend nonetheless and continue to spill it out here.

ppb said...

What a beautiful piece of writing.

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