“Are you serious?” Friend asked and I nodded.
“I’m not sleeping in there,” I said of my master bedroom. “It’s the home of the evil goo and I feel safer in the guest room. So I’ll sleep there.”
“But you will sleep with the dog,” Friend clarified. “The maker of the goo.”
“Well, yes,” I replied. “I love her and she didn’t mean to make the goo.” I shuddered with memory.
“While the bed and master bedroom clearly meant to wrong you,” she said dryly. “If you don’t sleep in there, I will.”
“Bedding is in the dryer. I don’t know if it’s still evil - I did wash it four times, but you never know.”
Given that there are four places to sleep quite comfortably in my small house - 2 full-sized beds, the evil king that sits in my room, and a couch that is wide enough to flop around on - it seems I could be stricken with indecision every night. But I always sleep in my room - it just seems simpler. But when faced with bad memories of waking up to that smell, I settled in the creaky bed from my childhood in the guest room and Friend, after shaking her head at me, curled on the clean sheets on the biggest bed in the house.
“You need to wash the comforter,” she offered as she sipped coffee this morning.
“Is it evil?” I gasped, wrinkling my nose in preparation for her answer. “Oh, no.”
“It’s not that bad. And I don’t know that it was anal gland stuff - it didn’t seem nearly gross enough to me.” I looked at her, confused at how a substance could be more awful that what I had faced, and shook my head.
“Maybe I’ll just burn the comforter and use the other ones I have,” I mused. “Are you sure I don’t need to get rid of the mattress?” She sighed, shook her head and told me stories about how cats and kittens put feline waste on her bed when she was in grad school. I made more faces and shuddered some more and looked warily into my bedroom. I’m not sure I’ll sleep in there tonight.
Staying safely away from the bedroom - though the dog has been near my side for most of the day, I went to work organizing a spreadsheet and writing what I think is a truly kick-ass talk for my upcoming interview. I want the job. No, I crave the job with the passion I would normally reserve for a perfectly frosted cupcake or really good shopping or a man with an extensive vocabulary who also wears glasses. And who smells good. And opens doors for me. Who is confident without being arrogant. And who thinks I’m all wonderful.
Anyway, I’m very focused and hopeful about this upcoming opportunity. It could very well be ideal for me and I so badly want to know where I’m going next. So all was well - I was working on other projects and admiring the way my talk flowed from one slide to the next and nodding with satisfaction on how I’d concluded my remarks.
And then I got an email.
Advisor interviewed for, got and turned down a job offer. “You should look into it,” he told me when I visited. “Good group, strong and growing program, focused on your type of research and looking for someone with many of your skills. It is kind of far away though.” And since it’s located in a state that contains the word North and is on the east coast, it would be even farther than my current location from home.
“I’ll think about it,” I told him and did search for the announcement but didn’t find it. When the head of the search committee wrote me this afternoon - we’ll call him LightBlue - he included the posting from almost a year ago. Ah, I thought with comprehension. They’re lowering their standards a bit because they can’t find anyone. Interesting. But he asked if I’d be interested in talking and I frowned over the idea.
I have conflicting impulses. My primary goal is to take a job in the Midwest, near enough to home that I can make an easy weekend trip to see my family. Yet am I really in a position to turn down a faculty interview? Especially one in a lovely location with supposedly good people who are desperate enough to consider me?
I’m fretting over making a decision - having given myself a single day to bask in the idea of only interviewing for jobs I’d almost certainly take. But I’ll talk to LightBlue late next week after dealing with pseudo-academic interview on Wednesday. I am sternly reminding myself that faculty interviews are good things and that the master bedroom is not evil. Faculty interviews are good. Master bedroom is not bad. Faculty interviews are good. Master bedroom is not bad…