Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks
Monday, July 22, 2002 Several years ago, I called up my wife to ask her something. It was mid-morning and we were both at our respective jobs. A question had occurred to me as a result of some idle work conversation, or maybe even something the hosts of the local morning show were talking about, and I thought Trash might be able to help me out with it. Mind you, this was before we had Internet access at work, so it wasn’t something I could research on my own.
“I have a question,” I opened.
“Okay,” she said excitedly, “but I have to tell you something first.”
Just reading that sentence doesn’t convey the excitement that was pouring from her voice while it was forming those words. Her electric mood galvanized everything it touched, causing my receiver to glow joyfully and the interconnecting phone lines to vibrate with unrestrained glee. I decided my question could wait in the face of whatever religious experience was going on at the other end of the connection.
“I know what I’m going to do with my life,” Trash announced.
The reason this was news was that we’d both been suffering a sort of career-related malaise for the past year or so. We’d both been laid off from our first real, “grown-up” jobs and we were feeling a bit discouraged, even though we had new jobs by this time. Trash’s situation was further complicated by the fact that her previous employer had been so negligent about matters ergonomic that she had been left with chronic tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Now she was working at an insurance company, nursing her injured arms and hoping that voice-recognition software would become standard before her hands were irrevocably palsied into gnarled, wizened claws that rendered her entirely unemployable. Any way out from under the situation was to be snatched at with whatever strength her atrophying fingers still possessed. She continued:
“You know how I’ve always dreamed about owning a used bookstore? Well, I’m going to go back and get a second degree, in English this time, and then I’m going to go to grad school and become a librarian. Then I can work in a library for a few years and learn all about it and then open my bookstore!”
This was about the best news I’d had in a year. She was actually excited about her professional future for the first time in years. She still had a job, but now she had a vocation as well. A long-term goal. One thing about my wife is that she does what she sets out to do. On the phone that morning, I didn’t know with absolute, one hundred percent certainty that Trash would make the Dean’s List nearly every quarter of her second undergrad career, or that she would get into the top Library Science program in the country, or that she would excel so brilliantly in grad school, or that she would finally end up years later with a Master’s Degree and a job she adores. I couldn’t positively predict that, but only because of external variables like whether the planet would continue to spin. And even the total destruction of all life on Earth wouldn’t do much more than slow her down. She’d been wandering in the dark career-wise when she woke up that morning, but now there was a shining beacon on the horizon, and with a direction in mind, it was only a matter of time until she got there.
“That’s wonderful,” I said sincerely. I congratulated her, shared her excitement, and assured her that I would do whatever I could to help her realize a dream that was suddenly, if not within reach, at least within sight. She told me what the first steps in her plan were, and how she planned to put them in effect that very day. It was electrifying.
“So that’s it,” she concluded, exhilarated. “Now what did you want to ask me?”
“Oh. That. Actually, never mind.”
“Well, suddenly it’s just not that important.”
“No, seriously, go ahead.”
“Uh. Well, we were just talking here, and we were wondering…”
“Um…Was Tori Spelling ever on Saved by the Bell?”
One of the best parts of having a librarian in the family is that now she can answer questions like that all the time. Being married to me, I’m not sure if she always considers that a good thing. posted by M. Giant 3:16 PM 0 comments