Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sorry, can't help you

Being located in the Midwest, my undergraduate alma mater often utilizes local alumni groups for recruiting activities in other areas of the country. I periodically receive emails asking for volunteers to "schmooze" (my term) at the meet-and-greet sessions they host at hotels. Being proud of the university, I'd love to show up and share my enthusiasm. However, when I really think about it, the same scenario keeps replaying in my mind...

I picture a family of three: the nervous, shy, and slightly dorky high school senior (future engineer), his business-attire clad father (probably a lawyer), and quiet but pleasant mother (teacher or nurse, perhaps). I greet them with a smile.

Me: "Hello and welcome! Can I answer any questions for you?"

Father: "Yes, thank you. When did you graduate and what did you study?"

Me: "I earned a bachelor's degree from their journalism program in 2002."

Father: "Oh, good for you. Where do you work now, The Seattle Times?"

Me: "No, not exactly. I realized during a six-month internship my senior year that I would rather cut off my right foot than be a journalist. I moved to St. Louis after graduation, where I was offered only one job, and it was for a local business paper making ten dollars an hour. Considering I made more than that babysitting in high school -- and, well, the right foot thing -- I got a temp job instead."

Father: "Hmmm."

Me: "Then I decided to follow my true passion, and I spent one-tenth of what my bachelor's cost getting a graduate degree in counseling psychology."

Father: "So you are a therapist now?"

Me: "I was. But I'm married to someone who went to a state school and makes more money than I can. It took a while, but I finally got knocked up and now I stay at home full time with our baby."

Father: "Oh."

Me: "It's okay though, I had a great time in college, and my parents don't hate me. My dad says he probably would have lost that money in the stock market after September 11th anyway."

Father, silent, looks ill.

Me: "But I do have a blog, and there are seventeen subscribers. Eight of them even follow publicly."

Father grabs wife and son and bolts for the door.

Me: (calling after them and waving) "Let me know if I can answer any more questions! Good luck with your decision!"

Don't get me wrong, I feel that every step I've taken was necessary to get me where I am today, content and confident that I'm in the right place. The lesson that life doesn't always go as planned -- perhaps the biggest exclamation point of infertility -- can sometimes have positive outcomes as well as unpleasant surprises. And I am in good company as a SAHM, many of my friends have this job title as well. I just think that perhaps the alumni group doesn't really have me in mind when they send out that particular request. Sorry, peeps, but for your sake and the sake of our stellar institution, I'll pass this time. Don't worry, I'll still give my annual $25 donation if you promise to send one of those cool magnets.

Twilight. Yes, I finished the first book. Somewhere between obsession and mocking, you'll find me standing there shrugging my shoulders going, "Eh." I am pretty easily amused, and I did enjoy reading a book that didn't involve advice on fixing my child's problem behaviors. However, the cheese factor of this book is HIGH. I mean really high. Even high for someone whose recent Netflix delivery was "Space Chimps." It was written for a teenage audience, and I think the writing style makes it hard to get past that. Plus, my mind's eye was stunted by the previews for the movie, since I've seen the guy who plays Edward and I don't find him dazzling whatsoever. If I had read the book earlier, I would have been able to picture Edward as a young Colin Firth, and Bella would have looked something like... well, me. (Hey, it's my imagination.) But I'll continue with the series, I'm interested in where it goes. It'll be slower now that DH is back from his trip and actually wants to talk to me after the baby goes to bed. He's romantic that way! But using the Netflix scale, I'd give it a 3 out of 5 stars ("liked it").


Kristina P. said...

I'm so happy I made the mocking link! :)

Congrats on finally completing it. And I love your little faux story there. It's OK. Things tend to work themselves out!

Michelle said...

LOL this made me laugh because it almost the exact conversation I had with a friend at work when she was telling me why she doesn't go to reunions and why with her degree in chemistry she is working at a call center. Whatever makes YOU happy is what matters.

Anonymous said...

You make me laugh SO much!! And the job you are doing as a SAHM is much more rewarding (and much harder) than any journalism job!

Soxy Deb said...

Oh lord you at the meet and greet. That's some funny stuff. The school would surely begin wondering why their enrollment dropped by 25-30%.

Thanks for indirectly calling me obsessed. I like any attention I can get.

Kathy V said...

I love that conversation with the potential family. I laughed out loud.

WaterBishop said...

here from the creme.

That little un-story was so hilarious. I am the same way. I get awkwardly sheepish when people ask what exactly I am dong with my degree that I paid so dearly for.
I think we are in the majority though.