To be on the verge of something is really a lot less revolutionary than it’s all hyped up to be. I know because I am on the verge of the rest of my life and it’s hardly even interesting. I would like to say my life is what books are made of (and then, of course, I would like to write a book about that life). But to even be considered by a publisher you need to have some sort of “KA-ZOW”. Like a romance for the ages (complete with a sinking ship or a balcony scene), an epic struggle against nature (like crossing the Sahara or bulimia) or really even just an evil villain of any sort (a crotchety neighbor? Rick Perry?). But really I don’t have anything that resembles those things. In fact, I could simply sum up my 24 years as a collection of mistakes.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t regret the things I have or haven’t done, but most of the choices I have made have, in fact, been in error. I’ve just been lucky and ended up approximately, relatively, sort of, where I wanted to be.
I have always been about a year and a half behind the curve. I firmly believe that in high school I should have been valedictorian, I should have had big tits, I should have been popular. But I wasn’t. And I fully place blame on my entrance to kindergarten at the age of 4.
Everyone has his or her excuses, and this is mine.
I came to this conclusion one winter while melodramatically making a comparison between beginning graduate school “too soon” and being sent to a concentration camp. My dear, sweet, and annoyingly perceptive friend, Valerie, cut me off with her eyebrow raised. “Oh boo hoo,” she mocked, “Big surprise. You’re reluctant to grow up.”
I stopped self-pitying long enough to ask her what she meant. “I’ve known you since fourth grade,” she laughed (which isn’t exactly true, but we’ve known each other long enough that we forget when we met), “You cried when you had to go to middle school. You pouted about going to high school. You barely made the deadline to apply for college. So I’m not all that sueprised that you’re upset about graduate school. Mare, hun, you need to catch up.”
I was shocked.
Horribly taken aback.
I over analyze everything and I had clearly under analyzed this.
You know that joke with the daddy tomato and the baby tomato and the daddy tomato hits the baby tomato and says “Ketchup!”? (I love that joke).
Aside from my obsession for tomato products and elementary school joke-book humor, I love that joke because I am the baby tomato. I need to ketchup.
To my credit, I feel as though Valerie was singling me out. I feel like roughly half of the population is in the same boat, and that bitch was implying I’m the only one without a paddle. (Though the name calling is probably my resentment at her insight talking.) In any case, I took her advice to heart and decided to “catch up”…take some time….You know, “play the field.”
“Explore my options.”
“See what’s out there.”
“Spread my wings.”
“Live the dream.”
(All of these are, of course, euphemisms for “unemployed”).
The down side to taking the time to do all the things that you always wished you had had the time to do is, it’s boring. If you’re debating it, I can give you general itinerary. You spend 15% of the day planning what you’re going to do, 50% of the day working to pay for the things that you’re going to do, 20% of the day drinking and the rest of your time dealing with your depression/hangover.
Pan to me now. Here I sit, on my 1940’s couch, with my veggie burger and my Master’s degree in education, watching Grey’s Anatomy and wondering if maybe I should have been a surgeon instead. After all, they have lots of sex and drama and it all seems much more interesting then my life slash debt at the moment. Plus, I think I could really get used to wearing my pj’s to work every day. I might even be able to get over the mass mayhem/death/sleep deprivation for a McSteamy or two. I don’t know if I could deal with all the blood though…it would ruin my appetite for ketchup and I LOVE ketchup.