24 August 2012

and now, the hard part. (or, GAH YETIS ARE EVERYWHERE)

Hello, my lovely readers.
While I have not actually been ambushed and devoured by yetis cleverly disguised as snowdrifts (or rather, it being 86 degrees in Chicago today, city buses), it is certainly beginning to feel like it.

We all know that moving to a new place - and following your dreams, and being a grownup, and blah blah blah all those associated things - is hard. People who have done so tell you this all the time. It is a widely accepted fact in most of the circles I move in, including but not limited to theatre people, middle-class folk, recent college grads, and In-Denial Twelve-Year-Olds Anonymous.
What most of us don't realize until it is much, much too late, is that simply being told this is not doing diddly to prepare us for the reality. We think, "Okay, it's gonna be hard. That's okay! I will be strong! I will believe in myself! I am a Strong, Independent, More-Or-Less-Grown-Up Professional, and I can totally do this!"

Hold up there, tiger. Here are five real for real things that you had better be ready for.
You're welcome.

1. A diet composed chiefly of beans, broccoli and salsa.
Because beans are cheap, you need your green vegetables, and if you slather salsa on it, you can pretend you are eating something more exciting. True story.

2. Starbucks envy.
Because when you're at school, or living with your folks, a large part of your expenses are being underwritten (for the moment, at least) by someone else. And so if you happen to notice two or three or twelve people on the train with their cute little white-and-green cups, you think, "Oooh, coffee," not "I HATE ALL OF YOU AND YOUR ABILITY TO SPEND MORE ON ONE BEVERAGE THAN I DO ON THREE DAYS' WORTH OF FOOD." It's not pretty, man. Get help if you can.

3. Loss of smelly-clothes shame.
I thought I was above this. I really did. But when you're worrying about all the non-negotiable expenses (you know, rent and utilities and transit and, up to a point, groceries), paying $2 or more for clean clothes stops being such an automatic decision. You find yourself doing things you once would have found very weird...like, say, spraying your 'dirty' clothes with Febreze, hanging them in the bathroom while you're showering, and then folding then back in the closet like nothing ever happened. Fact: if you can't see the dirt, it's totally not there. (And it's not like anyone else has to know. Unless you post it on your blog. Yeah, don't do that.)

4. Making friends with crazy people.
So, I work in theatre. It's pretty small, so most of us also have day jobs, which means rehearsals start at like 7pm, which means that given setup, breakdown, prep for the next day and all the miscellaneous things I end up doing (if you love theatre but are somehow opposed to working late, be anything but a stage manager), my commute home often happens in the general vicinity of midnight or later. (It is kind of shocking how quickly one can get used to this.) Which means that, at the train station and/or bus stop, I often witness some shady characters. Some of them are people that I might ordinarily cross the street to avoid.
I'm not worried, though. Because I am best buds with Meg.
Meg is a bag lady, I'm 90% sure of it. Her baseball cap is covered in pins, patches, and fly-fishing lures, and she smells so strongly of cod liver oil that when she decides to sit on a bench, nobody else does. She also swears a lot, and probably weighs about 300 pounds. Not a lot of it is fat.
For some reason, Meg likes me. And at 1AM, I am so addled with exhaustion that I do not blink an eye at much, up to and including, "Hey baby girl, look at this pigeon I killed, I think I'mma take it down to the soup kitchen." Sure, Meg. Whatever you say. Here, come sit next to me.

5. Becoming a shameless liar.
What, you're looking for someone with at least a year's experience in retail/marketing/baking/teaching/lion taming? Absolutely. Of course, I would love to do that. I'm incredibly passionate about teaching pastrymaking to sixth graders with ADD. I completely agree; the value of lions as a marketing group is sorely underrated.
What I mean: look, man, I need a day job. I have a bunch of things on my resume (and several different versions of my resume, designed to market myself as different things). I am at least smart enough to convince you that I know and care about your odd and obscure field. Give me a job, please. Because I'm running out of beans.

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