The cat was extremely alarmed this morning, when he realized it was 8 a.m. and I was not up and I was not feeding him, and what the hell is going on here, woman? This is not the way we run things! This is not right, or good! It is, in fact, the opposite of both right and good! These things were expressed to me in a series of increasingly high-pitched mrows, punctuated with swipes to my head, bat bat bat, good morning! Hello! Here is the sun, and here too are my claws!
That is not the way you want to wake up on your third day of a new job. But the thing is, the really good, pretty awesome thing, is that I was okay with being woken up, and sitting up, and starting to go ahead and get ready for work, because I was looking forward to it. For the first time in I don’t know how long, I was looking forward to going to work, which is a sick, wrong feeling that ought to be beaten out of me. I imagine, in time, it will be beaten out of me, in one way or another. But in the meantime, I am happy, and for the craziest reasons.
For one: the clothes. "How’s the new job?" people ask me, kindly. "The clothes are so awesome!"
I reply, shallowly. And yet, I remain excited.
Because I am a giant dork with giant dorklike tendencies, I spent my extra time in my robe, picking out an outfit to wear. This is a place where what you wear doesn’t matter, so much, no, because there are people in T-shirts and jeans, but there are also people who are cute, and funky, and stylish, and sometimes all three at once, which is like a circus act to pull off only with less animal cruelty. And it makes me want to care about what I wear. No, scratch that–it makes me feel a little less dumb about caring about what I wear, and wanting to look nice for work. The students, the periodicals, the periodicals staff, the library staff, the whole university, they did not so much care if my shoes coordinated.
This morning, and yesterday morning, I cared if my shoes coordinated with my top, and also with my soul. Yesterday, I wore a black and white tunic top, and a black pencil skirt, and black and white heels. Today, a green tunic sweater and slim-cut black slacks and gold wedge heels. That’s right–I said “slim-cut black slacks.” And you know what else? I have my outfit for tomorrow planned already. And also for Friday. Did I not warn you that I am a giant dork? I am trying to be all attitudinal and tough, but in truth, I admit this to you with great shame. I share this with you, feeling kind of dumb. But also, kind of pretty.
And kind of fancy, too, because in my nice clothes, I get to ride the MUNI train. The train always feels a little cooler than the buses, a little more of-the-future, a little faster, sleeker, zippier, awesomer. This is not a rational way to feel, because they are both methods of public transportation that take you off to your very busy job at which you have to spend major portions of the limited amount of time you have on earth slaving away for a wage that will only barely keep you in roofs and shoes and groceries and cable television. And yet, standing on the N train, reading my book with my little iPod buds stuck in my very important ears, makes me feel as if I am very grown up.
Getting off the train and making my way up the hill, dodging tourists with my latte in one hand, my fancy red coat draped over my arm, makes me feel even grown-upper. I am so busy and important, with my latte of consequence and my shoes of excellence! Make way, as I charge up the hill toward my destiny!
So far, I am enjoying my destiny, this 6-story brick building that is filled with foosball and pool tables and shuffleboard and beer in the vending machine, and my big beautiful office, with the window that hits the ceiling and almost reaches the floor. The security guards smile at me like they know me, the people in the elevator talk about their “films” and I don’t even want to punch them in the face much, and my cute and tiny co-worker brings in cute and tiny quiches to share. My office mate and I are planning on putting down a funky rug, hanging a chandelier, sticking one of those big floppy dish chairs in the tiny alcove so that we can hide away when we need to hide away–but so far, I have not needed to hide.
I like this work I’m doing, the in box and the out box, the sense of purpose and accomplishment when I burrow through an ad looking for mistakes and emerge with a sense of satisfaction and absolute conviction in my rightness and correctness, which will be obeyed. There is much power in being a proofreader, and I am reveling in it. There is much awesomeness in this job I have as a proofreader, and I think I made the right decision, and I am happy.
Of course, I am also only closing in on my third day of employment here. A month from now, check back in.