Being Viola

February 15th, 2018, 8:43 AM by Goddess

“You wanted to be where you are
But it looked much better from afar
A hillside in shadow between the people and the stars

Twelfth night, we go
After something everyone should know
Somewhere in the distance out of sight.”

— Gin Blossoms, “Pieces of the Night”

I feel like Viola, the heroine of “Twelfth Night.” To recall the “Shakespeare in Love” movie ending that set up the coming of that play, I feel like her as she married her rich king and sailed off to America with him … while leaving her beloved poet behind.

The torture she felt. The knowing she would love this man until she left this mortal coil. The sadness at how she didn’t feel anywhere near the same way about the man with whom she was about to start a new life.

And her grace at being able to say goodbye … to remind Will to redirect his sorrow into magnificent prose … to steel herself for the journey ahead, and whatever joy and sadness it would bring.

I will always miss my “Will.” And though my “king” is a great man, it hurt to matchmake T. with someone else.

It’s over now. It was the moment I drove to his office to withdraw my acceptance of his offer.

Time to stop looking back, and to start looking ahead at my chosen path.

And now, I sail on.

Pretty sure this isn’t how it’s supposed to feel

February 12th, 2018, 8:59 PM by Goddess

I un-quit today.

I wish I were dead.

Every time I downed a whole bottle of wine … flipped a coin … woke up from a dream (or drunken stupor) … or asked the universe which boss to pick, the answer was universal. “T.” Every goddamned time.

I picked M.

I emailed M at 7 a.m. to say he wins. By 9 a.m., not only had he told the whole staff, but he asked me to address the staff. Say something encouraging, he suggested.

I spun my sugar. People were pleased. Enthralled. Full of applause. And they came by to say thank you for staying. We need you, they said. You care so much. You give me hope, they added. If you believe, then I can too, they emphasized.

God, I am this guy’s student. Spin control. Master marketer. I earned my stripes today alone. Well and in the six years leading up to this day.

Privately, I prayed for death.

“Trapped in each other’s arms
We got the best of us
We keep each other warm
But we both know it’s not enough.”

Dark Waves, “I Don’t Wanna Be In Love”

I believe I made the right choice for me. For today.

But then I drove to my would-be new office … the one I stood in front of Saturday and Sunday with a metaphorical boombox … and cried the whole way back.

I saw my would-be boss. And “broke up” with him, so to speak.

I wish I were dead. I really do. I really fucked up. I can’t convince myself otherwise right now.

I had a very bad day. Constant flow of tears not withstanding. I got to meet his dog and I’m like, “I could have worked in your office with your sweet puppy? Mother of God. What have I done?”

I didn’t say that. I did bawl. Didn’t meant to go there to do that. But still. I am out of my fucking mind.

He gets it. We parted friends, the way we started. I said I hope you hire someone fabulous. I said I hope that if you don’t, and if I feel the way I do today — just one hour after making my decision — you will think of me again.

I think this ship sailed. And I am so, so very sorry for that.

I have very little relationship experience. I’ve fucked many. Dozens. Probably more than dozens. But knowing a good guy from a bad boy … and picking the good guy? I ain’t real good at. Not even in my career.

Ultimately I think I picked right. It was just a really bad day. And my emotions are so very raw. I mean, I just dumped the guy who would love me in favor of the guy who will take care of me. I wish I were dead. I’m so drunk and I can’t stop crying and OMG why God why did I not follow my heart?

I’ll tell you why. When I follow my gut, it leads me to the buffet. This time, I followed my brain. I am hoping for a better — or, at least, more prosperous — outcome.

But I won’t lie. I am already missing the one who got away. The one I let slip away. And I know it.

I’m sorry, T. He needs me more … but you are the one who deserves me. I know you can’t wait for me. And I will love you forever, even still.

I just need to take care of momma and me. I know you understand. That would makes one of us. You knew me better than I knew myself. Which makes me sadder still.

Is this pain ever going to end? OMG I can’t do this, if not.

Some people have great love stories. Mine are all with employers. Especially the ones I let get away …

At least I didn’t have to die

January 11th, 2018, 8:49 PM by Goddess

“Gritting your teeth, you hold onto me
It’s never enough, I’m never complete
Tell me to prove, expect me to lose
I push it away, I’m trying to move
Hoping for more, and wishing for less
When I didn’t care was when I did best
I’m desperate to run, I’m desperate to leave
If I lose it all, at least I’ll be free.”

— Broods, “Free”

When my bosses came to me with really, the worst idea ever, I said, “Over my dead body will I (insert what I was asked to do).”

For the girl who did everything asked of her, and then some, for the past six years (40 years, but who’s counting?), they were stunned.

I didn’t elaborate. But come on over to my desk (and everybody does because I’m hilarious), and I will HAPPILY fill you in.

We all had a good old time today when I did what I needed to do for a long time. Not what was asked of me. But what I should have done to prevent that even being an option in the first place.

I told the bosses about it. Like I’d said, over my dead body. Now that is no longer an option because there are literally no choices in the matter left. The one said, “OK” and we talked about that nitwit Trump’s nitwit “shithole” comment instead.

I mean, really, it’s their problem. It always was. I’m sorry I can’t help. And I’m grateful that I don’t have to explain why #timesup on this particular “thing.”

“I have lived my life so perfectly
Kept to all my lines so carefully
I’d lose everything so I can sing
Hallelujah, I’m free
I’m free, I’m free
I’m free, I’m free, I’m free
Hallelujah, I’m free.”

I asked my friend if I could be fired for this. She said who knows. But wouldn’t it be worth it to never, ever have to even think about it ever again?

It’s a good day to be me.

‘Driving with the brakes on’

December 2nd, 2017, 2:02 PM by Goddess

Well, the latest Layoff Day was as miserable as I thought it would be.

I should be used to saying goodbye to my friends by now. But it never really gets easier.

I spent the day working on a project for some jag who should have been working on it but probably would have screwed it up. I see the previous two issues his team published and the complete lack of punctuation in the sentences. And the owner added literally 97 special requests to this process. All of which I handled and had to tap no fewer than four people to help me handle.

It all came together, thank God. And surprisingly, the only tears I shed where when my friends came to hug me and goodbye.

However, there was a wonderful rage-filled moment when the jag sent an email to all my boys with the SL: “Greetings from your new editorial director.” Fuck you, jagoff. Let the body get cold, OK? I’m still here, doing YOUR work and not my own. So thank God I still had a full (read: already reduced, and about to be reduced AGAIN) team through yesterday.

One of my boys emailed me to say, wow, holy power trip up there. Yeah, no shit. Good luck with that. No more Goddess for you when my own Layoff Day arrives.

“I might be more a man if I stopped this in its tracks
And said come on, let’s go home.
But she’s got the wheel,
And I’ve got nothing except what I have on.”

— Del Amitri, “Driving With the Brakes On”

I heard this song on Pirate Radio and thought of my earliest days with the company. Back when I was brought in before my start date to attend a copywriting class with the owner.

I met a boy that day. He was videotaping the whole ordeal. The tapes got lost somewhere. Probably because another attendee dared challenge the owner on something. They made that person disappear fast. The footage soon followed.

That boy asked me out at some point. And I probably dedicated a million words on this blog to the ensuing thrills and aches.

He didn’t survive a major layoff, and I did. Said relationship, whatever was left at that point, didn’t survive either. All I have left of him is a Drive-By Truckers CD and a Facebook friendship with two of his friends who live in my neighborhood.

He would love Del Amitri. Maybe he does love them. I almost wanted to send him this song but for what, really? Do I tell him I am meeting the same career fate he did? That I feel just as emasculated that my livelihood that I love now has an end date and there’s no new beginning in sight?

He’d probably say the right thing about it. The man was never at a loss for words or an intelligent observation. He’d probably look damn cute saying it. And then he’d retreat, like he was so good at.

Beat me at my own game, that one. I thought *I* was emotionally unavailable until I tried to pull him out from under the rock he loved hiding under.

“When you’re driving with the brakes on,
When you’re swimming with your boots on,
It’s hard to say you love someone
And it’s hard to say you don’t.”

Anyway. Hard to stay dead inside when so many emotion-invoking things keep happening. I look forward to returning to my status of being unavailable to jobs and heartache. But right now, I am more available than I ever wanted to be. And the fear of falling … fear of failing … is more than my cold little heart can take.

Sweet November (and a little sour)

November 23rd, 2017, 6:48 AM by Goddess

One of my favorite movies from my younger years, “Sweet November,” was on HBO last night.

It’s still hard to watch Keanu Reeves. He’s too jerky to be believable as the leading man/love interest. But like Trump, he has a job and I don’t. Which makes me loathe them more.

But it was one of those things I needed to see when I saw it. A dying girl who takes life one month at a time. He was her November. And she walked away in December, leaving him with a broken heart and beautiful memories.

It made me think back to all my Novembers. The best was six years ago when I landed the job that’s now ending. After 11 months of barely getting by with freelance work, I knew this wasn’t a dream job. But it sure saved my life. And I gave till it hurts in return to show my gratitude.

The worst November was when we lost my grandfather. Thanksgiving 2006. It was one thing if old age got him. But the VA killed him and there’s nothing we could do about it.

The second-worst November was the first time I was jobless. 2004, I think. I couldn’t afford the gas to go to Pittsburgh to see my family. Seriously mapped out ways kill myself. My Calico kitty saved me just by refusing to leave my side.

Third-worst November is clearly when assclown tRumpy somehow was elected by the Russians and 74,000 stupid fucking Americans last year. I might even say that was the worst November ever because it fucking ruined the country and not just my year. Lost a lot of friends over it. Losing tax breaks and a whole lot of other shit. Losing my shit still. And that fucker is at his gaudy beach estate down the street so I’ve also lost the ability to drive around town. Fuck him. Die. Just die.

Then there’s this November. Which should hands-down win “worst November ever.” I mean, your landlord tells you to move out … you lose your job because you work for people who can’t manage a company or hire competent help … your car shits the bed in the middle of one of America’s busiest freeways … you pick up a virus you just cannot shake … your cat’s sick and your mom’s sicker … and yet the orange fuckface up the street, no matter how much he taunts North Korea, still can’t get them to drop a nuke and end it all.

But … it’s not the worst.

Apparently my decision to believe in Santa isn’t the funniest thing ever.

  • My landlord said, look. Get your life together. Find your next job. I’ll worry about selling the condo next year. Breathe. Oh and hey, I may know someone who’s hiring.
  • My tow-truck driver saved my life. SAVED. MY. LIFE. My mechanic took quick and excellent care of me. And I have a no-limit credit card so I can deal with the money part later.
  • My company owner said please stay till year-end.
  • And I wouldn’t say I have a job prospect by any means. But I met a really cool dude who knows people. Who knows people who like me. Maybe there’s a love connection, maybe there isn’t. But there is the hope.

Look. Things ain’t perfect. Or anywhere close. But compared to electing Trump, losing my grandfather and sharpening a knife I wasn’t using because I couldn’t afford food, this November is almost sweet here too.