Thursday, November 5, 2009

Unemployment: Stay at Home Daughter

(Disclaimer: I love my mother. That is all.)

I recently changed my employment status on Facebook to say this:

Stay At Home Daughter

cooking, baking, cleaning, trash girl, bartender, applying for real jobs, applying for crappy jobs, lawn chick (does not rake), designated driver, laundering, entertaining, knitting, reading, writing, eating all the good food (snacks, ice cream, etc.), drinking all the beer, warming up the couch, making sure the tv works (specifically on sundays and thursdays), taking up space in the driveway with ugly car named Peanut, Facebooking incessantly while filling out online applications and writing articles (multitasking), vacuuming with cool uniform (see pictures), etc.

Since skipping out the door of my last job or rather being kicked out quietly, I have moved in with my mother. Love her as I do, living with her is much like Chinese torture. I am thankful that she is allowing me to take up space in her home and in her garage. And she is thankful that those pesky high light bulbs are being changed! My mom is short, I am tall. (read: likely adopted) So all of these high reaching tasks have been delegated to me. Light bulbs, reaching for vases, vacuuming the ceilings for house showings, yes, I do them all. I am employed with the never ending to do lists to keep my mind from exploding because my mother knows that a girl that is zoned for the city, like myself, does not survive well in the country. I'm walking around the house wondering things like "Can I get a sidewalk? Maybe a cafe that doesn't serve coffee that tastes like BBQ? Hell, I'll take a horn honking!" while everyone else is enjoying the peaceful and serene view of the now hibernating trees. Don't get me wrong, it's gorgeous here but it fades. Stare at the same Thomas Kincade painting for a month and tell me you don't want a change of scenery. Between job applications you might find me scrubbing a toilet or vacuuming the baseboards. In the city you would find me casing out the newest wi-fi cafe or running to catch the El. I've taken to knitting and cleaning as hobbies because cafes and trains don't exist here. Call me June Cleaver and I will scream.

After about a month in the country I am ready for a Thanksgiving dinner sized helping of Chicago. The wind blows the crazy out of me, and my friends are thankful for this. In the country, I have to *think* of things to do keep my mind off my insanity ridden life. In the city, I have to decide which thing to do first! Walking to get coffee is a welcomed task in the city. Here, it is impossible. Maybe I should walk around the house three times before I come in and start my pot in the morning. Who cares if the neighbors think I have a serious case of OCD? I'm going mental anyway, might as well come out of the closet with it right?

To say that this past month has been awful would still probably be a gross understatement. Adjectives have not been invented to describe the kind of mental instability that unemployment has created for me. I'm a strong girl. I've been through more than a person my age should. And I'm still standing. But not working and living in the country at the same time is enough to make me Google "high bridges near SW Michigan". I'm applying for plenty of positions. I even had an interview with a staffing agency in Chicago. They loved me, and I loved them. It's a terrific fit. But patience and waiting have never been close friends of mine. I wrote a blog not too long ago about the relationship between my patience and waiting. I officially don't have any. I'm waiting because I have to, but my patience packed its bags and told me to fuck off a long time ago. So here we sit, me and my new frienemy, Waiting, and have these conversations about length of stay. Waiting is always complaining about Patience leaving and I am always complaining about why Waiting is taking so long. It's like...Dude, shit or get off the pot already. This is ridiculous. The fact is that there are 15.1 million of us out of a job AND that when you apply for a job, if you don't have a degree, you're sort of fucked. I do not have a degree so I'm not in the top ten competition, I am thanking my lucky stars though that I have management experience and that I did at least attend some college classes. I might not have graduated, but if I want to go back I can. It would require one really good waitressing job in the city (or two) or one craptastic job in the country (because it's rent free) to pull off the school *and* work thing. I'm not sure I'm ready to make that decision yet, mostly because in the end, I would be doomed to stay in the country with my mom. It's on the wheel of (mis)fortune though, I can't deny it. This is my luck we're talking about here and I don't remember any of my friends wishing they could have a piece of it. And so, Waiting is quickly becoming my least attractive friend. In fact, she's an ugly bitch who is driving me mad.

Beyond missing the city, beyond waiting, there's a bigger issue. I'm a 27 year old living with her mother. While this is probably socially acceptable, it is not mentally acceptable. For a few reasons...

1) She eats really loudly. I can imagine that if I was ever brave enough to get close to a cow again to listen to her eat, she would sound much like my mother. (I say again because I had a bad run in with a cow once. It chased me out of a field. Remind me to tell you that one later.) Cheese eaten with a smack is gross. So are crackers and chips because then the crunch factor is introduced and it's enough to make food poisoning sound like the more attractive option. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.... all disgusting with your mouth open.

2) She (allegedly) has two livers and exercises them daily. Either that or she just has an overachiever in there. Did I mention she's 5'2"? And can drink me under the table? Just sayin'! More evidence that I was adopted or that I'm just a lightweight.

3) She can not tell a joke to save her life. (Which is actually something I inherited from her and that's annoying.) She tries though. The good news is that I always know the punchlines to jokes, sometimes she collapses into laughter before she can tell me the rest of the joke though so the conversation usually ends up something like this...

Mom: Hahahahaha! Funny joke! Hahahahaha!

Me: What ma? (annoyed because I already know it's going to suck)

Mom: Orange you going to let me in? Hahahahaha! Wait, wait... I forgot the first part... ok... Knock, Knock... Hahahahahahaha! (and then nothing, but more uncontrolled laughter)

And so it goes.

4) Asking for money might be #1 on the list of my least favorite things to do. And since I am jobless and now penniless after this awesome year of bad luck and bullshit, my mom has taken pity on me. This is all well and good when I need things, but when it's something I don't necessarily need but want... I feel like a 5 year old, which is wonderful(!!) because I have always hoped to go back and relive the hell that was elementary school. (e.g. Grocery shopping: "What do you want from the store?" I should say "Broccoli, carrots, chicken, and low fat yogurt!", but what I want to say is "Family Sized Bag of Cheetos and 5 Gallons of ice cream please!" Are you catching my pathetic drift?)

5) Every time my mom walks in the door from work I'm on the computer. Mostly because she gets home at 7 pm and by that time I have already completed my "chores" for the day. So even though I have done all of these things I still feel like a momentus loser jackass sitting here all typity type when she walks in the door every. single. day. So I've taken to leaving one little task to do when she walks in so it looks like I'm a busy little bee. Even though dinner is made, baked goods are on the counter and the house smells like cleaning products, I still feel the need to look busy. So what do I do when she gets home? I wait until she walks in the door and I put a dish in the dishwasher and act like I had been working on this for hours. I'm pathetic. I know. But it makes me feel better to see her face of gratitude rather than the face of "Jesus Kallay, get a job!" when she walks in the door.

If I were to be unemployed with a small nest egg of savings to live off of, this situation of insanity would probably be cut nearly in half. My ideal unemployment situation would be to live alone and live off of my small savings. It would prevent me from having to live with an annoying person, ask said annoying person for money and from having to look up from behind a computer screen to the annoying person's annoyed face. If I were alone I would at the very least be able to be unemployed without feeling guilty about it. But alas, I am here. Living in the fishbowl, begging for food nuggets and doing cute fishie tricks to try and earn a new job. Isn't unemployment adorable?


sarah said...

oh kals... i know that feeling. before i moved to PA it was just sarah and ma' dukes for a month and a half. wonder why i had to drive 7 hours away and turn a "long weekend" into a 3-week stay two states away? mm-hmm. i feel ya, girl.

Allyson said...

I have never moved back in with my mother because I have never been unemployed when the unemployment rate was over 10% in this country. But I do understand the "city-mouse-in-the-country" thing and I totally get it. I have been cow-tipping, but I would MUCH prefer shoe shopping at Nordstrom's. Yeah...good luck with that. In the meantime, it's very entertaining for the rest of us to read. ;)

Karrisa Francis said...

You are a very talent writer Kallay. Perhaps since you are in limbo right now you should spend some time writing more than just this blog... Perhaps a book??? I think with just minimal effort you could create something great! :)
Hope you're well!!