I have always been proud of my ability to laugh at myself.
When crushing, life-altering situations arise (ie. missing an episode of “The Bachelorette” or arriving at Chilis ten minutes after closing) I am pretty good at using laughter to cope. However, for some reason I tend to get embarrassed by really small, stupid things. Things that should not be embarrassing, but for some reason are! I cringe at memories of strutting around campus confidently, only to find out later that my backpack was partially unzipped the entire time. Why is this so mortifying to me!? It’s not like anything particularly incriminating was exposed. Well, aside from the Chelsea Handler paperback and melted fruit-by-the-foot tucked in with my Health Science textbooks…
Maybe it’s because I’ve had a lot of free time, but it seems I’ve recently had more than my fair share of these experiences. Here are some highlights- or to be more accurate- lowlights.
Since I have yet to find a job, I’ve dedicated myself to being the best housewife possible. I’ve actually begun sorting laundry into appropriate color loads before washing, vacuuming the carpets before the visible toast crumbs/popcorn kernels/dirt clods appear and cooking dinners that require the chopping and stirring of ingredients, as opposed to pressing “high-3 mins” on the microwave. As part of this “ideal housewife” persona, I’ve also taken it upon myself to regularly visit our apartment clubhouse gym.
I’m usually the only one there. The Barossa Apartment residents seem to prefer carne asada fiestas over the Stair Master. (Actually, I do too. I just can’t afford to buy bigger clothes.) The other day I actually had a work out companion. A Black or maybe part Hispanic boy in a do-rag who looked about 15 years old was pumping some iron. He was probably getting ready for nearby Aqua Fria High School’s football season. I had been going strong on the treadmill due to extra energy provided by a few bagels and an excellent workout playlist. I needed a drink, so I stopped and removed my headphones. To my horror, my music was blasting for all (well, both) to hear. The weight room was too quiet, and my ipod volume too loud. The song was sort of tinny and far away sounding, but every lyric and note was easily being heard by Mr. Aqua Fria High, who gave me a curious look when I sheepishly paused the music, cutting off the upbeat chorus of a song that came straight from the Space Jam soundtrack. I felt myself turn red. Why did this embarrass me so much? Again, this was not even a big deal! I quickly reviewed the songs in my previous lineup to assess the damage. Katy Perry, Lil’ Wayne, some random Fleetwood Mac… not too bad. Uh oh. Not only had I listened to Tupac’s “Life Goes On”, I had listened to it twice in a row. (In my defense, it has a good running beat.) I thought of Aqua Fria High watching me, a painfully white girl, thumping out a 12 minute mile to a tribute to victims of the streets and homies doing life etc. No doubt this kid had more street cred in his pinky finger than I’ll ever have in my life. I imagined him shaking his head in dissaproval. “She knows nothing about the hood life,” he’d be thinking. Ugh, and then there was the Space Jam song…
Yesterday I was applying for jobs via Craigslist. One job in particular asked for a resume and a picture. I couldn’t find a decent picture of myself- all recent pictures seem to be of me in my Yellowstone t-shirt. I decided to take matters into my own hands (or hand, I guess) and take a picture of myself to upload. I came up with a decent shot (again-decent, not great-this is important) and sent it along with my resume. I made sure to crop out most of my arm that was extended out towards the camera.
(Notice the obviously outstretched arm-
dead giveaway that it was self-taken.
The messy kitchen has been cropped out)
The messy kitchen has been cropped out)
Now I don’t know what posessed me to do this. I don’t know if it was a sudden surge of confidence due to endorphins from the treadmill, or my increased alone time making me crazy. For some reason, I felt it might be a good idea to attach this “head shot” to my email responses to all my application emails- even though no others asked for one. Again, I don’t know what I was thinking! I mean, how tacky is that, right?! I thought about it for the rest of the day, wishing I could retract those emails. I personally would jump at the chance to make fun of someone for sending an unrequested picture with her cover letter. Especially since it wasn’t even a nice, professional picture. It was a crappy self-taken shot with a messy kitchen in the background.
Before I went to bed last night, I checked my email. I had gotten a response! I opened it.
“Carolyn, the receptionist position has already been filled. However we do have a modeling job available. ;) Sincerely, Joe Something-or-Other”
Oh my gosh. I totally got called out. I wasn’t fooled for a second. This was not a modeling job offer. Believe me, I watch a lot of “America’s Next Top Model”-mine was no gig-worthy head shot. This email was a blatant stab at my bad behavior and I completely deserved it! The job was at a Collision Repair company, for heaven sakes. Unless this modeling job was for MySpace, Joe Something-or-Other was making fun of me. Lesson learned.
The last awkward instance happened while interviewing for a job. It wasn’t a typical interview at an office. The company hadn’t fired my predecessor yet so our meeting was covert in nature; I was to meet my interviewer at a local coffee shop. I arrived 45 minutes early. (I wasn’t sure how long it would take to get there and wanted to be safe.) I filled the time by looking Susan (my interviewer) up on Facebook. I was slightly worried I wouldn’t know who she was. For all I knew, she could already be there, nestled up in a booth with a laptop and cappuccino. It’s not like we’d both arranged to appear with red roses or anything. When she arrived, I stood up.
“Hi Susan,” I greeted her in my most personable, “hire-me” voice. She greeted me warmly and we exchanged a solid handshake. (I pride myself on my firm handshake.) Then I ruined it.
“I stalked you on Facebook,” I blurted out. It was silent for a good seven seconds. Which is a long time when you’re suddenly being watched by every poem reading hippie in the place. “You know, so I’d know who you were…” I fumbled, trailing off.
“Oh!” She sounded a bit alarmed. It was quiet for another few seconds. Crap, that one really did not land.
Despite my facebook blunder, the interview went pretty well. Although about halfway through I realized that everybody in the coffee shop had tuned in to my interview. Not only was I trying to convince Susan that I had what it took to be a fabulous assistant, I was performing for all of “The Urban Bean’s” staff/customers as well. At one point I said something really cliché- something about taking the initiative- and I could have sworn I heard a snort/chuckle coming from behind a bearded man’s laptop.
I’ll find out about the job next week. I may have humiliated myself at the interview, but at least I didn’t send them a picture.