Saturday, September 19, 2009

Unemployment: Tales from the Dark Side

or, This whole Staycation thing isn't really doing it for me.
Feeling useless does strange things to a person. For example, on Wednesday, when I made this, I was rolling on the floor laughing:

Click to play this Smilebox photobook: How to Keep Busy

...and now it just seems like a unsettling cry for antidepressants. On the bright side, Wendy and I had a good time drawing pictures together for four hours and then jumping in the bath, covered with marker. She claims to have had no part in the laundry basket incident, and resents my slanderous representation of her character. See? Innocent.

Carl and I have been knocking around house together; both of us combing the Internet for jobs, both of us scared of what will happen next, both of us frustrated to the point of irrational outbursts regarding crumbs on counters and deleted TiVo. We find ridiculous reasons to storm out of the house-with half-explained purpose, in half-hearted anger, because we desperately need something from the store. A LEMON! WE NEED A LEMON RIGHT NOW, GODDAMNIT! If we don't have a lemon, the enchiladas will be ruined, and we might as well give up now and eat 89-cent pot pies from the freezer for the rest of our lives! I don't want that for our children! To Giant!

It is kind of a mania-coaster that is half-submerged in swamp water, and we are stapled to the seats. I have to remember to breathe at the right times, or the green bile of bitter fear rises up to choke me. The choking makes the lung-full of air that much more thrilling, though. Wendy and I are good together, mostly. Marker parties. Library jaunts. Park picnics. It's sweet. And when Carl and I find something new to laugh about or something good to do that's free, it's like we just discovered Peanut Butter Captain Crunch again. Whee! The the top of the coaster! And there is Captain Crunch here! WHEEEEEE!!!

*Erin, if you are here for some reason, I cannot vouch for your continued mental health, should you read the following.*

We have had pretty good-ahem-relations, lately. Apparently, there is something about the thick atmosphere of suppressed impotent rage that makes everyone want to…pollinate. (I know several scientists that have done scientific experiments proving this. With science.) Which is SO not the thing to be doing when no one is working, no one is on birth control and about nine months from now, we will be either moving and/or buying a house. This is not the time to be pollinated.

It was different before. Before, when I quit delivering pizzas for my 24th birthday because I didn't want do it anymore, and I didn't care where I worked next, I wasn't unemployed. I was bumming around. Before, the news was full of reasons that other people should worry about their futures, while I snapped on my name tag and went to mall to mock my boss and his small, petty life in middle management.

That was a different version of me, who was not wrapped and tangled around other people who depend on my being useful. That was a rootless version of me that did not care if I was useful or not. It is different now. I'll be 28 in a few months. Those four years that have elapsed since the era of willful job-quitting are vast oceans of time zones when you throw a family into the mix.
Excuse me, I have a sudden, crushing desire for a lemon. *storm storm storm*


  1. Oh, honey, sounds like you've got a case of the TJSP -

    Trust me, I invented it. I received a rejection letter from a prospective employer and was so psyched, since almost all the resumes I mail out go directly into a black hole. Now my friend wants me to start a business with her wherein we deliver waffles and crepes to college students in the middle of the night. And that's beginning to sound like a good idea. Yep, it's getting ugly...

    Luck to you!

  2. you sounded hungry, so I clicked on your google ads. A few more clicks and you can have some more of those 89cent pot pies. Good luck.

  3. Your video was funny and sad. It made me miss the notes we would pass in school. I think you should do more stick figure comics/videos. They're interesting.

    Also, yeah. Pollinating doesn't sound like the bast idea, given the lack of jobs and BC. But really, what else are you gonna do?

  4. Don't know how I got over here, but this made me laugh so much. I too am unemployed, and I so thought I'd be RE-employed by now, but not so much. And I'm friggin FIFTY!! Now that is scary. Oh, and divorcing and have a 12 yr old.
    So, here's to us. I just keep saying this would kill a lesser person, keep on keepin on and drink some wine with my GF's.

  5. Feeling useless? Really? I was thinking pretty creative and bad ass. Love the video and the music.I think we may have been sisters in another life. I feel your pain and am in a similar unemployment situation. I like to call it freedom from oppression.
    Rock on soul sister!

  6. hello there I was reading you from the rant club and was going to send BJ in Dallas your way and wooo hoo she is already here !! too freaky love blogville. enjoyed your clip v much - too clever and funny and poigent (?) all at once ...

    best to you and your darling ones .. cross fingers it all comes together soon le

  7. That is too funny and depressing. I just got my lay-off notice at work last Friday. 2 more weeks, then it's unemployment for both my husband and me. Arghhh!

  8. I too am unemployed. BUT I am 55, close but not able to retire... Sad... I do have decent savings. Maybe I can hang on with a lower paying job until... 62. Enjoyed your blog and the video!