The way I see it, if I was handed a Life Score Card right now, I’d be going to summer school soon after. Or, they’d just hold me back a year. The only problem is that the more years you’re held back in life, the higher the liklihood you’ll be the kid with the bald spot sitting where teacher can keep an eye on you.
Here are the Life Classes I’m failing:
After a while of bumping around, I finally worked my way up from pizza flipper, to house painter, to student (for many, many years), to editor/features writer, to staff writer for a pretty good non-profit. For some reason known only to the Holy Spirit, I was halfway goal-oriented in these last few years, and I actually ended up where I thought I wanted to be. Sort of. The one goal keeping me going in life is to be a fiction novelist. (I took a little side route and wrote a screenplay for a contest, but didn’t make the quarter final round). So far, books written: 0. Or “schnide,” as my buddies used to say. I have no idea why schnide means “zero.”
Anyway, here I am in a D.C. think tank impressing some people who care about such things, blah, blah, blah. I write grants and proposals. And while my entire life I’ve had people gush about things I’ve written–and not just family!–I’m falling flat on my face. I can’t focus, I can’t kiss enough behind, I can’t get anything done in a timely manner. My boss rides me hard, and though she’s leaving soon, she managed to chew me out not once, but twice, before noon today, in front of her replacement. Her replacement is a woman who took something I said the wrong way at the beginning of my employment here. I don’t even remeber what–something about me having a bad hair day.
At my performance evaluation the other day, my boss told me that I was “right where I needed to be,” and that she was recommending me for a raise. Curiously, that raise was denied by her boss just before the New Era of [Montanaman] Pounding began. (That’s NEMP, for the government-types). Even better, when NEMP was inaugurated, that’s about the same time there was a huge surge in promotions and raises throughout the whole building.
I’m beginning to give serious thought to pizza flipping.
With complete humility I can say I’ve been Superboyfriend for about a year and a half to a beautiful, all-around perfect girl. She tells me this all the time–I’m not speculating. I actually DO things for her. I CARE. I change my bad habits when necessary, and trust me, it’s been necessary. I have left a swath of emotional carnage behind me because of my selfishness, self-centeredness, whatever. I wanted to know what a healthy relationship was like, and so I did the best I could to empty myself of myself, and just SERVE this perfect girl who is so worthy of my best.
So, it’s time for marriage, right? I wish.
We both know something’s gotta budge, because this middle ground is killing us both. But I’ve tried. Several times now I’ve tried to go out and get a ring. Each time I’ve felt this overwhelming sense of dread. Every major holiday, she does her best to be calm, fully expecting a proposal. When it doesn’t come, she tries to keep her sweet face brave and her cute little chin up, and I know exactly how she feels because it rips my guts out, too.