Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Today I Didn't Even Have to Use My A.K.

Though the day is still young, I suppose.

Had a good, but very strange weekend. Two of my good friends who I used to work with at the Statehouse in Ohio came to visit. A few highlights:

  • On Friday one of them called her friend who lives in VA to join us for dinner. She wore her fat diamond jewelry and insisted we meet in Georgetown. At one point I realized that the folks sitting around the table had a total of:
    - 3 Weddings
    - 1 Divorce
    - 5 Children
    - Numerous extra-marital affairs
    - 1 $1.2 million house
    - 3 People who've started their fourth decade of life
    - 1 Republican, whose political beliefs include "freedom and this great country founded under God," and puppies and rainbows, too, presumably, and
    - 1 Boob job.
    And none of them were mine. This was my Friday Night Surreality. It would be fair to say I drank a lot of beer that evening.

  • My recently divorced, boob-inflated friend was soon hit on by a group of G-town meatheads. Their group flocked around our table for a little while, egged on by boob-girl who was looking for a little fun herself. After awhile they asked us how old we were (in fairness, I think we asked them first, because they looked like they'd escaped out their bedroom windows and taken the keys to daddy's car to go pick up their fake IDs so they could find some Hot Older Women in the college bars), and my friends, being the honest girls they are, said around the table, 31, 32, 32. All three of these ladies, by the way, look maybe twenty-years-old on a bad day. The VA friend who joined us probably gets carded at R-rated movies. Just to top it off, they each might swing a buck-ten on the scale...if they were holding a bowling ball and a pile of bricks. So the guy turns to me and says, "What about you?" "I'm 26." A stare and a smirk. "Oh, yeah? You're 26, huh?" Nothing makes me feel like I'm being scammed by the wrinkle cream industry like a guy NOT BELIEVING THAT I'M UNDER THIRTY. Sigh.

  • When VA friend turned to me and asked, "So, are you married?" I replied 'no' and my boob-friend helpfully added, "No, Heather's slow."

    Dude. I know she was joking (and that secretly they're both a tad envious of their friend who escaped the Midwest and is living single in the Big City) but I have severely felt the pressures of adulthood bearing upon me lately. I've never had a strong desire to do the husband-2.5 kids-white-picket-fence thing, and I would still rather spend my twenties traveling, being free to move cities or go out for a beer anytime I want, and not having anyone else relying on the consistency of my paycheck, but it's weird when everyone is throwing it in your face all the time. I'm lucky to have a family that's 100% more concerned that I have an education and a successful career than whether or not I'm popping out the grandkids (surprisingly, even my grandparents feel that way...these are the perks when you come from a long line of feminists). So even now that my cousin, who's younger than me, is having the first kid of the next generation, my family's like, "Eh, good for her. But hey, great art review last week! Didn't you say something about those attorneys liking you...how's that working out?" To be fair, my family is a lot more complicated than that, but aren't they always.

    So of course the problem is that I don't have a successful career. Scratch that. I don't have a career. I suppose I thought by 27 I'd have some kind of, you know, dental plan and a growing IRA. Not that I have some desire for the 9 to 5 life, but after spending $100K plus a couple thousand on two higher educational degrees, I thought I'd be getting some kind of return on my investment. Yet, nearly a year to the day after graduation, I still temping. The real problem seems to be that the older I get, the less I know what I want to do with my life. Do I really want to be an attorney? Do I want to pursue writing or even photography? Do I want to do something completely different? The Catch-22 being that the older I get, the fewer the opportunities are available to me. I suppose I'll figure it out someday or, more likely, something will fall in my lap and I'll grab it cause it's there.

    Happy Introspection Day. It's time to call in that birthday beer my co-worker has promised me.

    But good news! I shall have a spectacular garden update for you later this week!


    At 6:21 PM, May 02, 2006, Blogger CM said...


    You're only 26. You have a J.D. and you passed the bar. You're starting to sell your own photographs and explore your interest in art (as well as gardening). Not everything in your life can happen at once.

    My only friend who has all the things you mentioned (except kids -- he just got engaged) is, in addition to being three years older than you, also the only person I know who loved their career immediately after college and stuck with it. Everyone else is still struggling through school or residency or working-their-way-up jobs or figuring out what they really want to do with their lives.

    30 is the new 20, right?

    At 6:37 PM, May 02, 2006, Blogger Bengali Chick said...

    Dude I totally hear that. But it looks like you're out there pursuing your own interests. There's so much pressure out there to be in the "right" place in your life. Screw 'em. Figure it out at your own pace. I should probably be telling myself this. Nice post though -- it completely resonated with me.

    At 6:39 PM, May 02, 2006, Blogger Heather said...

    Yeah, I think the thing I forgot to mention is this: I'm happy! I'm totally nowhere as far as all these "adult" things (or cliches?) go, but I seem to be fine with it even though everyone around me is doing it. Which I guess is the root of the thing. That it's weird I'm fine with it. I have lots of 'extracurricular' things and hobbies (and a phat garden) and I'm not sure I'd have it any other way right now.

    One of my friends who visited had a beautiful wedding a few years ago, has a house in the Columbus 'burbs, is an associate at her small law firm, and is going to try for her first baby in the fall. I'm extremely happy for her, but...that's not what I want at all! I couldn't take a month off in September and go to India. I couldn't cut out of work early to see art shows. You know? I guess my point wasn't really "woe is me, I'm nowhere," because I'm actually extremely busy all the time doing all kinds of things...they're just not the husband/baby/job things that everyone else seems to want. Not that I wouldn't mind a job...but, you know. :)

    At 7:46 PM, May 02, 2006, Anonymous beccaohio said...

    well, at least you are free to get some real men. and not those 20 year olds who wouldn't know what 30 looked like if it hit them in the face. that's the joy of singledom, right?--dating. or at least some hot action. i'm sure your friends are jealous of you about that.

    At 8:38 PM, May 02, 2006, Blogger CM said...

    Is taking a month off and going to India an example of some crazy thing you could do, or are you considering doing something like that?

    At 10:23 AM, May 03, 2006, Blogger Heather said...

    cm - it's the plan!

    At 3:37 PM, May 03, 2006, Blogger CM said...

    That would be so much fun -- take lots of pictures! India travel tip: everyone's name and seat is posted on the outside of the train. This is something I wish I had known last time.

    At 4:08 AM, May 04, 2006, Blogger Roonie said...

    The real problem seems to be that the older I get, the less I know what I want to do with my life.

    I wish I had some answers, but that statement does a lot in the way of summary as far as how I feel, too. All I can say is that I suppose finding out is part of the fun. At least that's what they tell me.

    P.S. - I want to go to India with you and Chai. I think we should make that happen. And Sri Lanka. Do you want companions? I think I'm sort of offering up Chai, but I think she'd be down.


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