Tuesday, October 7, 2008


My wallet was stolen last week.

Literally, one minute I had it and the next I didn't. I was in Bethesda, on a job interview...

Oh, yeah, the job interview. I lost my job. Well, sort of. I quit my job, because I hated it so much I cried every day. I have already had that job. In the winter of 2001-2002, I got drunk every night just so that I could stand the thought of getting up the next morning and going back to this awful place. The thought of getting drunk that night was the only thing that could propel me through the day. It was not a great way to live. This was sort of like that, just maybe not quite so sloppy and drunken. So I quit my job, but I am not under the impression that they loved me so much. Nobody begged me to stay. They just said "Okay," and sent my stuff over via courier. So I wouldn't say I lost my job so much as I would say that I maybe gave it away. I really tried to like it there, and I don't think I was totally awful at what I was doing--I was an editor, for chrissakes--but I didn't like the people who I worked with, and I am not under the impression that they liked me so well. After all, they didn't even ask me why I wanted to go.

Nevertheless, losing/giving away a job does not so much feel liberating as it does being dumped. It's been awhile since I was dumped--damn, it's been 10 years since I was last dumped!--but still, this is what it felt like to me.

So, I've been going on a lot of job interviews. I went on two last week, another one yesterday, and there's one scheduled for Friday afternoon. To carry on the metaphor, it feels like going on a lot of first dates--you dress up and get nervous, there are a lot of polite questions that you try to find the right responses for, and while all of this is going on, you're evaluating yourself and them: do I like this person/place? would I be a good fit for them? would they be a good fit for me? will this lead to anything that I'm interested in?

Listen, I hated dating. The best thing about getting married? I wouldn't have to date anymore. Well, that and I had met this amazing man who I couldn't wait to spend my life with, blah blah blah, but dating sucked. I love to work, but I hate to interview. Crap.

So I was on this interview, and as I'm getting ready to get back on the Metro, I realized that I did not have my wallet. Oh. My. God.

Not a penny on me. Not a credit card. Not my Metro SmartCard. I went back to the Subway where I ate lunch. No. The lobby of the building where I interviewed. No. The office where I interviewed--awkward, and No. No, and No, and No.

I called Dan. The logistics of our being a one-car household caught up with us--the car was at the Branch Avenue Metro station. The key to the car was with me, in Bethesda. The extra key was at home, with my mother-in-law, who was visiting at the time--she did not have a car, by the way. Dan was at school. Max was also at school.

Max can't drive, of course, but he was also a factor that had to be considered.

So a friend of ours drove Dan to Bethesda to pick me up. He drove us back to the Metro and loaned us his Metro SmartCard so we could get our car back. He's a smoker, and in my extremely anxious state, I smoked the first cigarette I've smoked in about six years in the backseat of his car.

It was wonderful, but my lungs hurt for about three days. From one stupid Marlboro Red. Next time, Molly, just take a freakin' Xanax.

He delivered us back to the Metro, where we retrieved our car, picked up our son, and drove home. We told my mother in law that my wallet had been stolen. Her response: "Did you check all the places you'd been?"

Well, gee whillikers, I never thought of that!

I didn't say that. But I wanted to. Because, Oh. My. God.

I spent the rest of the night cancelling all my credit cards. My ATM card. My EVERYTHING.

I had a significant amount of cash in the wallet--about $200. I'd just taken cash out of the bank before I went to the interview. I also had a few baby pictures of Max in there that I can't replace--old ones that I don't have other copies of.

I feel violated. I feel annoyed by the incredible hassle. I am upset about the cash and the baby pictures, the things that can't be replaced.

When you begin losing things, you start to feel like it might continue. First my job. Then my wallet. It seems totally normal that, now that I've begun losing things, I will continue to lose things, and they will be increasingly important to me. Like Dan. Or Max.

I don't have a job right now. My job is finding a job. I have been on so many interviews recently--five in under a month. It feels like all I do anymore is put on a suit and uncomfortable shoes and try to show people how great I would be at whatever it is that they seem to need to have done.

Max is in pre-school three days a week. For one thing, we like the school. For another, we can afford it for now. Also, it is what makes it possible for me to continue to put on a suit and uncomfortable shoes and go on these interviews. On days when he's home, we have a great time, and I feel like I should like it more than I do.

But I don't.

My best friend recently quit her job to stay home with her son. Her choice makes a lot of sense to me. I stayed home with Max until he was 14 months old. I can't imagine having to leave an infant at daycare every day. But it's different when he's three. I wouldn't say he needs me less now--if anything, I think he needs me more. But he needs me differently. One of the things he needs is for me to feel fulfilled and stimulated. I'm a better mother, more patient, happier to be doing what I'm doing, when I am. He needs me to be involved and tuned-in, not checking my email thirty times an hour and making sure that the ringer on my phone is turned on.

It's not even like I have nothing going on. I am on the insulin pump now, and it takes a lot of time and effort and fine-tuning. The trainer is coming back today to teach me how to use the real-time glucose monitoring, which I am seriously excited about. Max is here. I've never been a person who's had to struggle to find things to do.

But I want to go back to work. Like, today. Getting a job would help me not feel quite so...paralyzed. It's not a great feeling.


merseydotes said...

Ugh. Molly, I am so sorry for all of it. What a shitty month for you.

Here's hoping your karma turns around soon.

Treen said...

Ditto to that...That is absolute crap. Hopefully all of the good karma is building up to make up for all of this.

I always carry much more cash in my wallet than I should because of the whole tip-based income thing. One time I thought I lost my wallet and I'd have been out almost 900 bucks. Bad choice, Treen.

If you ever need to work out some violent aggression, a trip to the sunny city of Flint would do you well, as I have a roommate you can use as a punching bag.

Gridlock Reigns said...

Just for the record, I smoke Marlboro Lights. And it's so cool being mentioned in a blog that people actually read. ;-)