16 February 2011


Last Sunday night I was at the office doing work. Feeling a little bitter, I was like, "Ugh! If I was somebody's Mormon wife, I wouldn't have to be here right now!"

I know, right? Where does this shit come from?

There's not much I would change about my life-- in regards to being someone's Mormon wife, I dodged a couple of bullets, and really, I mean obviously it wasn't the career for me. But it did get me thinking about the paths not taken, and what I might do if I wasn't currently locked into a career path. A sampling:

Jobs I had but didn't keep:
consignment shopgirl
gourmet takeout prep cook
architecture firm receptionist
Special Collections inprocessor

Jobs I applied for but didn't get:
teacher of disadvantaged children
a lot of shitty entry-level jobs
voting registration clerk
somebody's Mormon wife

Jobs I turned down:
TA at another university

Jobs I thought about doing:
high school teacher
special-ed teacher
Air Force
religious studies scholar

Jobs I now think about doing:
graphic designer
interior designer
John Updike scholar (as if I could ever defect to English!!)
public historian in a federal government agency
whatever it is that Annie in Annie Hall does 

What I fantasize about doing:
award-winning tenure-track professor at a smallish private school in the Northwest

What I will probably end up doing:
impoverished roving adjunct professor
unemployed, living in a tent in my brother's backyard

I don't know why I think about these things- I suppose it's because I really love being a grad student but it is by no means a permanent gig (thank god). It hits me hard sometimes, like today when I was chuckling with a couple of guys about Brazilian history (those silly Portuguese!) and it's like, "Yes, lucky me, surrounded by such smart and curious people!" Or when I realize, as I am blathering to undergraduates about poop and the technological wondrousness of modern sewer systems and the governments that built them, that I know a damn lot about things. The present is indeed a gift.  


Bunny said...

You are truly a wondrous daughter. I still think that you should apply for the job as "award winning author" (didn't see it on the list as a potential job). I could read your prose everyday. It makes me smile when you write about everyday thoughts and life in general. I am so glad that you are that grad student at the present and that you know a damn lot about things! As I read your list I remember the conversations about many of the jobs on the list, they were great conversations that were more of a debate than anything. But for right now I think that you are in a great place and time in your life. Keep learning and sharing with all of us. Oh and if you decide that the tent is too drafty you can always live with us. Love you my wonderful daughter, Mom

Matt in Tacoma said...

I would be more than happy to lease you a small piece of real estate in exchange for a small piece of your unemployment check.

btw, that chicken is ridiculously mesmerizing...

Ruby said...

Um, I love your family.

And I agree with your mum, although I would probably have phrased it as "unpaid blogger," but "award winning author" is perhaps a better life-goal.

Jenel said...

Uh..well I am someone's Mormon wife and I'm STILL having to do all this crap :-)

The Woollen Typist said...

Don't know about being a Mormon wife...but right now...housewife sounds like a very good idea.

p.s. Found your blog via Womenbikeblogs on Twitter.
Great stuff.


Kent Peterson said...

Fess up Melanie, we know you are raking in those big blogging bucks from the folding & Dutch bike industrial complex. When you do decide to cash in and start a bakfiets-based pastry delivery service in Tacomandia (where grad students go to retire) be sure to let me know so I can get my application in as fleet mechanic (I can and will work for pastry!)

BTW the CAPTCHA for this is "sweatin." What do you think that means.