Sunday, September 17, 2006
(old post from the myspace)
So graduate school continues to be...continuous, constantly. The work is going well but every day I realize that I am only scratching the surface of what I need to be doing. Here is how I'm handling the situation:
1) Don't panic
2) Work harder
3) If the first two fail you and you still feel overwhelmed, go out for beers with your best friend on Friday afternoon.
4) If the third option still doesn't lift the weight from your chest then when he's not looking, go into the bathroom and start crying.
So that seems to be the plan I have adopted and it's working out nicely. Friday I went to the Mill/Grill/Schmill (I can never remember which it is now) with B. We ordered a pitcher of beer, tortilla chips, and a steaming hot bowl of fat. Right there that should have been enough to ease the rising panic that is grad school but something was off. There wasn't enough cheese in the fat-bowl or something. We were chatting about life and fighting over the last congealed globs when I realized that I was going to start crying.
So I headed for the "ladies" and once there I had a nice little sob. Deeee-lightful. I was rinsing my face when a very tall, very outfitted, woman walked in. She was a quintisential B'ham woman. Her age was somewhere between 21-45. She was painfully thin, blonde, overdressed for a brew pub, and had cleavage that looked harder than Washington's chin on Mt.Rushmore.
I was blowing my nose and wondering why gold necklace belts were once again stylish when she asked me if I was okay.
"I'm great." I said, and then let out a completely pathetic sniffle.
"Oh sweetie!" And the next thing I knew she had used her long stick arms to pull me into her rock-hard boobs. I could feel a blood vessel break in my left cheek.
"Damn! that's going to leave a mark" I thought.
"I'm Amy Jo" she said, as she released me. She was smiling with what I think was supposed to be a benevolent and warm gaze. Instead, it reminded me of a TV commercial and I was the particularly well-performing dish soap.
"Listen, sweetie, I know it doesn't look like it but I have been through some real tough times. See this?" she was pointing to her mascara which would have been hard to miss in a black-out.
"Uh-huh" I was rubbing the circulation back into my cheek.
"Well it's waterproof! Because you believe me, I have cried before!"
It was sort of cute really. I decided that she must be in her mid-twenties and although her sympathy was really unwelcome, it was at least sincere. I was just starting to warm up to Amy Jo when she hit me with a wammy even tougher than her chest.
"Do you believe in GOD?"
"Right now I believe in another pitcher of beer Amy Jo."
"You might feel that way now, but in the morning when you wake up, say a little prayer."
I assumed that she didn't mean to the god of porcelain but rather to a giant white man sitting on a cloud.
"And you will hear HIM. HE is real. HE's there for you. Okay?"
I wanted to ask Amy Jo about her 'HIM'. I wanted to know if HE was so great why she felt the need to second guess HIM on the whole breast situation. Also, I'm not sure you can get into heaven while wearing a gold chain belt.
I refrained from saying anything else other than a quick 'thank you'. When I got back to the table it was clear that I had been crying but B didn't press me about it much. We both knew what was happening there. M showed up not long after and we decided to head on to the Blue Monkey. We passed Amy Jo on our way out and she gave me a truely sweet smile with a little wave.
"Wow," said M, "you know everyone!"
And I thought, "True, and I've got the bruises to prove it to you."
Which brings me to the final step in coping with graduate school:
5) If all else fails, have some plywood knockers smashed into your face. It will make you laugh and after that, there is very little that two cool friends and another beer can't fix.