So, I lost my job on Wednesday. Or rather, I was told that I need to be bumped down from salary to freelance because the economy is in the stinker.
Now some people might be thrilled with this- the freedom to set their own hours, living in the moment, just believing the next paycheck will be dropped in the mail…I cannot find the thrill in that. In fact, just writing that sentence gave me heart palpitations.
I am my father’s daughter, through and through. I crave the comforts of a corporate salary, its regular appearance in my checking account provides me with a sense of calm and relief, like flipping the channels and finding an Law & Order: SVU marathon. Now with it gone, I grapple with that feeling of being dangled in mid-air, the safety net nowhere to be found.
I wonder how Charlie Bagel will feel about generic dog food. It’s too terrible to think about.
So over the last few days, I’ve done what I always do when this happens. Panic attack, cry, try to cancel cable and magazines and TiVo but luckily get distracted by another panic attack before I can find old bills with account numbers, drink wine, imagine Charlie Bagel and I walking up the driveway to my parents’ house on Long Island with all of our wordly possessions in garbage bags, finish the wine and open another bottle, drunkenly revise resume and shudder over cover letter, find cable bill, call cable company and tell the man that I cannot afford his exorbinant cable any longer because I lost my job today, let him talk me into keeping it and also relishing the sound of sympathy in his otherwise cold, customer service voice, stumble to the couch, pull dog onto the couch to cuddle with me while I wonder if the both of us can move into the puppy shelter, the two of us huddled together in a crate, him perfectly at ease because all he really cares about is sleeping anyway and me in my fingerless pink-and-black striped gloves, fall asleep watching House, have dreams of me being fired by House and physically attacking him with his own cane before being carried away by Chase, wake up. Realize I can file for unemployment. Formulate a plan. Attack online jobs with resume and new-and-improved cover letter. Call Mom and get just the phone hug I needed, the one you can only get from your mommy when you’re 27 years old and feel like crawling back into the womb is a pretty solid plan right now. Continue breathing in and out and somewhere, somehow get excited at the prospect of something new, something different, something right that’s coming and having no idea what it is.
Yeah. Pretty much what I always do.