Thursday, May 20, 2010

Just be...yourself?

I have a job interview today. Yeah, remember those? Jobs? Interviews? So 2007 I know, but they still exist. This is the second round of interviews for this job, and, given my type A personality I have, of course, managed to nearly mindf*ck this thing into the ground.
Thank good for Tussin with codeine (sp?).
The main thread of advice that I've been given is "just be yourself." My mother's exact words, actually. And then, of course, some commentary.
"Oh, honey, just be yourself. Er, well, maybe not all of it, but most of it."
Right, good point. Anna said the same thing this morning. She said I looked a little "bouncy" and I told her I really wanted to make a good impression because a lot (i.e. her quality of life, her brother's quality of life, my sanity and physical well-being, my career as an editor) was riding on this job.
"Oh that will be easy, Mom," she said, toast crumbs dropping out of her mouth. "People think you're hilarious. Just don't swear. You never know if someone doesn't like the F-bomb."
True, true. So, no swearing, perhaps no crude jokes about fecal matter, and maybe not gonna unload about the time I almost went crashing into the Cliffs of Moher due to whiskey and wind.
"Well, Anna, if I don't get this job, then that means the universe is talking to me and there is something else that's going to happen instead."
This is when Lucian finally lifted his head from the task of inhaling his omelet. Yes, I do still make breakfast for my children in the morning.
"The universe can talk?"
"Yup, sometimes it talks so loud we can't hear anything else. It talks through earthquakes, roaring wind, thunder, everything."
"What's it saying?" His magnificent blue eyes were wide with concern. Or maybe just curiosity.
"It's making war on my skin and in my guts and in my heart. I'm tired."
There was a brief contemplative moment among the three of us. A bird even chirped. Then Lucian spoke.
"Hey, Anna, have you ever seen a machine gun?!"
Moment over.
So, be myself minus one eighth of myself. Minus the lcoarse language, minus the perverse humor, minus the scarring of a thousand little battles lost and fewer won, minus the blind pride that comes with working myself into the ground merely to survive.
I will give it a shot. If there is one thing that I don't mind sharing with folks, no matter the company, it is a gut laugh and with that a sense that hope is somehow lingering, waiting for the next joke.

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