Post-College: Days of Small Triumphs and Small Defeats

Post-College: Days of Small Triumphs and Small Defeats

Triumph: 7:34 AM. Manage to get presentable for work in only ten minutes after sleeping in. You didn’t even tear a run in your pantyhose! Grab a brownie-flavored Clif Bar for breakfast, you health nut!

Defeat: 7:38 AM. On your way out, ask the surly Russian contractor working on your apartment stairwell when the new gym construction will begin. He responds with snorting laughter and flicks his cigarette ashes on the handrail.

Defeat: 7:42 AM. Your dinner from last night, an open jar of peanut butter, is sitting in your car’s cup holder. It is frozen, and the spoon is still in it.

Triumph: 7:45 AM. Nail every verse of the Bloodhound Gang’s “Bad Touch” on the morning radio. You’ve still got it!

Defeat/Triumph: 12:30 PM. Unable to afford lunch at the Lund’s self-serve olive bar, you opt for Cooper’s Grocery. While you wait in line with your discounted Lean Cuisine, a cat fight erupts in the in next aisle. “Bitch don’t know shit!” one woman in tattered sweatpants hollers again and again as security escorts her to the door. A few customers applaud when she kicks over a shelf of Cheez-Its on her way out. Reconsider your circumstances with newfound optimism.

Defeat: 2:00 PM. When you answer the phone at work, a belligerent caller asks “what exactly” your title is. Rub the space between your eyes and answer: “I’m a Resource and Communication Specialist.” There is a pause. “Sounds like a glorified clerk to me,” she says. Rack your brain for a defensive quip, only to come up with “Data entry is the foundation of every strong company!” Weep in the bathroom.

Triumph: 5:35 PM. At last, after two years of patient coaching, your dad explores the features on his work-issued Blackberry. His text message reads “Hi guesswhat I sent thsi fromthe blueberry lovedad.” Your academic advisor was so wrong—you’d make a great teacher.

Defeat: 5:55 PM. At the gym the person beside you jogs backwards on his treadmill.

Defeat: 6:50 PM. Your roommate returns from work and throws a fit when she finds your rescue cat sitting in her bathroom sink. She doesn’t fail to remind you that it needs to begin a diet.“I mean, look at him! He fills the entire sink!” By now you have exhausted your usual retort (“He’s perfect just the way he is!”) and dejectedly wrestle him out of the basin.

Triumph: 7:00 PM. Look around your small mess of an apartment. It’s 9PM, and you have no children or important career projects to attend to. You are young enough to cower under the safety umbrella of “working on your next move.” Call up your best friend and make plans to meet at the nearest dive bar. On your way out, take a good look at yourself in the mirror. In years to come, unplanned outings and trendy neon lipstick will not be so acceptable. You are young! You are un-tethered! And tomorrow is casual Friday!

– Katya Karaz

Photo by KeyStroke (Creative Commons)