Survivor

I’m still here.

(This is an edited version of a previously published post. Why edited? Panic. Anyway, it still makes my point, although it is shorter now; but shorter is better in a blog post, don’t you think?)

“Survived by his wife.”

This was the punchline of a famous routine by a great comedian, Alan King.

Incidentally, King was “survived by his wife.”

King fails to note the male habit of marrying younger women, and addresses every woman he approaches as “dear,” a term I now employ solely to demean and diminutize (safely from inside my car) drivers who have done something stupid, or failed to do something required: “Oh, nice move, dear! Ever heard of a blinker? You know, that little stick on the side of your steering wheel that pushes down to flash “blinkablinkablinka” for left and up for right? But it’s not your fault, right? Because you were raised blonde? DEAR?

But I digress – the routine is still really funny and worth watching, start to finish. There’s even a quick blonde joke. HA! Dear.

Anyway, so what’s with the boots again? And what does the Alan King routine have to do with anything?

I have accepted employment at yet another place where boots are appropriate; nay, even necessary.

It is temporary and part-time, which means no benefits. After taxes, I might almost bring home barely enough to pay for health insurance.

A finger in the dam of the rapidly draining reservoir, no more.

I got dinged on the only two interviews I’ve been granted in the last six months. And, despite a long, and I believe impressive, resume, no one else, including several recruiters who (apparently accidentally?) have viewed my profile on LinkedIn, has contacted me.

Ageism, anyone? Ya think?

But a funny thing happens on the way to rejection: when I have to reiterate my entire 34 year work history, even though the job poster already has it in my uploaded resume, I realize:

I have survived several of my former employers, both human and corporate.

Bankruptcy or merger has taken a few of those corporate “persons” (don’t get me started).

Human former supervisors were taken by the usual things – age and disease.

One of the applications I had been trying to complete required me to reiterate all 34 years of jobs, as well as all the education that preceded them, which no doubt causes the HR bots to drop me like a hot potato when they see that I hold a law degree  (AUGH! Run for the hills!) and that I left law practice after just three years, because…hmm, let’s see – how shall I put this? Because I realized law practice was a soul-crushing, closed system of enrichment for white males willing to have their souls crushed in exchange for (a lot of) money?  Or maybe, because I preferred solving problems to perpetuating them?

Or, maybe just because I hated conflict.

Plus, I hadn’t considered that law is a really bad career choice for a person with OCD, especially when she doesn’t yet realize that she probably has OCD. (“I’m not obsessive! I’m DETAIL ORIENTED!!!”)

This new job will keep me on my feet for a few hours several days a week, require me to work outside, and will put me in proximity to Men Who Know How To Do Stuff (yeah, yeah, women too, but I’m on the “I like men” team, remember? Is that OKAY? Is that ALLOWED? Call me cis (honestly I’m having a hard time keeping up with the lingo for all this – help, Steve Goodman!), straight and naive, but I like men. I believe nice ones exist. Some. Somewhere.)

I’ll have to curb my Betty White oggling tendencies. But still.

I’ll have to get up at 4 a.m.

I could apply for that Bar Bingo host job – three times the money for half the hours. I’m sure they’ll hire a woman as funny, engaging…and old…as me. HA! But my roots and my boobs are my own, dammit!

Meanwhile, somewhere, there must a full-time job and a nice man for me. With benefits.  Both. HA!

Until then, I remain,

Your underemployed again but surviving,

Ridiculouswoman

Mood Music

Name your cryin’ song, your guilty pleasure song, and your rock-out-in-the-car song!

Yesterday? I’m putting that down to a bad hair day.

That’s been fixed. The bob’s lookin’ fab today, which improved my outlook tremendously.

But the song from yesterday’s post has stuck in my head.

That song made me feel hopeful in the middle of a bad self-pity party when Mrs. McWhiny reared her ugly head, even when I thought I’d kicked her to the curb; the song  helped me pull myself together this morning to fix the hair and face, and generally get back into compliance with the Middle-Aged Woman Rules.

Everyone has their “cryin’ songs” There are just some songs that make me bawl every time. Cathartic.

In addition to “cryin’ songs,” there are songs that are just really fun, there are “guilty pleasures,” those songs you’d be embarrassed to tell a friend you like, but you rock on with them in the car. There are songs that inspire, that make you laugh, that give you hope.

They can be in any genre from country to classical to rock’n’roll.

Beloved Chicago songwriter (and really one of the best songwriters ever) Steve Goodman wrote some unbelievably touching songs – just try to get through “My Old Man,” where the recording keeps the bridge where he got choked up, without crying. Good luck.

He also wrote a lot of really funny songs – and they’re funny largely because they touch on something that is true – or at lest “truthy,” to paraphrase Stephen Colbert.

For example, Goodman, with John Prine, another best songwriter ever, wrote a song to illustrate that a true country song had to have trains, Momma, dead dogs, divorce, drinkin’, trucks and prison, plus farms and Christmas. The story goes that David Allen Coe, who was the first to record it, and Prine, both complained to Goodman that these things were missing when he originally finished the song.  So Goodman (and Prine) wrote an extra verse (watch the whole thing to the end, it’s worth it, but if you’re in a hurry it’s at about 2:18):

Read the lyrics, and the song notes linked in the upper left here, for the story as told by Prine.

So, how about you name your favorite:

  • cryin’ song
  • guilty pleasure song
  • song that you just have to sing along to in the car

OK, I’ll go first:

I did my cryin’ songs a while ago.

Guilty pleasure: The Calling, Wherever You Will Go

Sing Along Song: It has to be “Bohemian Rhapsody,” right? At least the Wayne’s World head-banging part? No? Ok, let’s see – Oh, another for the guilty pleasure list, I guess –

Bon Jovi, “Livin’ on a Prayer” Roll down the windows and wail that sucker!

Um, but as far as rolling the windows down, you should probably wait until spring comes again.

In the meantime here’s a cute scene from the Big Bang Theory where Howard and Amy discovered a mutual guilty pleasure (for those of you in need of instant gratification, it starts at about :58):

Go ahead – what are your cryin’ songs, guilty pleasures, rock-out-in-the-car songs?

You don’t need an account to play – you should be able to submit your list in the comments. Or you can use the contact page to send your list.

Looking forward to your song suggestions,

I remain,

Your well-coiffed, snapped-out-of-it, sings-at-the-drop-of-a-hat,

Ridiculouswoman