“You know, if you got a weekend job, you could make some extra money.”
I rolled my eyes at this painfully obvious statement.
“It’ll help you keep busy and you won’t feel so depressed and your head will be clear.”
I picked my eyes up off the floor, popped them back in, then snapped, “Who’s depressed?”
“What’d you say?” she asked.
“Well, these are just ideas. Just giving you some suggestions.”
I suggested the conversation end. My mom means well, but I feel she’s trying to have pep talks that would have been more relevant about ten years ago while I was still in college, but even then, I was working 2-3 jobs while studying full time.
Just before I turned 29, I tried planning ahead in case I ran out of cool ideas for what to do with myself and bought a book called 30 Things To Do When You Turn 30. The book suggests a lot of great endeavors that could bring me right out of a mundane routine instead of sulking about the house when I can’t think of what to write. I’ve recently thought about looking up literary events where I might meet other writers. I’ve already imagined a romantic and torrid fling with a troubled, creative man who I will meet after he reads his awful poetry in some seedy bar’s backroom. I’ve imagined us lying lazily on the couches in his living room on Saturday afternoons as we sip whiskey, write stories, and he takes smoke breaks. Then as soon as he says something condescending, I yell and run out crying and go write in my diary about him.
Was I supposed to be very mature by now? I feel I had a chance, maybe about four years ago, to fully enter into being the kind of adult that pays a mortgage, marries someone, raises a kid or two, and has a 401k. I’ve changed my mind about all of these things and taught myself that if I really want kids, I can just borrow them from someone who already has them. There’s always a friend whose got a cool kid that you can take out for the afternoon and then hand right back as soon as the fun’s over. I wouldn’t even have to be responsible for his or her psychological damage.
I could absolutely get that second job and rake in a few extra dollars that would pay for gas, booze, and Taco Bell, but I love the remaining hours of the day that I get to spend alone in my room. I like that with my job I can afford to pay for my own car, rent and have the rest of the time to drum up ideas for stories as well as give that time over to crossword puzzles and writing. One day, if some handsome man tricks me into using my superior genes for procreation, I won’t have this free time anymore. Even if now I spend it complaining or feeling bummed out, it’s still time that belongs to me.
I sit and listen to the odd noises in the neighborhood. There’s a dog that sounds like an old woman grunting, some dad across the street who yells too much when kicking the soccer ball around with his kids, and sirens. Always sirens. Even as I write this I can hear them mixing with the horn a woman honks as she pushes a shopping cart full of corn on the cob and pork rinds for sale. There’s going to come a day when I am settling into something new, years away from all of this, and someone other than my mom will be yelling for me to come downstairs and be around.
Attractive sad girl lying on the bed in her room via ShutterShock