A Girl Walks Into An Office...

This morning, I was just booting up and starting my day when one of my colleagues, a younger guy in our department, sent me an instant message.

"Have you seen the new Toastmaster posters?"

Folks, sometimes it's nice to know that other people are in tune with you.  Especially people you appreciate and respect - I like this guy particularly - he's bright, a little snarky, and generally easygoing.  He also likes dogs and hockey.

Anyway, his concern was that it seemed like a jab at mental health - which, I get.  And as someone who works hard on her mental health, I see his point.

So, I feel vindicated, or affirmed or something.

Now that's settled.  Today kicks off March Madness.  I am not a basketball aficionado.  In college, I would occasionally go to a game, especially for the brief Tubby Smith era.  He did a bang up job of promoting his team and making it fun.  All told, I went to more UGA basketball than I did football.  I also went to quite a few baseball games while I was dating Rusty.  And of course, Women's Gymnastics with my sorority sisters.  Sporty!

All of this to say, I understand the fundamentals of the game, more or less.  But no, I don't follow it throughout the season.  My interest doesn't kick in until March.  I always bet a bracket at the office, I never win.  And honestly, that's OK.  It's for the esprit de corps as much as anything.

This year, since the bracket is closed, I can tell you I have Kansas winning it all.  Only one or two others at my office picked them.  My best hope is for Duke and UNC to eat it early.

As I was writing this, I flashed back to a moment where I was at my college apartment, senior year, watching March Madness as I got dressed for my graduation ceremony.  I graduated at the end of Winter Quarter, back before UGA went to semesters.  I have a few AP credits, my testing out of a bunch of French and most of all, Women's Glee Club to thank.  I got out in 3.66 years.  With a 3.4 GPA.  Not too bad, all said and done.  But what's remarkable is that graduated 20 years ago this week.
Daaaaamn.  I don't feel ancient.  Because I graduated mid-year, I only walked in my departmental ceremony.  It lasted 30 minutes, no cap and gown, no bullshit. My family was delighted.  We had dinner afterward at De Palmas and it was great.  Actually, no, it wasn't.  The whole thing was fraught because my family didn't want to meet Rusty  - for valid reasons - even though he and his wife were separated and living several states apart, his divorce wasn't finalized, and so they weren't onboard.  About a week before the ceremony, I called my folks to let them know the divorce was final.  That was a lie.  It wouldn't be final for another year.  I suspect they weren't too keen on his influence as a whole - I gained about 40 pounds my senior year very quickly, in part because of him, and because of the anxiety of impending graduation.  Actually, if we get down to it - both the unsuitable partner and the weight gain were a response to my anxiety. 

It's amazing how clear everything becomes with some distance.

I made some poor choices in the late 90s.   Thankfully, we broke up (eventually).  Anyway - whenever March Madness starts, I think about that day - at least, being in my bedroom, getting dressed and feeling nervous for whatever was next. 

It turned out that next was a job for a Medical Software company, booking, cleaning, stocking and preparing meeting rooms.  Ordering food, washing dishes, making coffee, etc.  I was a glorified waitress.  From there, I got a promotion as an admin in Marketing.  And from there, I got laid off when the company got bought out.  It was that same week, in fact, within a 72 hour period that I lost my job, my grandmother died, and Rusty came up for a visit where he had intended to dump me, but decided I was stressed enough and dumped me by phone a week later.  Thanks?

The good news is, one of my bosses in Marketing took we with her to the next company (the one where Burkes and I called General Foods).  And then when that company went belly up, I did freelance research for her at the next company.   We're still friends.  Her daughters are in High School - they were born while I was doing freelance research.

What I'm saying is, twenty years can pass in the blink of an eye, and the long and winding road that leads you to where you are currently can take some very interesting turns.

Still Crazy (after all these years),



Christopher said…
Wow. When Pink Floyd said "You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today/And then one day you find ten years have got behind you" they probably had no idea how fast the next decade after that would go.
Here's hoping that these days the worst decision you make is picking the losing team in March Madness.