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Archive for January, 2011

Every day I park myself at Starbucks to get some job-seeking work done. I find I’m most productive if I leave the house. Yesterday I made the beds, cleaned the kitchen, worked out and showered before I headed out.

Today I threw on a fleece, brushed my teeth (I think?) and left the house — a mess. That’s okay, because today I planned on getting a lot done by getting there early.

So I wander in feeling blurry-eyed and dirty, and take a table in the back by an outlet.

But next to me sit two men having coffee. A discreet-ish glance puts their ages at mid-50. They are having a LOUD, but friendly chat about politics. When I sat down it was about healthcare and though making great effort to ignore them, I caught pieces on homeland security. When the conversation moved to the divide between liberalism and conservatism, and how that divide is remarkably thinner here versus in other places, I couldn’t help myself.

I’ve decided to give up on working. There’s just too much to their conversation that I don’t want to miss. So I’m pretending to do something by typing this post, but really, I’m eavesdropping.

The guy with his back to me sounds exactly like Dustin Hoffman. He’s speaking with authority using phrases like, “Tell me this, Mister” and “that’s the kind of paralysis that…”

Meanwhile his friend is stretching out his words for emphasis, “Myyy price is entirely different,” and “their price is the saaaaame.”

What’s particularly distracting is how chewy and sparky their chat is — chockfull of names, dates, examples, and other places. Each one takes his turn with a thoughtfully articulate presentation of opinion. I’m struck by how substantive their time together is. I want to join them. I want to stretch my debate skills, form sentences with thought, reference things that I’ve read in the news (and/or pretend I even read the news).

I wish my friends and I chatted more often about things of cultural significance. I wish I got outside myself more often, and without such conscious effort. I wish, I wish, I wish…me…me…me.

I really do love that women are emotional creatures of detail and observation, and that we take such deep interest in the people around us that it’s often exhausting. But it’s refreshing to hear two goods friends talk about the world with passion and intellect.

I mean, is it just me in Jcrewville, or do other women have lengthy debates about legislative impact and cultural influences? Tell me, what do other women talk about?  

Damn, they’re leaving.

Me, too.

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Chosen by random selection, the winnner of the $10 Starbucks Giftcard is Mitch.

Thanks for playing, everyone — you all gave very helpful comments.

Mitch, I’ll contact you via email for details.

Cheers!

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‘Appy new year!

Hope your fresh start is brimming in optimism. Mine, as of day 4, has been good-ish. I’m putting serious effort into finding a job to fill my days and weary bank account. For ten years I’ve been swimming upstream in suburban utopia, and it’s time to get out and dry off (ew, bad metaphor and two clichés to boot — wait, three…). 

The first prong of my get-a-job strategy involves hunkering down in coffee shops all across town, sopping up free Wi-Fi while abstaining from mega cookies and buttery scones. I try not to peek at other laptop screens and/or eavesdrop, but the temptation — oooh, I tell you, it’s not easy. I think the lady to my right has a cool job. She’s drapped in a plum-colored scarf, hunched over her Mac and doesn’t appear to checking Facebook — a coffee-shop anomaly. Another guy in a too-big coat keeps making business calls to people I can tell don’t want to talk to him. He’s using an amped-up, folksy voice to coax them into thinking business with him is so fun.

Okay, where was I? Oh yes, my second prong to the search involves soliciting friends and unfortunate blog readers (Mom, are you there?) for help. I’m conducting a little “grandma research” experiment as part of a potential job idea, which I won’t explain now because, well, you guys are busy, right?

Normally, being a purist, I eschew using a personal blog for anything impersonal. But 2011 is a new year, and I need to get something done. 

So I’m hosting a mini-writing contest. Yep.

My contest is this: win a free ten-dollar gift card to Starbucks (I know, not a windfall, but still: free!)  in exchange for a dazzling comment to the following prompt:

Tell me how you feel about Starbucks and why.

In ten days, I’ll randomly select a “winner.”

That’s right: ten days, ten dollahs. Exciting, no?

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