Sunday, December 31, 2006

Time keeps on slippin' slippin' slippin

As a kid I held a kind of sacramental reverence for the first time I wrote the date of the new year. Like most children, I never wrote a date like MM/DD/YY for any other reason than to mark the top of my homework. In school, the date was linked to TODAY.

Whereas the days and months changed consistently, the year was locked in what seemed like forever. Toward the end of the year I would remind myself that I had once written the year before at the top of my paper, and even though I knew it was true, I didn't believe it. It had been this year for so long that the ones before had never existed. I would imagine going to heaven and God telling us all that he had programmed the past in our minds, that the only year that ever really existed was 1989.

At 12:01 on January 1st, 1990, I stood under the front porch in awe that I had lived an entire decade, that it was a new decade, that the 80s were gone and that I would never again write "mm/dd/89" at the top of my paper. When I wrote the "90" on the far right of the dashes for the first time, I almost felt like I had done something wrong.

Many people I know subscribe to the theory that we experience time as a percentage of the time we have lived. Thus, one day to a child is much longer than a day to a 94 year old man because the old man has lived longer. Although time does pass more quickly now that it did when I was a kid, I think our experience of time passing has much more to do with whether or not we are waiting for something to happen in the future and the length of our attention spans (which is tied to our ability to distract ourselves). For me, childhood was just biding time until I could have all the privileges that came with adulthood. I wasn't very good at distracting myself either. Now, when I can't wait for something to happen in the future, such as drinking the French champagne I bought for tonight, I am able to distract myself and the wait doesn't seem so long.

However, the sancitity of writing the new date has changed. It's not that things diminish with time. It's not that I've lived so many years (which I haven't) that one more is insignificant. I'm not so busy that I can't be bothered with petty things. The special feeling of writing the new year's date has been corrupted by credit card expiration dates.

Yes, I have already written or typed 01/2007 hundreds of times. My next payment on my student loan has been due 09/01/07 for forever. I've already mentally journeyed to 10/15/07 every time I consider my car insurance premium. Thus, it's not that being an adult diminishes the passing of time, it's that our contemplation of future dates is almost always embedded in when our bills are due.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

It's Christmas Time in Tuscaloosa

Greeting from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where I've reverted back to being a whiny, grumpy 13 year old girl obsessed with how her hair has gotten too frizzy.

I'm sitting in the newly built lobby, in front of a flat screen monitor, with the local radio station and their 24 hour Christmas marathon playing on the right.

My parents, who are surely kinder, nicer, more interesting, and less annoying than I find them right now, sure do take forever to leave this Comfort Inn and their lack of non-decaffeinated coffee and no drinks near the computer policy.

According to the radio, Tuscaloosa is rich in African-American history, as the first black mortician was licensed here!

Bitchy? Check
Anxious? Check
Spoiled? Check
Hair-style inspired by Alabama? Check Check

Monday, December 18, 2006

Well It's About Damn Time

No excuses, let us move forward. Onward Ho!

Personal Assistant/Social Secretary Top
Description: This person is responsible for keeping up with the social and professional demands of an employer. Duties may include keeping track of the family agenda, arranging for reservations of various events, travel bookings, event planning, some secretarial responsibilities, shopping and running errands.
Annual Salary Range: $50,000 to $110,000

--The Reimer Agency

In dealing with the wave of responsiblity I've neglected since I have been stressing about my grad school applications, I decided I needed to hire a personal assistant. The only problem is that I can't afford it. However, I realized that if I worked as a personal assistant then I could use the extra money to hire one myself. Or to hire myself.

And that is what I've done. I've hired Mindy, my alter ego. Mindy is detail-oriented, well-groomed, and emotionally detached from overdue library notices and forgotten jury summons. She puts things into piles and takes care of them.

She comes once or twice a week, and I pay her fabulously. The best part is that Mindy has also arranged for me to keep a housemaid (Marta), a laundress (Mrs. Gillagheey), a gardener (Jacques), a chaffeur (Henry), and even a groundskeeper (Mr. Purdue)!

The downside to this is that I now have to work not only as a personal assistant, but a housemaid, laundress, gardener, chaffeur, and groundskeeper. The work is easy, but I totally resent my employer. I just wonder, "why do I have to clean up her laundry and make her bed? Why can't she do it herself?" The maid work, especially, is really boring, but I just try to kill the hours before I can go get some beers with my hot boyfriend, Hank.

Even though the work is really hard, it's so nice to come home to my clean apartment after the maid has come!

P.S. Mindy is in no way related to or associated with my sister-in-law's sweet sister.