Venting strangers, cooking, sorority events

As I stepped out of the metro train at about 3:15 yesterday afternoon, I found myself walking alongside an older woman, who wore a ponytail and brown pantsuit.

After knocking on one of the train windows, she turned to me and said, “That lady in there made my day.”

“Really? How so?”

“Because my boss is a Satan incarnate.”

Instead of asking her to expand on “how” and “why” her manager was impossible to be around, I simply listened and offered my apologies. There’s nothing more frustrating than being told to “man up” when you just need someone to listen and say, “I’m sorry, that’s horrible.” Problem solving can wait.

“I watch the clock all day, and as soon as it hits 2:30, I get out. And now, I’m off to my other job, which I love.”

And then she was gone. As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post, it’s hard to have these sorts of discussions on the metro. For the most part, riders are too exhausted to engage in conversation. While I’m not a fan of small talk (i.e. “why did you decide to move to D.C? Why did you go to college in Arizona?), I always enjoy talking about the anxieties that keep other people awake at night.
This woman may despise her supervisor, but she still maintains a better attitude than the majority of unsatisfied employees. I admire anyone brave enough to vocalize and open up about their concerns. Ranting can be cathartic.

It’s unfortunate that so many people hate their bosses. Gradually, they’ll resent their job, and work will become a chore. I’m going to go ahead and make the same naïve vow as millions of other fresh-out-of-college job seekers, “I’m never going to be that way.” I’ll do whatever I can to avoid this fate, however. Why spend the majority of your life doing something that gives you stress-induced stomach pains?

That evening, my roommate and I went to a sorority networking gathering. She was a Chi Omega at an eastern school, so my roommate was hoping to meet some fellow Greeks in the D.C. area.

As soon as we arrived at the restaurant and began meeting the other women, I felt like a complete fraud. I could never be a con man or CIA agent because I can never lie about anything. I can’t even omit a lie.

I showed up to the sorority meeting because I didn’t want my roommate to attend the event all alone. Either way, she would have been fine by herself. She was on cloud nine the entire time. I think she really misses her sorority sisters, just as I miss my UA and Wildcat friends.

As it turned out, no one cared when I announced that I was not, in fact, a Chi Omega. I had some great conversations and made good work contacts. All of us really loved our college experiences, so we had that in common. More than anything, it’s nice to meet with a group again. I miss all the social opportunities of university life.

My roommate has taught me to cook, something I’ve never particularly cared for. It takes too much time, and who wants to be a slave to cuisine? There’s nothing more depressing to me than the thought of someone who only finds pleasure in food. But, I’ve recently learned that good eating habits make me much happier and more energized.

Last night, we had whole wheat pasta, marinara sauce, and hamburger meat for dinner.

I’m not crazy about whole wheat pasta, which is slightly more flavorful than sandpaper. For the health benefits, I’ll continue eating it under the condition that I drown it in salt and meat sauce.

So far, we’ve (yes, we) made salmon, chicken Alfredo, hamburgers, chicken, French toast, and macaroni for dinner. I never dine out, as the food is much tastier and more economical at our humble abode. As much as I miss my college days, when I spent a total of two evenings at home a week, it’s nice to wind down my day with a close friend and hearty meal.

The University of Arizona 2010-2011 school year commences in three days. I miss all my friends that have more classes to take, and I’m jealous of the new freshmen that have four years of pure adventure to look forward to. College is not a time to take for granted. While I’m relieved to be away from some of the shallower aspects of the university environment, I wish I could frequent all my favorite campus stores, hotspots, bars, restaurants, and coffee shops. I miss driving to campus at 8:15 to make my 9 a.m. class, stopping off at Canyon Café some mornings, and picking up the Wildcat and seeing my name on pages one and four. Those were the days!

Here’s to being thankful for blissful memories and somehow managing to surpass them with even better times.

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