The waiting game…

I’ve never been a patient person.  Time drags at me like sandpaper over the skin, and I want to get up and push and push until things start moving, even if they move in the wrong direction.  I don’t like to wait.  I don’t like to not know what comes next.

And so, the enforced waiting for responses from PhD programs makes me crazy.

I love and am happy for my friends who are getting responses, and I wonder what’s wrong that I’m not.

I agonize over the rejections I’ve already gotten, but at least I know for those schools.  Two no votes, five unknowns.  Five potentials.  Five schools in Schrodinger’s box.  Am I alive, or dead?  No, I’m waiting.

Some friends have acceptances, and I am so very pleased for them.  Some have interviews, and I am happy and nervous on their behalf.  I have…this low rolling pit of anxiety, making me want to push and push and step on the metaphorical gas with all my might.

Hard to believe that in a few months, this part will all be over.  I won’t wish the time away.  But I really hate waiting.


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Being an adult, finally, inevitably

I am almost 32 years old.  It is only in the past few years that I’ve really become fully an adult.

What does this mean to me?

It’s about doing what is necessary.

Getting divorced so my life could go somewhere.

Then going that new place on my own.

Paying my bills and debts when they need to be paid, because there isn’t anyone to take that away.

Trusting enough to be seriously hurt.

Getting up the next morning and doing it again.

Making the decision for myself when to push on, and when enough is enough.

Changing what I can.  Dealing with everything else.

Letting myself cry. 

Letting other people see me cry.

Working, always working. 


These aren’t bad things, always.  Some of the tears are happy.  Most of the work is fulfilling.  And I have wonderful friends who support me. 

I’m thinking of changing advisors, three semesters into a four semester trek to a masters degree, and during the process of applying for PhD programs.  Sometimes pushing on, going for the long haul, isn’t the smart or responsible thing to do.  Sometimes knowing when to change things is what makes your plans work.  Doing what is necessary. 

The whole world may see me cry.  But it won’t see me broken. 

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Same things, different day:

Now, my thoughts on the same issues, when I’m not hormonally imbalanced:

  • People paying attention to me.  (Oh, hi, what can I do for you?)
  • People ignoring me.  (I could work now, or I could go start a conversation.  Whatevs.)
  • People eating around me. (That’s what my own headphones are for.)
  • Noise from someone wearing headphones. (Tsk.  Rude.  But temporary–I’ll be out of here in a minute.)
  • My weight.  (Look at me!  Such glorious curves!)
  • My hair.  (I’ll just toss it up into some clips.  No one will notice.)
  • Interruptions.  (Yay!  Friends!)
  • Being alone.  (Serious ME time.  Books, and long walks, and uninterrupted movies, and *ahem* you know, ME time.)
  • My favorite books.  (DUMBLEDORE DIES!!  But not really, he’s always alive in our hearts.)
  • My snake.  (Aww, look how adorable he is!)
  • School.  (I’m going to go right in and just KILL today.  Just be totally on fire.)
  • Lack of something–food, alcohol, whatever.  (Gee, I should get to the store soon if I want muffins for breakfast.)
  • My weight.  (Whoever invented the sizes that are used for women’s clothing was a total tool.  Obviously I’m not a ‘large’ I’m PERFECT.)

What a difference, right?  This is my brain off PMS.  And what a happy little brain it is.  *grin* 

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Things that make me angry/make me sad during PMS–a response to a postmodernist inquiry

I have been reading about postmodernist feminism, and one article has a bit about assumptions made about PMS.  I cannot respond directly to the author, so I thought I’d address you all.

Is PMS real?  Oh, yes.

What changes during it?  I get angry and sad for no reason.  Little things that I would brush off during the other three weeks of the month make me see red or make me leak tears.

What makes you say that there’s no “reason” other than PMS?  Well, normally, I’m a rational person.  I know which of my emotions are appropriate responses to what goes on around me.  I actually revel in appropriate anger.  It feels good to be righteously angry sometimes.  Or to cry at a sad book or movie, or sympathize with someone I care for.  These things have reasons.  However, take a look at the following list of what makes me angry or sad during PMS and you’ll see why I consider my mood during that time of the month to be irrational:

Things that make me angry:

  • People paying attention to me.  (It requires me to pay attention back, which wastes time.)
  • People ignoring me.  (Why don’t they like me?  Nobody likes me.)
  • People eating around me. (OMG CRUNCHING.  STFU)
  • Noise from someone wearing headphones. (Why bother with the headphones.  Go ahead, just expose us to your execrable taste in music…)
  • My weight.  (WHEN did I get this fat??  Ugh, I’m so jiggly…)
  • My hair.  (Never looks right, gets all tangled, itches when it touches my skin, I just can’t do ANYTHING with it.)
  • Interruptions.  (If I could JUST get through two sentences, I maybe could read this article before next week.)

I’m sure already you can sense a hyperbole and histrionic nature to these thoughts that normally remains absent in my internal discourse.  Yet each of these things can  make me shouting mad, crawling out of my skin with irritation and fury.  Now for sad:

  • Being alone.  (What if no one loves me, ever?  I haven’t heard from a friend in .5 seconds, they don’t love me anymore.)
  • My favorite books.  (DUMBLEDORE DIES!!)
  • My snake.  (I’m a bad snake mommy.  He’s so neglected.  GUILT.)
  • School.  (What am I DOING with my life?  I don’t really belong here.  My profs hate me.  I should just go find something else to do with my life.)
  • Lack of something–food, alcohol, whatever.  (LIFE ISN’T FAIR!!!)
  • My weight.  (Oh my god, I’m a whale.  What happened?  Where’s my waist gone?)

Of course, I don’t actually think or feel any of this stuff.  It’s the hormones talking, and I do my best to fight it.  Through introspection, I step outside myself and realize what’s wrong.  I may not be able to fix the thoughts, but I can fix my reactions to them.  Not snap at people.  Not cry in front of others, preventing uncomfortable explanations.  And in a week, when I get my period, I go back to being happy and calm.  My old rational self.  So, yes, postmodernists, PMS is real.

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Changes coming

So obviously I’ve not done a great job of updating regularly.  It’s an opposite problem from school time, when I have much to say and no time in which to say it.  During the summer, I’ve got nothing to say and all the time in the world.  Anyhow, if you’ve hung on this long, today’s post is going to be a special one.

I’m getting divorced.

On this coming Wednesday, actually.

There’s nothing the matter, my husband and I still deeply care for each other, we’re just better able to do that when we’re not married.  And I will hear nothing against him in public, please, so if you want to message me to say something that’s fine, but keep it off the comments section.

Now.  Since I’ll be newly single for the first time in…what feels like forever, I’ve been asked by a few people about dating.  The ink’s not dry on the paperwork, so I’m not worried yet, but I’ve compiled a dating manifesto for myself for when the time comes.  It’s a work in progress, and is sadly a bit negative, but I need to look at all these points every so often because they do come up.  And here it is:

Dating manifesto:

I get to choose if I want a date, if I want to continue a date, and if I want another date.  Society, or pressure to do so because “he’s such a nice guy,” does not get to choose for me.


I do not need any particular reason to reject someone. 


I do not have to be fair, or nice, or sweet.  I have more of a responsibility to myself than I do to the feelings of my date.


If I need to defend myself physically, it is okay to do so.


If I need to defend myself physically, I also need to call the police.  I’m probably not the first person to need to do so, and if I don’t step in, I won’t be the last either.


I get to order whatever I want from the menu, even the top, unless there’s fettuccine alfredo, in which case bottom is fine.


Ordering from the top of the menu does not guarantee my date sex, or even a goodnight kiss.


It is my responsibility to be prepared: I need to carry my cell phone with a good friend on speed dial, enough cash for my share of the dinner and a cab if necessary, condoms, and something with which to defend myself. 


I will respect myself enough not to date just to have something to do or because I’m lonely.  There are far worse things than being bored and lonely, and some of those things involve spending time with someone I don’t like that much.


No alcohol on the first date.  No matter how awkward and stilted I feel without it.


In the case of what seems like massive disrespect, attempt to find out why and talk it out once.  Second chances are to be given sparingly, and only if there’s a damn good reason.


If I am going to say no to something, I need to be clear, decisive, and unapologetic.  Furthermore, I do not owe an explanation for a no.  I may choose to give one, but if not, then no is a complete sentence.


Additionally, I will not be cruel, just firm and definite.  That no is a complete sentence works both ways; no need to outline why I’m saying it.


If I am going to say yes to something, I need to be aware of and consider all the consequences before I say yes. 


I will not let having said yes get in the way of keeping myself healthy and happy and safe.  It is okay to take back a yes.


I will not out of hand reject someone for baggage or personal problems.  We’re all broken in some way.  However, if they show a disinclination to deal with or clearly discuss those problems, it is okay for me to leave.


My desire is not defined by a ‘type.’  It is perfectly fine for someone to push all my good attractiveness (or sweetness or kindness) buttons, and for me to decide I don’t wish to date them.  There shall be no more utterances of “he’s wonderful, but…”

This is what I have so far.  Any suggestions are welcome in the comments section. 

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Change of title, maybe?

What do you guys think?  Should I change the title to the Broke Ass Anthropologist?

dingdingding! Pity Party, table of one!

I am (still) waiting on grant money from a trip that happened almost two months ago.  Now, that money is promised, but I can put off the person it’s promised to so I can eat for the summer.  If the money ever gets here.

Living on a student loans is the ultimate hand to mouth experience, though in my case it’s more like bank to hand to doctor to pharmacist to getting my shoes fixed to thinking about a beer to mouth.

Why getting my shoes fixed?  Well, I’ll tell you.

I love these shoes.  Mid-calf length Victorian style hook-laced boots, with a tiny little sweet heel.  It’s my second pair.  I wore the heels right off the first.  I bought the first pair in London, and I just love them.  So, now that I have pair number two, I am going to try to treat them better.  No more wearing the heel right off.  And they’re leather.  And at $32 to fix them, they’re considerably less expensive than buying real leather boots new.  So I fix them.  But you have to understand, fixing them comes dear.  $32, well, that’s almost a week’s worth of groceries.

So, that’s where thinking about a beer comes in.  Boston is a happening town (though obviously I’m not a happening girl, because no one uses that word anymore) and I would occasionally like to go out for a beer, or something stronger.  Have a night on the town.  Um, no, not on my budget.  That would be Pity Party, table for none.

The truth is, my main marketable skill is writing.  I can’t wait tables, I really really don’t belong in retail, I monumentally fail at selling things, and even if I could do any of those, Boston is so huge that they can afford to be picky.  No one would hire a 31 year old grad student whose last experience in the temporary job market was 12 years ago.  And writing?  Not so marketable.  You see, anyone with a computer is doing it these days.  My blog will not get optioned into a book any time soon.  Angela Nissel did it with her Broke Diaries, but I don’t see that happening here.

Still, the secret to being broke is taking it one day at a time.  Soon it will be August, and there will be a whole new semester, with its new financial aid disbursal.  Hope, and money, are around the corner.  Still, I’m crossing my fingers for that grant.

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On Traveling:

Hello all my faithful, neglected readers.  Once again, apologies, etc.  However, for the last few weeks I have a genuine excuse for ignoring you: I’ve been out of the country.

For those of you who don’t know, my country is the USA, and I have been traveling to England and France (ostensibly) for research and a conference.  I say ostensibly because we all know that the real reason to travel overseas is that it is SO COOL, and any work done along the way is purely coincidental.  However, work I did, in London and Bath, Paris and Lyon.  The conference then took place in Aix-en-Provence (pronounced X-on-proVonce, and abbreviated by the locals Aix-en-Pve.  Seriously.) and for me was kind of a vacation.  Speaking in public doesn’t bother me, just the one-on-one stuff, and there were two day trips into the Provencal countryside which were beautiful and dreamlike.

So, what is international travel like for an anti-social introvert?  The answer may surprise you: it’s not that bad.  Especially when traveling in a country where one has only a passing acquaintance with the language.

I’m getting better at dealing with ordinary transactions with service people.  Making eye-contact when checking in for a flight, or when ordering lunch, no longer seems like as much of an intrusion into my personal space.  And in France, these things were essential, as eye contact gives many visual clues as to what the person is saying, thus reinforcing the words in my ears.  The worst for me still is hotel staff.  I hate having things done for me if there’s even a chance I could do them myself.  I am ridiculously self-reliant, and having someone else make up my room or carry my bags (even if I need it to be done) feels incredibly awkward.  And having to ask them to do so, when something hasn’t been done, is worse.  It’s just…I’ve worked some of those jobs before, and I know how people think about service workers and how they treat them.  They look through them, never see them at all, and I don’t want to do that or for them to think that I am doing that, and so I feel shy and nervous.  None of the hotels I stayed in had automatic wi-fi access.  I had to steel myself to go ask for the passcode. 

And yet.  I made friends while I was there.  Really.  And I got invited to do a guest lecture on corsetry at a university in Wisconsin.  And I took a bit over 3000 pictures.  I can pm you the facebook link, if you’d like–obviously I won’t be posting them all here.  And it was great fun, even though there were a few moments where I had minor meltdowns, like trying to guide two (non-swivel wheeled) rolling suitcases through the Marseille gare with a cup of coffee in my other hand and no one to help. Still, I say that difficulties and problems of language, or the need to have a stiff drink before confronting one’s dislike of social interaction are no reasons to not go.  I went, and I had a wonderful time.

I’m off of school for the summer, and will try to make posts more regular.  But you’ve heard that before…  *grin*

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