In July, I had the unique experience of being able to enjoy two weeks of unemployment. I could enjoy them rather than fear that the tax man was comething because I had received a job offer prior to the conclusion of my previous job. I chronicled each day on Facebook. This is the compilation of those Facebook posts.
Unemployment log, day 1: After dropping daughter off at school, came home and formed cocoon of blankets around self and watched three hours of Penny Dreadful. Felt guilty, got up and sorted out box of old papers. Took shower, made lunch, returned to couch cocoon for three more hours of Penny Dreadful. Good thing I’m already almost done with the second of three seasons. Otherwise I’ll never get anything done.
Unemployment log, day 2: Decided it was probably best to watch the last three episodes of season 2 of Penny Dreadful while the story was fresh in my mind, thus making the decision to resume residence inside my blanket cocoon seem logical and expedient. Took a shower and ran some errands. Brought lunch home and watched season 3, episode 1 while I ate. At this point the cable box decided it would no longer comply with my demands and threw an error, refusing to continue its complicity in my transition into half person, half blanket. Forced into productivity, I cleaned out my dresser and the mud room closet. Picked up daughter and went to fun dinner with friends in the world’s coldest restaurant. Sent thoughts toward cable box referencing vague but menacing consequences if today’s error is repeated in the morning.
Unemployment log, day 3: Husband decided to work from home today, so was able to ascribe blame to him for my lack of achievement on household projects. Very convenient. Decided to keep things spicy and unpredictable in my relationship with the cable box, so today watched one episode of Penny Dreadful, took a shower, and then in a surprise twist, watched two episodes of Gilmore Girls. Ran some errands, ate lunch, returned home, wandered listlessly around house trying to convince self to be productive. Instead answered siren call of two more episodes of Penny Dreadful. Blanket was delighted for our reunion.
Unemployment log, day 4: During a spate of 3am wakefulness, and therefore idle googling, discover that the season of Penny Dreadful I am currently enjoying is in fact the series finale. Realize that the remaining episodes must be carefully rationed throughout the rest of my unemployment, like an orange on an 18th century ocean voyage. Decide to spend the day far from temptation, nestled in the bosom of commerce that is the Mall of America. Enter mall with goal of acquiring a wardrobe that is more business casual and less pajama-centric. Leave mall with t-shirt and bathing suit. Declare visit a partial success, and go to local farmer’s market. Woman next to me at strawberry stand is explaining to companion that “that is how you end up with inferior rhubarb.” Ask if the rain was what hurt it. Am shunned. Decide to watch Penny Dreadful, drink champagne, and eat strawberries after child is in bed.
Unemployment log, day 5: Awoke with sense of ennui, partly because unemployment period has reached its halfway point, and partly because of the toddler leg crushing my larynx. Watched one Penny Dreadful. Ran errands, all the while trying to perfect impression of lead actress on Penny Dreadful. Discovered throaty Victorian narration makes everything more enjoyable but greatly confuses Target employees. Suspended use of English accent during phone call with brother and visit with neighbor, such that neither would advise me to stop watching Penny Dreadful. Obeyed maternal instincts and took daughter to pediatrician, who confirmed my suspicion of an infection and sent us home with roughly one gallon of pink antibiotics. Felt very successful in avoiding urgent care visit for offspring over holiday weekend. Celebrated excellent parenting achievement by purchasing takeaway dinner consisting mostly of nachos. Revived use of throaty Victorian accent while scrubbing toilet. Resisted making any Potty Dreadful jokes aloud.
Unemployment log, day 6: Usual itinerary centered on TV consumption and perfection of slug impression proves unsuitable with presence of husband and daughter. Spend day instead playing, doing chores, and taking first midday nap of unemployment period. Wonder why napping has not been included on daily agenda thus far. Ended evening with night out of highest caliber, meaning it included bubbly alcohol, much laughter, and one episode Gilmore Girls. Now viewing Paddington as a family while I resist urge to go outside and shake fist at people setting off fireworks, thus removing all doubt that I am 85 year old lady on the inside.
Unemployment log, day 7: Husband and daughter home again today, indicating continuation of weekend to my otherwise schedule-free existence. Deemed strawberry shortcake to contain enough food groups to qualify as nutritious meal for family if made with addition of ice cream. Also patriotic because of red and white ingredients. Add single blueberry to bowl to complete theme. Decide this makes up for failure to generate adorable Pinterest craft for national holiday. Glow with pride at persistence of genes when toddler emits exasperated sigh at firework enthusiast neighbors and moans aloud that we can’t sleep with all that noise.
Unemployment log, day 8: Spent first 25 minutes of day explaining concept of a holiday to daughter, who was sitting on toilet while interrogating me as to why she was not at school. Acceptance of concept rated dubious, at best. Despite buckets of pink antibiotics applied to daughter, her fever spiked, causing day to consist of wild swings between staring at cartoons and bursts of random activity that would make Hunter S. Thomson proud. Did sneak one Gilmore Girls during lunch. Chose not to try to also sneak Penny Dreadful, as am responsible parent. Achieved hanging of artwork throughout home with help of husband, in attempt to finish moving in within one year of taking possession of house. Am certain will awake during night and get frightened by unfamiliar shapes on walls. Likely will ask television show to come investigate infestation of rectangle shaped ghosts in home.
Unemployment log, day 9: Toddler was home again today, resulting in pleasant day playing with toys and taking a nap. Cable box made pitiful whining noises to protest rampant neglect. Promised cable box new set of batteries for remote to earn its forgiveness. Planning to present them in jewelry box which I will snap shut when it reaches for them, as feel certain cable box is a fan of Pretty Woman given how often it’s on. Finally decided to leave house to run errands. Result was imprisonment in Target during violent storm. Calculated that it had been roughly 19 years since last imprisonment in a Target due to severe weather. Reflect on likelihood of unique ownership of a Target storm anniversary. Decide this classifies money spent during storm as gifts for purposes of household budget. Google result for 19th anniversary gift is “bronze.” Purchase of metallic Command picture hangers is fully justified.
Unemployment log, day 10: Waited an eternity of six minutes after getting home from dropping off daughter before starting next episode of Penny Dreadful. Blanket was forgiving of my extended absence. Despite unexpected plot twist, chose to shower instead of start another episode. Dropped car off for detailing service, and spent two hours on foot in retail district. Found lack of auto to be excellent deterrent to purchasing, due to extreme disinterest in carrying as recreational activity. Did try on clothing, and while redressing broke zipper on shorts. Had to choose between being unable to unzip and remove shorts in case of restroom utilization, or stroll town with fly agape. As is my wont, dignity was sacrificed in the interest of comfort. Ate lunch at Mexican restaurant, indulgently double dipping nachos in salsa as perk of eating alone. Immediately dripped salsa down front of shirt and into open fly of shorts.
Unemployment log, final entry: Sought refuge from horrors of reality by settling into couch, cuddling up to blanket, and ceremoniously watching final two episodes of Penny Dreadful. Felt disproportionately satisfied with ability to watch entire series within two week span. Imagined this was exactly how marathon runners feel, minus emergency roadside poops and bleeding nipples. Bid farewell to husband, who is traveling to opposite side of globe for business, and to escape further discussion of Penny Dreadful obsession. Wrapped up some tasks around house, contacted representatives in government, and then felt as if a meditation on my unemployment period, and its effects on my mental and emotional state, was appropriate. Instead took hot bath with favorite soaking salts, and used daughter’s tub crayons to draw mural of a unicorn and a dragon water skiing on side of tub.
Realization that I have to look like a professional grown up tomorrow setting in. Hair has already made it clear it will not be cooperating. Cannot remember what to pack to take to an office. Have required documentation, water cup, and post it note that says “no you should not talk in your Penny Dreadful voice.” Have discussed acceptable places in house to have accident, if necessary, with dog. Did not see her taking any notes, however.