Thursday, May 17, 2007

Expedited Stupidity -- The Fed, My Own

Where the hell have I been? Well, not working on the dissertation. I've been in this lovely wormhole-of-no-work since Peppy Advisor hadn't gotten back to me on Chapter 4. Yesterday, I was thwarted by a federal government that thinks we need passports to go to Canada and Mexico (I mean, are they really totally foreign countries?) so a real traveler like yours truly (or so I aspire) has to wait a month to get an expedited passport renewal. Expedited, mind you. That is, pay-extra-through-the-nose expedited. Then they gave me shit about the Kinko's passport photos being overexposed. So I have to go back and bug those people. And I need to get my name changed on my passport because once upon a time I believed in marriage and was institutionalized in that way. (Sorry married blogfriends. But you've got to admit -- marriage isn't for everyone. And I was way too young. I just don't like the government in my sex life. God, I'm sounding more and more like a libertarian every day. I'll grant you there are all these government benefits to being married, but I am totally opposed to all that -- and don't have kids so I can afford to stick to such principles.) Apparently, one needs a court-certified divorce decree -- because people go around faking divorce decrees??? Now, I'm sure this is fine for people who are born, live, die, marry, and divorce in Grad City. But for those of us from far away Urban Home City -- well, thank goodness I know people. I had to arrange that whole thing (actually easier than it sounds, but when one has no money and cannot even realistically send flowers, one must be very nice, and being very nice when one is dissertating is exhausting) so that I can get the paperwork sent to me soon. I had woken up tired. Once I lit a fire under the butts of some very kind people in Urban Home City and ate lunch with WSF, I was exhausted and took a long nap. Still haven't returned to torment the poor people at Kinko's. OY!

Then today, I met with Senior Scholar to talk about our article collaboration. We have ideas. We are basically going to totally rewrite our article. I'm supposed to write for the next week and then hand it off. (Can you say intimidating? This Senior Scholar has won Big Time Awards for his scholarly work. Ack.)

But the real thing that is going on that is so awful that it's tempting to try to figure out something to work on instead of deal with is: WITTY SARDONIC FRIEND IS LEAVING!!! I can't stand it. I. just. cannot. stand. it. I talked to him on the phone before lunch, and he said something like he couldn't stand leaving me. I told him he just hated packing, making light of his astonishing statement. He said no and don't tell him what he felt. (Our relationship just isn't built on that kind of direct statement. In fact, I think I'm kind of stupid about expressing how much I care about someone; I mean, it was fine to tell him I missed him on the phone when he was gone. But I just can't take it when he surprises me with such a thing. It just came out of nowhere. I wasn't ready.) We got together for lunch, and he had some terrible headache and I ended up bugging him and totally pissing him off. I think this is part of my MO of total stupidity. It's much easier to deal with his impending moving by picking a fight with him. We ended up talking about the homeless problem in Grad City -- and then circling back on an earlier conversation about authenticity and alternative ways of living beyond the typical have-a-house/have-a-job/live-in-one-place model we're trained to think that we're failures if we don't have by a certain time in our lives. We started musing about people who lived nomadically over the summer, coming up with alternative ways of looking at people without homes rather than as "the unfortunate" and "a social problem." I said the whole thing hinged for me on whether one's lifestyle is based on choice. (Yes, choice of lifestyle is a classed concept itself, but I think it's a good goal.)

But really I wonder if it's that WSF and I just can't talk about the fact that he's leaving. I refuse to be all clingy, wailing and screaming "don't go." But what to do? As he pointedly reminds me, I'm leaving too. In three months. There's no point to ruining the time we have left with thinking about how lonely it will be. But when I got home from all the silliness, I just sat with Mr. Tabby and looked out the window and realized how sad I was. I mean, a truck is coming and taking his furniture on consignment tomorrow. It's real. He's leaving. Similarly Hate-Filled Dissertator and Fellow Blog Goddess already left early this week. It's going to be very lonely here in Grad City for the next three months. And then at Adventure U. He's just so much fun and so smart and totally calls me on my shit. How will I do without him?

Sigh. So he told me he was going to nurse his headache and call me later. If he's smart, he won't call at all, because I'll just be trying to avoid the fact that he's leaving and not be able to and then being stupid and monstrous. But now I'm a girl waiting for a boy to call. Obviously a great time to get some work done. Harder to stare off into space when you're working. With TV it's almost mandatory. Who am I kidding? I'll call him soon, I'm sure.


Sisyphus said...

Did I miss something with Similarly-hate-Filled-Dissertator? Where did she go? My Dissertation Buddy just quit me; she decided she worked better when she locked herself in her house alone (I admit it, she's a medievalist --- hello, Julian of Norwich anyone?) so now I am forced to get myself up out of bed and off the internet all on my own willpower.

Anyway, finishing things and leaving and moving are all traumatic life changes. Exciting and wonderful, but also scary and depressing. You gotta recognize the presence of both sides of feeling in order to stay on top of the changes (I mean, you don't have to do anything, but you know).

And you have phones and email --- and yes, even a blog! --- to stay connected with Witty Sardonic Friend. And you said the Adventure U job was not permanent; who knows where you all will end up?

Earnest English said...

Sisyphus, I know you're right. I can keep in touch with Witty Sardonic Friend. But we hang out so often -- it'll be a wrench. He really helped me through the hard part of the diss -- and won't be here for any of the fun part!

Similarly Hate-Filled Dissertator had the audacity to have her own life! She left town! WAAAAAA!!! I can keep in touch with her through my near-daily love letters to her, as well as her blog at But it's not the same as being inspired by her reading and typing to get typing myself. You know that. How dare your diss buddy leave you like that! That's not fair. Before I had Maude, I used to go to coffeehouses, because I figured I couldn't sigh and grunt and pace and turn on the TV there. Of course that doesn't help with the getting off the internet thing. Maybe blog your progress? And I promise to check in and scream hurrahs and congratulations and go-get-em-tigers!

Hilaire said...

I'm so sorry about the sadness. Email and phones are not the same when you see someone so often. And I'll bet there's an undercurrent in all of this of, just, freaked-out-ness about upheaval and uncertainty...that stuff does bad things to your head without you even really knowing it...that's the spot I'm in right now!

Nik said...

I hate this about academia. All the friend-making and then moving. Making a grad city a home city and then moving. Making first job a home city and then moving. It's like being in the Army (usually without the weaponry but not always).