Monday, February 25, 2008

On the Lighter Side: An Unemployed Writer's Life

The great thing about not having a job is that you have time to do goofy things like exericise to Gay Gasper's step aerobics tape in your dining room at 11 a.m. You have all day long to get to the bank and grocery store without having to deal with long lines and jam-packed roads (along with the little white-haired woman who ran her shopping cart into two cars on her way across the parking lot).

Given the, ah, not-so-young crowd I run into during my daily errands (or who quite literally run into me), I should have expected that this morning's orientation for ESL volunteers would include seven retired teachers, one attorney who I suspect is getting up the nerve to retire and, er, me. As we went around the room and told a bit about ourselves and what we did, and those eight pairs of eyes turned on me, I kind of felt like I had to explain myself. I mean, clearly, I'm not of retirement age. What the heck was I doing there, committing myself to a series of three-hour weekday morning sessions? Still uncomfortable with the 'I'm a writer' intro, I stumbled through some explanation that caused the creases above those eight pairs of eyes to deepen in confusion.

Even more uncomfortable with my lack of a paying job, I skipped right over any mention of what I do. I mean, I watch Gay Gasper at 11 a.m. I scan careerbuilder and and newspaper websites in search of open positions. I write fiction and nonfiction blips, most of which don't make it off my computer and into the mail and some of which never even make it out of my head and ONTO my computer. Not exactly good intro material, eh? But it's me. And I won't be embarrassed, dammit!

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