It's finally happening; it's my turn to play the leading role in Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion. Having seen the movie entirely too many times (upwards of 125) I've been practicing my tell-off speech for Christy Masters since I was 14 and in the closet.
The film won absolutely nothing and rightfully so. But what did we all learn from Mira Sovino and Liza Kudrow's self-actualization?
When in doubt sound as fancy as you can. And if that doesn't work, wear something slutty.
I remember when I was younger I thought I would be married with kids and living in a castle on the moon by 27. 27 sounded like a good age for babies. Well here is 27 and it's not such a cute idea anymore. I have tailored-suits to buy and teeth to whiten. I can't be throwing money at babies who rarely ever say thank you. And people almost always think it distasteful to set a bucket seat on the barstool next to you. So strike out the reproduction option and pump more effort into the career muscles.
One of the first things people ask you when they meet you is "And what do you do?" I'm always daunted. I don't know... I do a lot. I sing and whistle all the time, I blog about recipes I almost always mess up. I talk to myself and crochet when I'm stressed out and have dance parties in the middle of the day when I get woozy. Not to mention, is it just me or do you ever feel like a showboat when you spout off a job title? Ohhhh you're in real-estate development? So you do drywall. Ohhhh you're an associate fashion editor for Vogue? So you clean the coffee pots and write a quiz bi-yearly about how to tell if your boyfriend is cheating with the Barista.
In all seriousness, you know what I mean. After 25 it's all a matter of what you do for work. Because, and sadly you can't deny, it is because people are interested in how much money you make so they can gauge their own success in comparison to your success, and discern whether they could/will benefit from being your acquaintance. Shame on you for denying you've never done it. You've never made a strategic decision to be nice to someone who you perceive to have more clout? I know I have. Call me shady but someone once told me it's all about who you know and who you b!@# and I'm certainly not trying to b!@# my rolodex. Again.
But what if you just don't know what you do? What if your grand plan doesn't include an amazing and prestigious career? What if a person's goal is to make as much money as possible by doing the least amount of work so they can enjoy their time off more regularly and fanciful? I'm not so sure I entirely disagree with that philosophy.
I have NEVER had one plan and I used to be fine with it. I have worked retail, in visual merchandising, as a makeup artist, a manager, a photographer, a designer. I have a good job now but I still want to act again - do a play, be an extra, trip at the Golden Globes ad accidentally fall into/in-love with Hugh Jackman. Isn't that... alright? Shouldn't we all be able to do whatever we want to do without someone making a snarky comment about over-extension or adopting the jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none mentality? Because if what we do is more on the philanthropic side nobody turns up their nostrils. If you volunteer for the ARC, Children's Hospital, The Human Society, and your local community farmer's market your a peach - a gem among garbage.
80% of college freshmen are unsure of their major...
The New York Times last year said that 80% of college freshmen are unsure of their major and 31% are able to obtain their Bachelor's degree within (the standard) 4 years. Another 56%, on average, finishes theirs in 6 years. Those few lucky ones know what they want (or what their parents want them to want) early and hit the ground running with college courses during Study Hall. I did not fall into that category.
I envy those who have only one option. It's kind of like when you go to Cheesecake Factory and have to read the 40-page menu to decide on what to have for dinner. It's too much. When you only get to choose chicken, steak, fish, or vegetarian it's a 5-minute decision and then on to witty banter over cocktails.
When you are a searcher and think about the thousands of majority/minor combination, what school to go to, what position to take/turn down, where to live, etc., I mean Lord have mercy! How can anyone know 100% what they'll do for 60 years? Is there REALLY someone out there who went to college and worked in the same industry their entire career? If so I'd love to by you a cup or coffee and figure out how the hell you pulled it off. I'm serious. I'm really serious.
I think about when I'm old... Like, really old. When I'm old and stuck in a nursing home on the moon I want to have stories. "Oh I went to Venice once for blah blah blah," "Once Jennifer Lawrence and I had ice cream and played slots all night in Fiji, "Once I did Meredith Baxter Bernie's makeup for a survival story about rape and ugly divorce on WE."
You get where I'm going.
I work a lot. I work a lot and when you wake up and work and go home, work out, make dinner, go to bed, repeat... Where the hell is the excitement. All work and no play makes Ricky a cranky bitch. And I think a lot of people feel like that. If I learned anything from my year in network marketing it's that people are always searching for a way to stop feeling sick and tired. People are searching for whatever it is that makes them happy. Sadly, I also learned a valuable piece of information from a previous manager. She told me that the majority of people aren't happy with what they do and, because of that, search for happiness as best they can outside of work/a career. Bleak? Maybe. True? Ehhh... maybe.
So my goal for the reunion is that everyone will take a Xanax and just go for the hors d'oevures. And when someone asks what I do I'll just smile, sip my dacquiri, and whip my hair back and forth. OR, better yet, maybe we can not make it a popularity contest like it always used to be and help each other reach Nirvana? I'll be sure to fill everybody in on the gory details come August.
So what do YOU do? Keep it simple. Keep it cute. Your future relationships depend on it.
...But write a really great tell-off monologue. Just in case.