I was born early in the fifth decade of the last century and for much of my life, I held on to the illusion of life as I had grown up imagining it would be. I would keep house as a career and have afternoon Tupperware and Sarah Coventry parties where I would serve crustless half sandwiches and molded gelatin salads to other housewives. I would vacuum the house wearing powder and lipstick and shirtwaist dresses. There would be mashed potatoes every evening at six o'clock with a pineapple-baked ham or pot roast. My short stint in college was wasted on me. Why work for four years toward a teaching degree when I already had my groom lined up? I did not go enthusiastically into Womens Liberation; it was thrust upon me. My groom married somebody else, I quit college (I never really wanted to teach anyway) and got a job to tide me over until the life that I was supposed to be living would begin. Sometimes I think I'm still working and waiting for my Real Life to begin.
More than ten years now at my place of employment, the longest I've worked in one place except when I was waitressing. In the last couple of years I have been the birdie in a political badminton game. The newly-elected administration of Small Pond, far more able than I had expected and feared, seems inclined to make changes that might improve my working life. Afternoon Job has been relocated to a different area of the building, far from my back door field view, but it's a comfortable location. I have the promise of returning to Afternoon Job full time at some future point, leaving Morning Job to some person with excellent eyesight and knowledge of the difference between a credit and a debit. There would be an end to deciphering numerals in tooth-fairy-size print on sheets of paper covered with basmati rice-sized boxes.
If I were sure I could trust that Afternoon Job would once again be my Whole Job I would not be considering yet more change, but that possibility is down the road a good bit and subject to the slings and arrows of outrageous egos. In Small Pond one really can't predict the future. One sweep of a large fish's fin in this eyedropperful of water and the surface tension can break, discharging a miasma of anxiety and bewilderment into the working atmosphere. And so, last week I polished up my resume and tailored a cover letter for a different employer.
I sent out the resume last Friday. I had hemmed and hawed and wasn't going to send it and was going to send it. And finally decided that just sending out a resume doesn't mean I'm bound to go to new employment. The possible outcomes are: I will receive a job offer for the same or more money and I might use it as leverage to speed up the "back to fulltime Afternoon Job" process (probably wouldn't work . . . they'd let me go); I will receive a job offer for less money and I'll get happy about where I am (most likely); I will receive no response; if the recipient of my resume calls and I've changed my mind, I can say, "Please disregard."
I have nothing to lose.
It isn't my Real Life anyway.