My Dream Home Is Another Place

Kind of interesting that today’s Daily Post prompt would ask us to describe our dream home. Today I’m more disappointed with my life than I’ve been in some time, and so I’m more inclined to be painfully honest here.

My dream home is far, far away from New Orleans. I am seriously unhappy here. It’s dirty, corrupt, crime-ridden, and stagnant. I’m scared too often, and either frustrated or bored all the rest of the time. For me it’s a jingle in a world full of symphonies. People love this place for the fun times, great music, and nice people, but I’ve had, heard, and met better elsewhere. I’m glad that I came back here and had one more taste of the place, but I’m done with it. Now, if you love it here, that’s awesome. You obviously hear the notes that I’m deaf to. It’s clearly a great place to live for some folks, and I’m happy that you’ve found a place that fits you. There’s a hometown for everyone, though, and this is not mine. I just don’t belong here anymore, and I’m over it.

There’s only one problem standing between me and that dream home, wherever it may be: The Man can’t find a job. He’s been looking for over a year, and each time it looks like a new job with his government department is imminent, either the position is cancelled or he’s passed over for a returning veteran. Every single effing time. The last time, he was the #1 pick for the job, and they hired him. Then they started filling out the paperwork and realized that they’d posted the job incorrectly and he was no longer eligible. It’s been heartbreaking for him, but there’s nothing either of us can do but wait.

It’s also driving me crazy, because his career pays him three times what I make, so if someone would just hire him, he’d be loading up the UHaul tomorrow. He’s also done with living here. But he won’t take the chance and move without getting a job first (I can’t blame him – we’ve done the unemployment thing once before, and I’d never want to live through that with him again). He also works in a very specialized career, and the odds are extremely slim (nigh on impossible) that he’ll be able to find a job in whatever city I do. My qualifications are much broader, and I can work as a marketer pretty much anywhere. So my choices are not useful. Either I start looking for new jobs elsewhere and break up with The Man, or I wait around sadly and not-so-patiently for him to get a job, then move to wherever that new place is and start from scratch. Which is fine. I actually like starting from scratch. I’m a gypsy at heart, and am uniquely fit for floating in and setting up shop wherever the wind takes me. What I’m not fit for is staying for one second longer than I want to, and I’ve been done with this place for some time now.

So what do I do? Keep on plodding along, watching my youth slip away, my debt mount up, my health falter as I continue to work way too many hours for no real return? Every day feels like I could get the news tomorrow that he’s been hired and we’re moving, so I keep sticking it out. But where do I draw the line? Today’s events were a real kick in the ass from the Universe, and I feel like I’m being pushed towards something.

Today at work, a coworker forgot a very important detail of a conversation he had face-to-face with a client last week, and when I tried to remind him gently of the moment, he called me a liar to my face in front of my coworkers. He’s a very busy person, and obviously had no recollection of the client conversation, which happens to the best of us, I know. The result of the forgotten communication was that even though I’d had multiple conversations about this detail with both client and coworker, it was never handled. Now, not only do I have a coworker (in a managerial role, no less) calling me a liar and treating me shamefully, the miscommunication has created a situation where I actually have lied to our client, believing that I could trust my coworkers to take care of the details they’d seemingly promised to handle. I was so mortified when this happened a couple of hours ago now that I’m still crying as I write this. I’m hoping that writing this will help me let go of the situation.

It would be different if I were in charge, or if it felt like anyone else had more than a fleeting interest in helping plan/work on the events. Or if this were even part of my original job description. But it’s not. I love working on these events, and would love to do more of them, actually, but I’m stretched so very thin, and there’s no one else to count on to talk to clients, note details, and coordinate everything. It’s daunting, and no one seems to recognize that I need help, even when I ask for it.

The coworker in question did apologize half-heartedly to me for making me upset. I know he thought he was being sincere and doing his duty to an obviously distraught me. But he didn’t apologize for his mixup, or for his behavior. In fact, he did that thing that men do when they don’t want to admit that they had any real part in making you upset. Kind of that “Well, I’m sorry if you being a mental case was exacerbated by me being right” thing. Which I can sometimes take in a relationship (key word: “sometimes,” as in once in a blue moon) but should never be entertained even for a second in a working environment. It’s demeaning and misogynistic. If you can’t apologize for your shortcomings without hinting that it might have all been my fault for having a greater emotional range than you do, don’t bother apologizing.

So anyway.

On to my dream home, since all I can do at the moment is dream of when and how I’m going to get out of this town. It’s on or near the ocean, and has a front porch and window boxes. It has a back yard just big enough for grilling, sitting out and chatting, a vegetable garden and a small ornamental garden (of wildflowers for the butterflies – nothing too cultivated). Also, a squirrel feeder and bird feeder too.

Inside, I have a private office in the attic, and a master bedroom on the 2nd floor with a sitting area and a nice sized bathroom, plus two walk-in closets. There are other bedrooms, but I haven’t really thought about them. There’s a linen closet in the hallway, and the kids’ bathroom is really cute, with subway tile on the walls and fun, brightly colored decorations. Downstairs on the first floor is a living room, dining room, kitchen & breakfast room, and the back porch. There’s a butler’s closet between the dining room and kitchen. There’s also a finished basement with a bar and comfy family den. It’s a pretty big house, but not huge. I’ve never lived anywhere that big, and the odds are that I won’t. If I ended up with a house half the size of what I’m describing, the only real requirements would be a nice-sized yard and an office somewhere that I could escape to for days at a time if I needed to. Today’s one of those days that I feel like I need to.

Yup, still teary. This bites. I should be able to just square my shoulders and not let this bother me, but it’s insult to injury, I guess. I’m feeling like I’m one of those motorized bath toys, like the wind-up swimming frog I had as a kid. I’m wound up, and my legs are kicking furiously, but someone’s just holding onto me for fun. I’m not getting anywhere. If I could stop kicking and just relax, that would keep me from wasting my energy. But it’s out of my control. I didn’t wind myself, and I’ve only got so long that my legs will work to propel me along.

I dunno. I just don’t know.

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