From Finding My Queendom by Trinity alumna and former Trinitonian editor-in-chief Katie Bailey. Bailey is a reporter for the Cypress Creek Mirror in Houston, Texas.
It seems like every day at work, someone new enters the elevator with me in the morning or evening and asks me that disgusting question: “So! What are you going to do after your internship?”
Guess what, strange person: just because I politely meet your gaze and smile on my way to the bathroom does not mean that we are acquaintances. I know you’re just trying to be polite, but you’re actually being rude. Especially when you have that knowing twinkle in your eye and bounce gleefully up and down on the balls of your feet, your hands thrust innocently in your deep, deep pockets. I get it: you have a job; you’re an accomplished adult. Why don’t you draw a congratulatory picture to yourself in your journal or checkbook. The rainbows and flying unicorns you’re throwing at me while I’m just trying to leave the building are pissing me off.
What, I sound like another falsely jaded 20-something whose sharp criticism of everything is just a mask she hides behind to cover her crippling self-consciousness and doubt? Yes, that is me. I’m hoping that the fact that I know I’m a cliché will help me become less of one. But you’re the worst cliché there is, man who is suddenly and mysteriously interested in me. You’re the aging fraternity boy who preys on the aimlessness of the young, boosting yourself up a notch on the very same doubt that you probably still feel about yourself every day.
That’s why I’m going to start making shit up. No longer will I force myself to smile apologetically and say “Still hunting for jobs! It’s rough out there…” and practically pry the elevator doors open to escape. I will now stand my ground and say something along these lines:
“I’m moving to Moscow to join the movement to free the Pussy Riot members.”
“I’m joining a nunnery in Salzburg in the hopes that I will live out the plot of The Sound of Music.”
“I’m living at home as long as my parents will let me.”
“I’m getting an apartment and some cats and…we’ll see!”
“I’m looking into professional Frisbee.”
“You know those food trucks? Well, I’m going to start my own horse-drawn food carriage. Back to the basics. You heard it here first.”
“I moved into the supply closet months ago. I’m not going anywhere.”
“I’m going back to college to try to find a husband again. I figure there’s still more to learn.”
“I’m hoping to finally find a shampoo that works for my hair.”
“I don’t know. Can I work for you?”
I look forward to your awkward laughter and then my maniacal cackle as you run out of the elevator on the wrong floor. Now LEAVE ME ALONE so I can figure this shit out, already.
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