This time last week, I was driving away from Ohio in my Cavalier with two duffle bags and a winter coat. It was a surreal day, although nothing compared to the week that would follow. So ended the weirdest week of my life, just yesterday. And today, I feel a lot better than I did, because I found a placeholder job and an apartment, much to my own surprise.
This morning Macy’s offered me a part time gig in housewares. It’s only 12-17 hours a week, but I also have an interview Wednesday at Old Navy that might be able to offer a similar schedule. Between the two of them, I might be able to pull off full time, minus the benefits and security. But anyway. Now I actually have time to work toward getting a full time job in my field. With this newfound time, I am of course blogging.
I met a huge group of Christina’s (my future roommate, a lawyer and full-time awesome human being) friends Friday night, including a woman who does PR for an environmental non-profit. She is excited to help me get some possible project work or a full time stint, and I am excited to let her do so. She moved to Chicago from New Jersey years ago under similar circumstances, without a job or friends or a home. What is it with us crazies?
Christina introduced me to Chicago’s own Old Style, a beer my dad had mentioned the week before I left. “It’s swill, but it’s our swill,” she said as she pushed a can toward me from across the table. She and I are watching the election returns tomorrow with the third roommate (or I guess I’M the third roommate now).
I went to check out the second place Saturday morning with my aunt’s sister. It was a beautiful home, but I decided against it. Christina is great, and I think I will have a little more freedom and less awkwardness staying with her. She seemed to have a lot of rules and she’s used to hosting exchange students who don’t have people over often. And that’s fine, it’s her house, but I think I am ready to finally have a place where I can come in at 3 a.m. and not feel like I have to answer to anyone about it. I can’t think of anywhere I’d realistically be until 3 a.m., but I like having the option.
On Saturday night, Liz took me to Lincoln Park and we hung out in a couple different bars. First was Mickey’s, the OSU one I was all excited about. It was fun, although as Liz pointed out, it wasn’t so much like going to a Columbus bar on game day as it was like going to any bar anywhere on Halloween. There were definitely more people in costume than in scarlet and grey, but that was just fine. We decided at the last minute to dress up; Liz got out all the costumy accessories she already had and we went from there. She had a tiara and a pair of wings, so I added a wand and a tutu from an Evanston costume shop. She bought a cowboy hat and threw on her most western style jeans, boots and shirt. Presto chango.
On Sunday I spent the day with my aunt’s mom and did some more job hunting. She and I went to Border’s for a little while, and she bought me a David Sedaris book. The first essay in it is about his stint as an elf at Macy’s, so it seemed like appropriate reading. She also took me out to dinner at a place called Grandpa’s by the train station and I got best burger I’ve had in a long time. I’ve really enjoyed staying with her and I think we have really gotten to know each other in a week.
I have something to do every day this week now, which is weird, especially compared to last week’s vast nothingness. Tomorrow I’m hanging out with Christina all day; Wednesday is my Old Navy interview; Thursday I am meeting one of my uncle’s friends for lunch in Evanston; and Friday is my training for Macy’s. Pretty crazy.