Sunday, March 9, 2008

Job History: 15-18

Job History, 15-18. Idea totally stolen from Eden.

15: The summer I am 15, I work for three weeks as a messenger at my mom's law firm. It is a special "internship" for the kids of partners, and I get to drive into downtown Detroit each day with my mom. My job is to make photocopies. Lots of them. And trot them around to various attorneys and paralegals. The regular employees hate me, as I work too hard, and make them look lazy. They are always telling me to chill out. Some days I go to lunch with my mom, to Greektown or Xoximelcho Mexican Restaurant. We walk through the streets of downtown Detroit, me wearing the nicest clothes I've ever worn, and I feel very grown up.

16: I work again at my Mom's law firm, in the mail room this time, sending faxes and then calling to confirm receipt. I much prefer the copy room, as I am still in my terrified of the telephone stage. Just a couple of years ago, I was still making my sister call my best friend Nicole from across the street to see if she wanted to come over to play, because I was too afraid to do it myself. (In fact, this fear persists, to a lesser degree, to this day. I will do everything possible to avoid calling to make appointments, order carryout, or get information about something. Thank goodness for the internet!) While I am working there, a woman I work with in the fax room has a child. She names him Wizdom. With a Z. I am horrified.

16, part 2: After my weeks at the law firm are done, I spend the rest of the summer babysitting the two kids of the secretary from my elementary school. For lunch most days, we eat mac 'n' cheese (Kraft, if I choose, Velveeta if the kids do) or ham spread with cream cheese and then rolled into a log. No bread. In the afternoons, I walk the kids down to the lake for swim lessons. Some days while they swim, I flirt with a cute boy from my friend Leah's soccer team, who lives right around the corner. When we walk home, the kids smell of lake water and sunshine. The afternoons drag on, soap operas and game shows on the TV in the background of whatever we are doing, and I am always glad when it's time to go home.

17: Babysitting again, the same family as last year. This year, the boy is just old enough to start to think girls maybe aren't so icky after all. I am his first crush, and he never wants to be away from me. The kids don't take swim lessons this year, and the afternoons are so hot we sometimes run in the sprinklers together just to cool down.

I also take a loooooong roadtrip with my mom, visiting east coast colleges, just me and her in her azure blue LeBaron convertible. In Vermont, we stay with my mom's grad school roommate, who keeps on telling me how beautiful the area is. But the summer is so hot and dry that the hills on Middlebury's campus are brown, brown, brown and the parched grass prickles against the sides of my flip-flopped feet. I eat Ben and Jerry's for the first time, chocolate chip cookie dough flavor, and love it. We spend the rest of the next year at home searching for it at the grocery store, with little luck.

When I go back to school for my senior year, I want to get a part-time job after school. I go so far as to apply for a job shelving books at the new Lake Orion public library. My parents don't want me to work, and they win the battle when I get turned down for the job.

18: Maybe I worked this summer, but if I did, I can't remember it for the life of me. What I do remember about this summer is discovering Bob Marley, Janice Joplin, Bob Dylan. Mix tapes blasting through rolled-down car windows. Night-swimming in Indian Lake and spray-painting the old jungle gym in Adam's backyard. All -day barbeques at Dave's house, chicken grilled with his special spicy-sweet BBQ sauce, and Bob Dylan at the Michigan State Fair. And a lot of goodbyes as I got read to go to school hundreds of miles from the only place I'd ever lived.

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