Monday, July 06, 2009

Why Did You Change the Sign?!?


I'm embarrassed. Ashamed. Mortified. At myself. Now it's kind of funny. In a ridiculous way.

I hit my last straw tonight at the deli counter of my local grocery store. I ordered some provolone cheese--partly because I love provolone, but mostly because it was the cheapest cheese there. Then when the guy rang it up on the computer, it came to $1 more a pound than the sign said. I asked him about it, but he didn't speak much English and I couldn't really explain the problem. I figured I would just ask the cashier. Well the cashier tried calling the deli, but they never answered, and then she turned off her lane, walked back to the deli, and brought me back the sign, which had been changed in my absence to match the computer.

What was I to do? I paid for the cheese, and then, feeling a bit "taken" and having had a most frustrating day and week, I went back to the deli counter and actually asked the guy why he changed the sign. I felt like in all the uncontrollable problems rolling around in my life, this was something I could stand up for--that I could fix. He, unfortunately--or rather, maybe fortunately, now that I think about it, had no answer. I walked home with my tail between my legs, knowing full well how completely ridiculous I looked. And sounded. Even to myself.

Why did you change the sign?

It's been one of those days--where I found out I may not have a fellowship in the fall, which means I do not have any idea where or how I will provide for myself, or how I'll fund my dissertation until I can get a dissertation fellowship, which I can't do until I advance to candidacy, which I can't do until I finish my last minor field exam, which I can't do until I take another week off work to take it.

Which contributes to my very very very low last paycheck, which contributes to my minor melt down at the deli counter. Why did you change the sign, I ask?

Let me make this clear. I know everything will work out. It always does. I know that. I'm 100% sure of it. But add this onto some family stress and some social meltdowns at the midsingles conference this weekend, and having put all of my energy into last week's minor field exam, and being very very tired, and it's all sort of a chain reaction. I don't remember signing up for this? WHY DID YOU CHANGE THE SIGN?!?

And now is where I wait. Patiently. Humbly. Because every time the sign gets changed, something else turns up. Something happens. It always does. Where a door closes, a window opens. A new, unheard-of opportunity. A different intersection. A previously unavailable possibility. Who knows what lies ahead? I can think of a couple of different directions I wish that would be, but somehow I'm reminded that there is a grand plan, much higher and grander than a silly little graduate fellowship or the comfortable little life I've created for myself. Who knows?!?

And I'll tell you what. That slice of provolone cheese tasted mighty fine on my turkey burger. Even if it did cost a little bit more than I anticipated.

6 comments:

Erin said...

I loved this post. I can totally relate to this. I've been known to loose it over "silly" things as well.
and it definitely will all work out. just like you said... it always does...and in the meantime, I'll be sending good thoughts your way.

Laurel said...

I wish I had words for how much I love this.

I.
LOVE.
THIS.

xoxo

Birdie in DC said...

I totally understand how you feel! You're brilliant at articulating it all, the frustration, the embarrassment, the faith, and the tastiness! We've all been their. I hope it will be a beautiful window that opens.

rachel said...

A tender mercy will be coming your way! I know it!

Artsy Aut said...

That is a really great post. Thanks for putting it down so perfect! PS Next time complain to the management, they might fix it.

Lindi said...

This story was even better told in person! Thank you for venting and letting me hate skinny preggo!