“If you wait a few minutes you can have a piece of cake. Baked it chock-full of love, actually chock-full of unrelenting, all-consuming rage and hostility. But still tasty.”
I made light of it but yesterday’s brush off (you know, when I delivered fifty years of an otherwise undocumented perspective on the growth of the university, state, and country through some of the most turbulent social decades of the previous century…nothing big) was a crushing blow. I’ve been coasting along blissfully at work ever since my rage stroke without caring too much about the administrative snafus that I seem to see everywhere.
But then this happened and my entire academic life flashed before my eyes. I wondered if all my education even mattered, if I’d ever be able to use it again, what would become of me, blah blah blah. It was rough. To make it worse it was compounded with hormones and J. wanting to talk about our future (grad school, loans, working now, internships). The overwhelming sense of uncertainty blended nicely into the tempest already brewing in my teapot.
Cue minor meltdown. I started baking immediately. I hate cooking of all forms so for me it’s the ultimate cathartic experience: I can take out my emotions by beating eggs, shredding carrots, and pummeling dough into submission, and come out with something sugary at the end. Perfect. Luckily Venice and I met somewhere in the middle – she needed butter, I needed Midol – and I got a nice heaping dose of perspective, as she’d had a pretty wretched day too.
She’s been suffering at work for years now. And unlike me, she doesn’t have lots of really great co-workers and supervisors to make the stupidity and drudgery less irksome. (Don’t go, Venice! Er…ahem…) Twenty minutes complaining about work, mutual resolve to learn to cope better, and I was ready to talk grad school with J.