View from the Other Side

Have you ever cleaned a whisk? It’s difficult work: spindly curves deceive you with their grace and space while crud packs itself into every crux and adheres to the underside of every minimalist arch. No matter how many times you scrape with your fingernails nor from how many angles you examine the thing, clumps persist. Those scrambled eggs you ate for breakfast (or yesterday, or last weekend) suddenly degrade into a nasty enemy you cannot conquer, and you fling the ruined contraption into the dish rack, where it will undoubtedly corrupt the sparkling mugs and plates, but no matter. You are sweating, prune-fingered and defeated.I am not an enraged housewife; I do not normally suffer from OCD, nor am I a particularly clean person (every floor in my apartment can attest to this). No, I am but a recent graduate from our esteemed institution. Much like Garrison Keillor, I cling to my English major status, which, at least in my fragile postpartum state, suggests much more potential, hope and lack of responsibility than does my actual degree in English. Outside of the university world, my humanities background renders me a fruitless idealist, lacking in practical skills. Needless to say, English majors have always had a hard time finding work in our field after college; I would think, with the current demise of capitalism and all, this would turn around and socialized arts funding would abound. Apparently, things don’t work like that (read: unhinged notions of how things work – an English major specialty). Now, I have been extremely lucky. My mother sold my childhood home shortly after graduation in May and gave me some money from the sale, simultaneously rendering me incapable of regression, true “adult” status, and employment until I could find a job that was truly “me.” At first, possible “me’s” included “Editorial Assistant at Super-Funky Burlington Magazine” or “Host of New Awesome Original Show on VPR”; these quickly downgraded to “Childcare Worker” and “Counter Help” and “Unpaid Cynic Contributor.”But no matter. When my immediate dream identities continually failed to pop up on the virtual employment hubs, no matter how many times I clicked Refresh, I decided, always the student, to learn some stuff. Like how to cook meat, change shower curtain liners efficiently, run long distances and utilize the Crock-pot my mother bought me for graduation (bless her) to the fullest extent of its slow cooking possibilities.Which brings us back to the whisk. We’re becoming fast friends, and so will you. For better or for worse.