Big problems, ya’ll.
If you’ve read not just between the lines but on top of or under the lines, you’ve maybe realized that going to graduate school was the biggest mistake of my life, bigger even than the time with the neighbor’s housesitter on Christmas Eve when my girlfriend was attending Midnight Mass with a gaggle of orphans (see the Broken Heart, Broken Hymen single, “Why Did I Fuck That Painter Who Was Housesitting For My Upstairs Neighbor”).
Why did I bother taking the GRE and writing the essay and paying for the transcripts and begging for recommendation letters to attend a program that makes me want to go into roof tarring? Because I quit my full time job in a fit of drunk and figured that I’d already burned through the employment tunnel so I might as well study instead of making lattes for the entitled. Also, the strip club were I worked made us feed the juke box ourselves and I was running out of quarters. And why apply to this particular program, the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina? Because my sister said it was easy and the SILS students seemed to attend a far more happy hours than the bio-chem PhDs and I already live in Chapel Hill so the commute’s easy.
Terrible decision. I convinced myself that I’d be able to turn this degree into something that sounds fun and impressive, like maybe web design or programming. Turns out I not only hate web design and programming, I am terrible at it, like worse even than I am at dancing on my fists, which I’m actually kind of good at. And though it’s incredibly easy to get good grades in this program (see semester one, when I didn’t attend my own final presentation and got the highest grade possible), actually learning and caring about the material is another issue entirely.
Every semester I think this is it. I’m finally going to put that belt on and harness my creative energy (i.e. adult onset ADD.) and do the work and learn the material and get a job and not create fake gmail accounts at three a.m. to tell my professor that my “roommate” was in a “bike wreck” and will not be attending class tomorrow due to a “head injury.”
This semester is even more painful. I’ve taken all the bullshit classes and now I’m entering the technical phase, which, apparently, is like totes important when you’re getting a master’s degree in information science, which I wish someone had told me so I could have gone into women’s studies. Web design, programming, information security, database? Do these seem like classes you can charm your way through? No they do not. I survived undergraduate by making my professors laugh (and once crying in an instructor’s office), which was easy because I was stoned for most of college and I’m funny when I’m stoned. No more. My professors don’t even know my name, much less my story about the time five minutes ago when I trolled Manhunt with Boutros Bourtos Ghali.
The main reason I haven’t dropped out of the program yet is that I really enjoy not working. It’s not that I’m lazy—it’s that I’m a Gemini. I can live off my student loans and government checks easily enough. I’m a little more taco truck than truffle oil these days, but I can handle that as long as people think I’m a starving artist. More importantly, I get cheap health insurance as a student and I’ve become more than a little dependent on the drugs that keep my feet on the ground instead of atop an 11 story crane. Even though going off my meds would certainly be an interesting little experiment, I’ve reached the point in my life where getting high off my own brain chemistry is counter-productive to my principal goal—finding a girlfriend—because retrieving loved ones from the ER and/or police station is only fun once.
It gets worse. I just found out that I’m not receiving a stipend this year. I went to pick up my refund and the cashier looked sympathetic but still called security when I tried to climb over her desk and grab as many checks as I could.
What to do? I’m pretty much fucked. Unless you count the 30 seconds each Monday it takes to submit my unemployment claim, I have no job even though I actually applied for more than one and even did call backs and sent coupons for low-fat Trader Joe’s yogurt to the whole HR department of several companies. The only things I own are a washer/dryer and the silver vagina and an empty bank account. I need that check.
But, I have a plan.
I heard a story about a server/artist who was given a check for $40,000 after telling some dude she was waiting on that she was a painter after she did her side work and counted her tips. YOU CAN BE THAT DUDE!!!
Think of this as an NPR fund drive, but with better prizes and less news. Here’s the deal: you give me $10,000 (or more or less. Every little bit, you know…) and I will do any and all of the following:
1.) Go to your high school reunion with you and tell the cheerleader who laughed in your face and called you a dyke when you asked her to the prom how genuinely happy you are in your life and your gayness, happy in a way that she and her husband Chip will never be because they, like R. Kelly, are stuck in the closet.
2.) Make every one of my Facebook status updates about you for a year (which, incidentally, is actually happening to me at this very moment because Virtual Girlfriend underestimated my mad skillz on the shuffleboard board and agreed not only to blow me up via status update but also to name her first born children Rocket and Panda. The best update so far: “Fact: Katie’s ass is getting me into heaven.”)
3.) I’ll use my ass to get you into heaven.
4.) Get your face and/or name and/or anything else you want tattooed anywhere on my body below the neck.
5.) Name Broken Hearts, Broken Hymen’s debut album after you.
6.) Love whales? Hate forrest fires? Mormon? I’ll canvas for your cause. Even better, I’ll do it in a romper with a blond weave and inch and half long acrylic nails. And I’ll make my Malibu Barbie twin go with me. (See below.)
7.) Speaking of Malibu Barbie, all of my friends are attractive. And I’m not just saying that because I’ve slept with all of them (KIDDING. Only half.). Small boobs, big boobs, short, tall, male, female—they are just flat out hotties. I’m sure I could convince at least one of them to go out with you. No promises on the b.j.s, but I’m sure a couple would be your Facebook friend and super poke you and tag you in promotional photos of Lauren Conrad and Heidi Montag and write inside jokes on your wall.
8.) Got your eye on the hottie with pretty ideas and chocolate rack who won’t make eye contact with you? I can fix this. Along with being a master texter, I am a pen pal extraordinaire. Poetry, post cards, leaving plants on her porch, I can school you in the art of the woo. Believe.
9.) Au pair your babies. KIDDING. I wouldn’t do that to you. I will, however, sell you my eggs, which are only slightly damaged. I mean, fuck, I just found eight dollars on the floor and I lose weight just by thinking skinny thoughts. Talk about good genes!
10.) Write a book that you will love because not only will it be dedicated to you, it will include all the things you want to hear that I am too discrete to write about on the Internet. You think the shit I’ve disclosed is stupid and/or indecent? HA! I’ve done way dumber/crazier shit. I’ll even write about that time with the cop and the nurse and also about the time with the midget in the locker.
You think I’m kidding about this. I get that. Why not just be a grown up and find a way to survive this program and get a nine-to-five and some casual Friday and move to New Jersey? Because I am so untalented at this information shit that even if I did graduate, I’d still be looking at third shift at Taco Bell. But I am serious about the book. The only thing I’m fully motivated to do other than find a girl who’ll scratch my back and make me grilled cheese is write for you. That’s right—just for you. But I can’t do that sitting in this over-conditioned classroom trying to make it look like I’m paying attention but really calculating how to fake my death for Sally Mae. I will seriously do any of the above or whatever else you want (with the exception of b.j.s, which you probably wouldn’t want anyway as my mouth is somewhat of a vagina dentata where 50 percent of the population in concerned). We’ll get it in writing and shit.
C’mon people. Think of this as a non-traditional grant application. At least one of you must must want to put “patron/benefactor” on your resume. Or maybe you’re as broke as me but still appreciate the art of the lie. You’ve got a rich uncle, don’t you? Tell him I’ve overcome great difficulties like bad posture and a heart murmur and, against all odds, still manage to sleep around and fanger tap on the regular. All I ask is that you think on it while I’m over here stealing copper from model homes.