In which I crush the dreams of my 17-year-old self…


Another long and self-indulgent conversation with my imaginary 17-year-old self:

17-year-old Me: I have some more non-fast-food questions for you.  Do you have a cool job?

Me: Yes.

17-year-old Me:  Well?

Me: What?

17-year-old Me: What is it, then?  Actress?  Romance novelist?  College professor?

Me: Nope.

17-year-old Me:  Well, what is it then?

Me: Elementary school librarian.

17-year-old Me: Excuse me?

Me: I am an elementary school librarian and technology teacher.  I have primarily Kindergarten and 1st grade students in library, and I teach 2nd through 5th graders how to use computers.

17-year-old Me: That sounds….awful.  Seriously…just…awful.  ELEMENTARY SCHOOL?  Didn’t you go to COLLEGE?!?!?

Me: Excuse me, I went to an Ivy League college and I have a Master’s Degree.

17-year-old Me:  You need a Master’s Degree to follow around snotty-nosed five-year-olds and read picture books?

Me: Yes, yes, you do.  And anyway, you LIKE kids, you know.

17-year-old Me: Very doubtful.  I don’t like kids at all.  In fact I have been frequent and vocal about just how much I do NOT like kids.

Me [taunting]: Yeah.  Well, Kindergartners are your favorite.  Children are the part of your job you enjoy the most. You genuinely LOVE kids!

17-year-old Me [skeptical]: Do I?

Me: Yes, you do.  You…I…we are very happy with our career choice, okay?  Very happy, very good at it, very pleased with the summers off.

17-year-old Me: Summers off sounds okay, I guess.

Me: That’s very generous of you.

17-year-old Me:  Well, at least you must live somewhere cool, right?

Me: Yup.

17-year-old Me: So tell me more….

Me: Well, you live in a cool city.

17-year-old Me: Awesome!  That sounds more like what I had in mind!  Where?

Me: Pardon me?

17-year-old Me: Where do you live?

Me [mumbling]: prvdns

17-year-old Me: Sorry, didn’t catch that.

Me: What?

17-year-old Me: Where do you live?!?

Me: Providence.

17-year-old Me:  Tell me there is a Providence, France.

Me [shakes head]

17-year-old Me:  Providence, Australia?  Providence, England?  Providence, California?

Me: Providence, Rhode Island.

17-year-old Me: You have got to be SHITTING ME!

Me: Calm down – you LIKE IT HERE you know!

17-year-old Me [skeptical]: Do I?

Me: You do. I know you don’t believe me, but it’s not like I live in Johnston or anything!  You’d never forgive me for that, I know.  But Providence – well, Providence is hip and lovely and has a vibrant art and food and stuff scene and really good coffee shops and I like it here!

17-year-old Me:  At least tell me you left for awhile.

Me: I did!  I lived in Miami for a year!

17-year-old Me: Miami sounds cool.  Totally cool.  What happened to that?

Me: Blech – Miami was stupid.  Much less cool than Providence.

17-year-old Me: But doesn’t Miami have beautiful beaches?

Me: Yes.

17-year-old Me: Gorgeous weather.

Me: Sure.

17-year-old Me:  Interesting tourist attractions?  Delicious food?  An all around more famous and exciting reputation as a city?

Me: You are really focusing on the wrong stuff, missy.  I like it here.

17-year-old Me: I don’t believe you.  About the job either.

Me: I am happy.  Why just tonight I ate a burrito in my new apartment and watched a movie starring an actor you have never heard of but will love very much in ten years time and it was a very nice night.

17-year-old Me: Do I even like burritos?  I don’t think I’ve ever had one.

Me: You love burritos, so much more than anything else ever.  You love the melted cheese, the delicate interplay between the heat of the salsa and the coolness of the sour cream, the softness of the wrap contrasted against the crisp tortilla chips…

17-year-old Me: Well, at last something you are saying finally sounds believable. So….we have a new apartment?  Is it nice?

Me: Quite.  Do you know what I have?

17-year-old Me:  What’s that?

Me: Claw foot tub.

17-year-old Me:  Seriously?

Me: Yes.

17-year-old Me:  You should have lead with that!  I might not have gotten so bent out of shape about how you failed to achieve every dream I ever had and settled for a life so dull I cannot even comprehend how you got from here to there.

Me: I told you, I am happy.  Claw foot tub!!!

17-year-old Me:  Okay, happiness is one of my goals.  You really love kids?

Me: I really love kids.

17-year-old Me: And PROVIDENCE?

Me: And Providence.

17-year-old Me:  Fine.  I guess it’s okay…I believe you that it’s good.  Now tell me…are you still single?

Me: What?

aaaaand scene.