Thursday, November 12, 2009

Well there's nothing to lose/And there's nothing to prove...

I was fully planning on posting yesterday, but as it turns out I needed at least 24 hours to recover from the world's most awkward visit. I walked in, told the receptionist who I was, and she informed me that no students had signed up (it's the point in the semester when seniors know what they're doing and the juniors don't care yet). Shortly after a counselor came out to meet me: his mouth said, "You can talk to me for a minute if you want"... his eyes said, "Please don't make me interact with anyone." In my defense, I had driven for a while to get to the school and had been sitting in the parking lot reading a book for twenty minutes, so there was no way in hell I was leaving without telling someone something about the school. In my defense, I was just trying to do my job. In my defense, I figured he was new and didn't know how the college visits worked yet and I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. In my defense, I figured he had at least been around other humans before. I will never get those ten minutes back.

Okay, on to happier thoughts! Most days, I love the fact that I don't know New Jersey at all. I get pleasantly surprised driving through towns and realizing, Oh, this is where that random landmark that I've heard of but know nothing about is! Case in point: Grover Cleveland's birthplace. I knew he was born in New Jersey, but I had no idea it was in Caldwell, NJ across the street from a public library and a mile down the road from a Panera. I pulled over immediately and took photos before my last appointment of the day. There were pamphlets available on the front porch, and I grabbed one noting the daily 2 p.m. tour time. Later as I made smalltalk with the friendly guidance counselor, I mentioned to her that I might swing by Grover Cleveland's house for the afternoon tour. She laughed. Hard. I think she assumed I was joking. I fully intended on looping back around, but several things changed my mind:
1. It was cold and rainy and I wanted a nap
2. I know absolutely nothing about Grover Cleveland except for that non-consecutive terms tidbit. I worried that I would enjoy looking at Grover's cradle and christening gown less if I didn't have a better idea of what he became.
3. In a letter from GC to the centennial of the First Presbyterian Church, located quite literally yards away from the Cleveland home, GC admits, "Though I remember almost nothing of the village where I spent a few very early days, I can sincerely say that the spot is dear to me-- as the place of his birth should be dear to every man." To me, the subtext reads, "I don't give a shit about the house... but it's nice that you guys do, I guess?" I mean, even GC was trying to distance himself from his Jersey roots. The only reason his house is still standing is because a group of admirers bought it when Cleveland was running for governor of NY. That's right, running. He hadn't even won yet, but they assumed it would one day be important to own the residence where he lived until he was two years old. In the end, I decided that if GC was so nonchalant about it, I probably didn't need to see the inside.
4. I decided to interpret the counselor's laughter as, "Don't visit there! It's a terrible historical landmark!" as opposed to, "What loser would do that in her free time?"

In the end, the bubble bath was totally worth remaining in ignorance of GC's life. I also used the time to catch up on Glee, and I am so bitter the stupid college fair last night kept me from seventeen extra hours of enjoyment.

This weekend I am venturing over to Pittsburgh to (hopefully) charm some potential landlords and eat some noodles. Wish me luck in my efforts to relocate!

1 comment:

  1. Dude. You only have a month left to have a cinematically-worthy life-changing experience as a result of this job and become the next Julie and Julia. Get on that. We gotta pay rent.