When my dog The Femme Fatale doesn't want to acknowledge my existence, she turns her face away from me. It's like if I am not looking at you, you can't see me.
The other day she was parked under the table in the living room and let out one of those double-syllable burps. Ba-burp! It was as loud as a human's and I shrieked with laughter at her. On cue, The Femme Fatale turned her nose and watched the wall. She did not like me laughing at her.
Last night at Tuesday Night Knitting I informed everyone of my new work status. "So now I get health insurance and vacation time," I finished.
And then I saw it. The three girls' noses turned away from me. Two pointed away from the circle and one stared hard at the lime green work-in-progress in her hands. No one said a word.
It took me a minute to register that the other three girls had previously held marketing jobs like me, but they were still laid off. Tuesday Night Knitting has operated more like a Knit while you Network since its inception at the beginning of the year. The girls share information on who is hiring and in what capacity as well as preferred yarn fiber and the best way to cast on.
To make matters worse, two of the girls had interviews the previous week and neither were selected for the open positions. Their own depression rendered them unable to be happy for me in any capacity. It had taken on some perverse form of reverse-Schadenfreude.
Even Christopher gave me a cursory "That's great" when I told him. At least he made an unconvincing effort.
It's really deflated my joy in my accomplishment. Last night I opened USA Today and read that unemployment in my state reached a double-digit all-time high, the national debt topped 1 trillion dollars for the first time ever, and the 800-billion dollar stimulus package has had no effect other than stemming the bleeding. Even recent college graduates in China were pushing each other down to clean toilets.
I thought back to my immediate circle friends and counted. Seven of them have been laid off and have yet to find work. Three of those have been out of jobs for over a year. I am already thankful for the opportunity I've taken advantage of, but it's made me ashamed of my good news. No one wants to hear it. They would rather keep company with others' doom and gloom.
So I'm not telling anyone else about my job/apartment. And that makes me feel inferior.